Microsoft in Tune With Gamers’ Senses

REDMOND, Wash., March 1 — Seeking to answer the age-old questions posed by gamers (I’m talking to you – are you listening? What does this move really feel like? Why should my right hand have all the fun?), Microsoft Corp. today unveiled at Gamestock three new products in the successful line of Microsoft® SideWinder® gaming devices: Game Voice, Force Feedback 2 and Strategic Commander.

“Our goal is to bring an environment to PC gaming in which gamers can truly feel they are part of the action,”
said Chris Bull, lead product manager for SideWinder at Microsoft.
“These new devices move gamers closer to that experience.”

SideWinder Game Voice is a stereo headset that enables gamers to talk with each other through Internet or LAN connections while also allowing voice control of game commands. With the touch of a button, gamers can switch between chatting with each other and issuing such voice commands as
“change weapons,” “attack,” “jam radar”

SideWinder Strategic Commander, a first-of-its-kind, left-handed gaming device specifically designed for strategy games, enhances use of the mouse and keyboard – complementing both, but replacing neither. The Strategic Commander has six programmable buttons, three shift buttons and a three-position profile switch that grants users up to 72 possible key combinations, placing within easy reach all the most critical building and unit control tasks.

Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2 takes current tactile feedback technology to the next level by introducing the top-of-the-line SideWinder joystick, complete with more than 100 forces for enhanced realism, a rotating handle for increased control, a true-to-life throttle and programmable buttons. On-board power, new colors (two-tone black and grey with silver accents), and a smaller footprint (less desk space taken up) all combine to give Force Feedback 2 a solid base providing more balance and a sleeker look.

All three products are scheduled to be available in October 2000 where Microsoft products are sold. Microsoft SideWinder Force Feedback 2 is expected to have an estimated retail price of $109.95; SideWinder Strategic Commander is expected to have an estimated retail price of $64.95; and SideWinder Game Voice is anticipated to have an estimated retail price of $74.95.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software – any time, any place and on any device.

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

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

The information contained in this press release relates to a prerelease product that may be substantially modified before its first commercial release. Accordingly, the information may not accurately describe or reflect the product when first commercially released. This press release is provided for informational purposes only, and Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the press release or the information contained in it.

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