Microsoft SideWinder Game Pad USB

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1 April 2005 | 0

Microsoft first introduced the SideWinder Pad to a drooling audience way back in 1996. It quickly caught on with PC gamers who loved its flexibility and there are still plenty of fans out there who’ll put up a fight if you try to prise it from their hands.

Now, Microsoft has brought out a USB version of SideWinder Pad which it claims offers faster response times and ‘a more immersive and exhilarating gaming experience’. Bold words indeed, but is the SideWinder all it is cracked up to be?

Well, it’s got to be said that a game pad is a far better shooting instrument than a Joystick or keyboard. It fits comfortably in your hand and if you have a tendency to move about frantically as you dodge enemies during game play, you’ll really appreciate it’s flexibility. 

 

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Those who fell in love with the original SideWinder Game Pad will be relieved to learn that after messing around with alternative designs that never really worked out, Microsoft has gone back to the design that made it such a hit first time round. 

What’s changed though, is that the SideWinder has lost its original serial adapter and a USB connector for instant plug and play has been used instead. While USB makes it easier to get going immediately, occasionally static can build up around the USB plug causing your PC to fail to recognise the Pad. While unplugging and plugging-in again easily solves static problems, it can be frustrating when it occurs, particularly when you’ve just got on to a new level in a game and not had time to save.

I test-drived the SideWinder in a number of different game environments including Unreal Tournament and EA’s NHL 2001 and found it to be an exhilarating experience. Game control was excellent and no wonder, because the SideWinder is packed with six primary action buttons, two secondary option buttons and a couple of triggers for when you need some extra firepower.

I’d say that while there are plenty of reasons to dislike Microsoft, their Game Pad isn’t one of them. If you’re looking to make gameplay more enjoyable then stick a SideWinder into your sweaty mitts now.

Microsoft SideWinder Game Pad USB – Specs:

  • This is a must for anyone who wants maximum enjoyment from their games. Microsoft has wisely gone back to the original SideWinder design, but added USB for instant plug and play.
  • Price £34.99
  • Contact Game +353 (0)1-677 3755
  • Rating 80%

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