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Microsoft Sidewinder Gamepad

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    11 Reviews
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      25.11.2012 20:32
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      The best PG Game controller I have ever used.

      Firstly I must say that I am not a Microsoft fan. This game pad came with my first PC which I purchased in 1999. It is still going today and is still the only gamepad I own. If it broke, I would look to buy another one. This pad is great. Lets start with the looks. This pad is a big, chucnky black affair with dark grey buttons (6 on the right, 2 triggers, 1 centre button and a start and select button sunken centrally) and a round with raised cross D-pad. It comes with a wire of approx 1.25 meters length which is long enough top reach around the back of your PC and still give you some slac k to play with. Software. The MS software that comes with this pad lets you set up custom profiles for individual games which means that the pad will know what buttons to assign to what commands - a really useful time saving feature. Ergonomics. This pad fits wonderfully in the hand, it looks too big, but when you pick it up it fits snugly in the hands with all the buttons in easy reach. The D pad is comfortable to use with little pressure on the thimbs. Connectivity. I have a very old one of these with an old Gameport connection (I have moved my old soundcard between my last 3 PCs to keep this pad!) However I understand that the recent editions come with USB connections. The Gameport version has a removable cover below the cable entry which allows you to daisy chain more controllers. Verdict. A superb, easy to use, customisable, versatile pad.

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      30.08.2001 01:21
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      Ah, the trusty Microsoft Sidewinder. I have learned over time that these are to joypads what the Creative SoundBlaster is to soundcards. This pad should be the first thing on most PC buyer's shopping list for more than one reason. 1) It is a functional joypad with plenty of buttons. Most other basic pads offer a paltry four buttons, (somewhat reminiscent of the Sega MegaDrive pad?). Four is rarely enough. 2) It looks great and feels great. Its sleek black design makes it look like something from Independance Day and it's shaped great for all-night pain free gaming. 3) You can plug in more than one! You wouldn't believe the hassle of getting more than one generic pad to go thru an old-style joyport at the same time - suffice to say I'vce been trying for 3 years and I can't. Get a few of these beauties. 4) It works with everything. Since Microsoft pretty much own everything, you can probably plug it into your pet dog and steer HIM round the garden. In short, regardless of the Microsoft monopoly, this is one thing to come out of the corporation which we should all own at least one of. Buy.

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      17.08.2001 02:46
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      It's very rare that I give Microsoft and Bill Gates in particular any credit at all. Their operating systems suck, their general software (with the exception of Autoroute - Mighty fine) is dire and they seem to enjoy being the evil face of global capitalism. OK, rant over. Now I'm going to tell you something about Microsoft that I really do like. The Sidewinder. It is without a shadow of a doubt better than any of the pads that can be found on Todays games consoles. It's well designed and comfortable to hold and the buttons are all within easy reach of either thumb or finger. It's also got an expansion slot which will allow you to connect another game pad up for multi player gaming. It also has a program included with it that allows you to configure it to perform special combinations. A feature like this is ideal for fighting games. It looks good and is nicely priced too. So for a decent amount of money, you get a gamepad with great funcionality and will not leave you with the dreaded 'Playstation thumb'. Go buy one!

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        14.07.2001 21:59
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        The Sidewinder, A great pad - (couldn't think of a witty title, suggestions would be great!!!!) I have owned a Sidewinder a sidewinder gamepad since last year. In all that time it has proved to me why it is such an excellent pad. On with the review..... Features ****** This is a fairly standard gamepad - this particular model doesn't include Tilting technology. However it does offer a gameport on the back of the pad, effectively allowing you to daisy chain several Sidewinder pads together. Enabling you to have some excellent 4 player games, this is an excellent feature. Buttons ****** It has an 8 way directional pad, that is very easy to use. If you have ever played a beat em up, along the lines of Streetfighter, Tekken etc you will understand the need to have a good directional pad. Some joypads are extremely difficult to do diagonals with, this impairs your ability to play certain games. The Sidewinders D-pad is excellent, certainly one of the best I have ever used. On the buttons front it has 6 standard buttons on the front of the Pad - (it also has seperate Start, and 2 mode buttons). 2 buttons are on the back of the pad also near the handles, this is a remarkably comfortable setup. Even after long games playing sessions my hands have never ached, the design is very ergonomic. All buttons on the pad can be remapped. Weight of pad *********** Very light, but somewhat substantial. By that I mean it's light but you know that it can withstand a knock - durable is the word I should have used :-) Software ******* The Drivers for this pad are simplicity in itself to install, full instructions are packaged with the pad, you won't have any difficulties though I am certain. You also get several other pieces of software, the most important for me being the profile activator. This enables you to configure the joypad the way you wa nt it to be configured. Then you can save the configuration, and activate it whenever you want. The software also enables you to assign sequences of button presses to one command. So you could in a beat em up, program a certain combination of moves onto one of the buttons, when this button is pressed the combo is executed. This is extremely simple to set up, with comprehensive instructions contained on the installation CD. Preset profiles come with the pad as standard, profiles for different games can be downloaded via the Sidewinder website. Connectivity ********* I have the standard gamepad version of the Sidewinder. USB versions are also available. I would definately recommend the Sidewinder joypad, the lack of analogue sticks is a pity, but if you don't require analogue sticks (for proportional steering in driving games, etc). Then this pad is for you. I have owned (and still own) several Joypads, this is the one I keep using again and again though. Kev

