Microsoft officially announced its SideWinder X6 keyboard and SideWinder X5 mouse for gamers today. The $79.95 keyboard features a switchable keypad which can be used as a programmable macro-pad in game mode. The SideWinder X5 mouse will debut for $59.95, it's a 2000 DPI model with nine buttons. Both gaming peripherals will ship in September.
The SideWinder X6 Keyboard's switchable key pad allows gamers to program up to 90 macros per game with the help of a set of dedicated macro keys as well as a fully programmable key pad. With mode switching, gamers can instantly go from Microsoft Office Excel to their favorite game — and place the macro pad on whichever side they prefer for gaming. The X6 also offers the following features to take advantage of its adaptability:
Mode switching lets gamers manually toggle the keyboard from standard mode to either of two gaming modes. LEDs show the selected mode.
Automatic profile switching detects the application that is running and applies the custom profile.
Designed for Gaming
The SideWinder X6 Keyboard is more than a standard keyboard with a few extra bells and whistles — it was built from the ground up with gamers in mind, to give them an edge up on their competition. To complement its versatility, the keyboard has the following additional features to produce the ultimate gaming package:
New Cruise Control feature continues an action without having to hold down the key or keys assigned to the action. Gamers can use Cruise Control with up to four keys at a time.
In-game macro record button lets gamers record any sequence of keystrokes — even standard chat messages. Macros are stored on the PC hard drive and can be easily shared.
WASD gaming keys, the most commonly used keys for gamers, have front-face lighting for enhanced visibility.
Quick-Launch key gives one-touch access to Windows Vista Games Explorer, allowing gamers to quickly see the games in their PC's game library.
Gamers enjoy a heightened experience when adsorbed in the gaming world. Research shows many gamers like to dim the lights, and the X6's two-color adjustable backlighting helps set the mood to achieve total immersion. The red backlighting indicates standard keys that are not programmable, while the amber color indicates custom-programmable macro keys in game mode that can be tuned to the gamers' preference. The X6 also includes full media keys and volume and backlighting control dials to fine-tune the gaming experience.
SideWinder X5 Mouse
Today, Microsoft also announced the SideWinder X5 Mouse, a fast, powerful gaming mouse designed to give mainstream gamers a competitive edge. The nine-button gaming mouse is designed for handling with vertical side buttons, adjustable sensitivity switching up to 2,000 DPI, five customizable buttons, and a Quick-Launch button that instantly launches the Windows Vista Games Explorer.