Microsoft Drives Game Device Demand With Next-Generation Controllers At 1998 Electronics Entertainment Expo

Microsoft Drives Game Device Demand With Next-Generation Controllers At 1998 Electronics Entertainment Expo

REDMOND, Wash., May 26, 1998 — Microsoft Corp. will introduce two innovative game devices under the Microsoft® SideWinder® game device umbrella and publicly unveil its first PC speaker system at this year’s Electronics Entertainment Expo (E 3 ) trade show, May 28-30 in Atlanta (Booth 4420 in West Hall, Georgia Congress Center).

The long-anticipated SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel; its new, irresistibly fun free-motion PC game controller, SideWinder Freestyle Pro; and the Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 are scheduled to be available in stores this fall.

“Even when we were just previewing the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick, gamers were already asking us for a force-feedback wheel,”
said Rick Thompson, vice president of the hardware group at Microsoft.
“Now we’re using some of the same technology from our award-winning joystick in the SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel. We also have an innovative free-motion game device, SideWinder Freestyle Pro, that immerses a player’s mind and body in the game itself. It has already generated intense excitement and anticipation among gamers who have previewed it.”

The addition of SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel and SideWinder Freestyle Pro extends Microsoft’s games device line to six current products, including the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro, SideWinder Precision Pro and SideWinder Standard joysticks, and the SideWinder game pad. SideWinder Force Feedback Pro has been the best-selling PC game device for the six months ending in March 1998 based on revenue share, according to PC Data.

Pro Racing Drivers Steer SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel in the Right Direction

The SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel is designed to generate strong, sophisticated forces that create a realistic driving experience when used with force-feedback-enabled PC driving games. Created by the leader in force-feedback PC game devices, the SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel offers proven technology, reliability and compatibility. Designed with feedback from professional race car drivers, the SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel offers the realistic styling, feel and ruggedness that racing fanatics demand. It ships with slip-resistant pedals and full versions of two Microsoft driving games – CART Precision Racing
™and the Monster Truck Madness® 2 racing simulation.

Like the Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro, the SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel uses a powerful onboard coprocessor and a high-torque motor to generate robust effects in PC driving games supporting force feedback. Effects include road textures, crashes, bumps, centrifugal forces, engine, tire and suspension vibration, and other conditions. The wheel has eight programmable buttons, including two Formula 1-style triggers on the back of the wheel that act as shifters. A force-feedback on and off switch on the wheel’s hub includes an indicator light that glows when effects are engaged. A sturdy quick-release cam-lock clamp makes it a snap to attach or remove SideWinder Force Feedback Wheel.

SideWinder Freestyle Pro Tightens Link Between Gamers and On-Screen Motion

SideWinder Freestyle Pro is a radical new free-motion PC game controller that uses sophisticated solid-state motion-sensing technology to deliver immersive, intuitive, proportional (sometimes referred to as analog) PC game control in supported games. Gamers control onscreen action along the X-axis by tipping the device left or right, and along the Y-axis by tipping the unit forward or backward. SideWinder Freestyle Pro is the first game controller to provide universal control, simultaneously delivering the proportional (analog) flexibility of a joystick and the digital precision of a game pad. The SideWinder Freestyle Pro gives gamers freedom of movement in a wide variety of joystick- and game pad-compatible game genres, such as arcade-style flying and driving.

In its motion-sensing mode, the SideWinder Freestyle Pro is a great match for many arcade-style drive-and-shoot and fly-and-shoot titles in which gamers maneuver vehicles within a 3-D landscape while aiming head, body or weapons.

Microsoft Unveils Its First PC Speaker System

Drawing on the technological advancements found in the Windows® 98 operating system and its built-in USB support, Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 will redefine PC speaker system clarity, resonance and powerful bass performance when it ships this fall. Microsoft is applying its experience in designing innovative hardware products to help create another new category: high-quality speakers that deliver superb PC digital audio. Microsoft is combining its PC expertise with Philips Electronics, a recognized leader in digital audio and USB technology, to design a product that delivers best-in-class PC speaker performance. The three-piece system, which includes a subwoofer and two satellite speakers, delivers a smooth, rich sound; simple

installation; and synchronized, easy-to-use hardware and software controls – all in a small-footprint design. Microsoft Digital Sound System 80 includes software that makes it fast and simple for music aficionados, gamers and Internet radio listeners to tailor audio to PC application.

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, SideWinder, Precision Racing, Monster Truck Madness and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

All logos and marks of CART, its teams, drivers, tracks, and sponsors are the property of CART and its respective teams, drivers, tracks and sponsors, and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of CART Licensed Products L.P.

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

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