Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 and SideWinder Force Feedback Pro Touch Down on Store Shelves

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 1997 — Microsoft Corp. today announced that two of the most anticipated gaming products for this holiday season, Flight Simulator 98 and the Microsoft® SideWinder® Force Feedback Pro joystick, have landed on store shelves across the country. Flight Simulator 98 is the newest version of the most realistic PC flight simulation, and the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro breaks new ground in one of PC gaming’s hottest categories by adding tactile feedback to the gaming experience.

“Flight Simulator 98 and SideWinder Force Feedback Pro represent quantum leaps in PC gaming realism,”
said Ed Fries, general manager of the games group at Microsoft.
“Consumers have been clamoring for both Flight Simulator 98 and the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro, and we expect these products to do very well this holiday season.”

Flight Simulator 98 – Setting the Standard for Flight Realism

The release of Flight Simulator 98 marks the 15-year anniversary of Flight Simulator, the best-selling PC entertainment title of all time. This latest version has been called
“the most important upgrade of the product in its history”
by Gamecenter, an online publication.

Flight Simulator has always been
“as real as it gets,”
but this year’s edition takes reality to the next level by providing rich, new content, refining the flight models of all included aircraft and adding emerging technologies. Flight Simulator 98 includes support for 3-D acceleration, MMX-enhanced graphics, force-feedback support through the Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick and other force-feedback devices and free eight-player multiplay via the Internet Gaming Zone ( .

In addition, Flight Simulator 98 includes the following features:

  • More than 45 cities around the world modeled in exquisite 3-D detail, including Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Sydney, London, Paris and Rio de Janeiro

  • More than 3,000 airports worldwide, which is a tenfold increase over the previous version

  • Improved digitally sampled sounds and new high-resolution instrument panels in all aircraft

  • The first helicopter ever in the Flight Simulator series, the Bell 206

  • Flight models tested and validated by CESSNA and Learjet and endorsed by FlightSafety International, the leading pilot-training company in the world

  • Two airplanes, the CESSNA 182 Skylane and Learjet 45, are new; the Learjet 45 is not even available for sale yet

SideWinder Force Feedback Pro — A New Dimension in Gaming

The SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick adds tactile feedback to the gaming experience. Using force-feedback technology, which PC Game magazine (September 1997) calls the
“biggest innovation to hit game controllers,”
Microsoft delivers a new dimension to games. In games that support force feedback, gamers can experience a broad range of raw and refined effects, such as the sensation of landing a jet fighter in heavy winds, feeling the G-force that a race-car driver encounters in a tight turn, or experiencing the kickback from firing a machine gun.

More than 40 top PC games have been announced to support the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro, and the list promises to keep growing. Major publishers are supporting the new technology, including Activision Inc., Electronic Arts Inc., GT Interactive Software Corp., Eidos Interactive, Microsoft’s games, LucasArts Entertainment Co. and Sierra On-Line Inc.

The new joystick employs Microsoft’s patented digital-optical technology, delivering more precise, reliable gaming than traditional joysticks. A powerful 16-bit 25MHz processor in the joystick handles all the force-feedback effects without degrading on-screen graphics, unlike force-feedback joysticks that rely on a host PC’s CPU to process the effects.

The SideWinder Force Feedback Pro is already winning praise in the gaming community. Gamepen recently honored Microsoft’s new joystick with its
“Most Promising Peripheral”

Pricing and Availability

Both Flight Simulator 98 and SideWinder Force Feedback Pro are currently available at computer retailers across the country. Flight Simulator 98 has an estimated retail price of $59.95. The SideWinder Force Feedback Pro has an estimated retail price of $149.95 and includes three hot games: Activision® Interstate ’76
™, LucasArts’ Star Wars® Shadows of the Empire
: Battle of Hoth
, and Playmates Interactive Entertainment’s MDK
: Mission Laguna Beach

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and SideWinder are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Activision is a registered trademark and Interstate 76 is a trademark of Activision Inc.

Star Wars is a registered trademark and Shadows of the Empire and Battle of Hoth are trademarks of Lucasfilm Ltd.

MDK and MDK: Mission Laguna Beach are trademarks of Shiny Entertainment Inc.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

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