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          14.07.2001 05:41
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          I got my Sidewinder Pad with my PC. I didnt think much of it at the time, but when I managed to get a few emulators woring on my PC, this joypad did the works! It is the best joypad to use for any arcade beat-em-up, puzzle-game, racing-game, shoot-em-up...... In short - if you play emulated games, this Joypad is like a gift from above! You really should buy it before they are gone forever - Microsoft have stopped making them - and replaced it with that nasty silver Sidewinder Pro beast.. This pad has a D-pad, Two shoulder buttons, that fit nicely in your hands, 6 main buttons, which are situated at a perfect distance from your thumb, AND, a start, mode and on/off button. I'll be honest, my PC never came with the installation software for the joystick, so the mode button has never been used for hat its meant for. I have heard though, that you can program in sequences of joystick actions.. sounds handy! The on/off switch is too clode to the main buttons in my opinion - many a time have i switched off the joypad whilst playing games against my brother..... and lost..... Grrr.. My Sidewinder is almost at the end of its life... I've dropped it so many times on the floor, that the D-Pad is very.....mashed up! So if you do have a Sidewinder, remember to look after it! It is a good joypad! Now comes the best bit...There is even an EXTRA gameport on the back of the pad!! SO, you can stick another THREE pads succesively into it... and play 4 player MAYHEM GAMES!!!! Provided, of course, you can find a game with four player simultaneous play...... You can find the sidewinder in a shop, for about £25.... the prices should be going down... but they dont! pity... i need a new one!

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            15.06.2001 08:08
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            This is a USB connected controller created by Microsoft for the action adventure gaming crowd. ********** Put a regular controller in the hands of a Star Wars set designer, ask him to redesign it and he might come up with a device that looks much like the Sidewinder Dual Strike Controller by Microsoft. Slimmer and sleeker than a regular gamepad, the whole right hand side of the Dual Strike rotates so your character can instantly look and aim with the flick of a wrist. For shooter fans, this translates into benefits like, no more slow swivels while trying to duck incoming fire. Pop a few looks in various directions, locate your fragger and turn them into an instant fragee. With years of practice under my belt, I am quite adept at mouse and keyboard and, despite some drawbacks, I have continued to use that ancient but revered combination in spite of the different gamepads that have come to market. That is no longer true. I have become familiar with the gamepad. With the Dual Strike, your left hand controls your character's agility, running, dodging, sidestepping and the like. Altogether there are six programmable buttons, two triggers, an eight way D pad and a Shift button. There are two different modes you can use, depending on how far you twist the right control; minimal movement for precision aiming, more extreme wrist to strafe and circle strafe with ease. In fact, there are many adjustments available for the Dual Strike. There are even twenty pre-defined game schemes that come with the controller. ********** For old timers like myself, who are very used to doing things a different way, getting used to this new fangled technology takes a while. There is nothing that hard about the learning curve, but you'd best practice in single player mode for a while before you take on the whole wide web. ********** There is one word that has best described the overriding characteristic of Micros oft controllers, ever since the original Sidewinder joystick came to market. That word is Quality. All of Microsoft's controllers are molded from a high tech black plastic and all share a solid feel with excellent button placement. The Dual Strike controller is no exception to this rule. Bottom line, the Dual Strike controller combines all the best features of a gamepad, with the precision of a good mouse. If you are a shooter fan looking for ultimate performance in your game, or a participant in the mayhem of the web's hugely competitive multi-player world, then the Dual Strike should be the controller of choice for you.

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              04.11.2000 15:18
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              This was a very good game pad, and is compatible with all the games which i have bought. It is very easy to use, and you can programme it to do different things on the particular games. it cost me £30 and was well worth every penny. there are loads of buttons, which are very useful on the latest games as they have so many options that you need to be able to do quickly. It is also possible to program the gamepad to do certain moves on some games, and this is a good extra but I think 90% of people will never use it. If you are a serious gamer then this is for you, you pay for what you get, top quality.

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              29.10.2000 23:09
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              This is a great gamepad, it feels good, looks good and has all the neccesary buttons to make it suitable for any game. It can be daisy chained for multiplayer gaming, It is very easy to install and comes with microsofts sidewinder profile activator so you can set it up for all your favourite games and know for sure what button is going to do what. It is a solid unit and has survived all of my frustrations at not being able to beat my brother at fifa 2000, a nice budget pad.

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              26.10.2000 03:42
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              This pads is the best there is. There, i've said it. Its better than PS pad (just) and miles better than any Sega attempt at a gaming device. Made of strong black plastic, its easy to grip and has a full eight buttons to press away to your hearts content. These buttons are mounted on perfectly weighted spings - it all feels perfect. The D-pad is smooth and well contured and avoids any thumb blisters other similar pads give (PS pads take note!). I would quite simply recommend this pad to anybody who has a pc and is looking for a pad for use with any sport/driving/arcade game outh there. Quite honestly, i couldn't put a fault with this pad, its fairly cheap at £20 and really, thats all that all i can say. Get this pad for your pc. that simple!

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                11.10.2000 06:46
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                So good it’s venomous – The MS Sidewinder Just like me, Microsoft joysticks just keep on coming. And just like me, they’ve been coming for quite a while now. In fact the first MS Joystick and joypads came out in the summer of 1996. That’s when they were heralded as the dawning of a new age in controllers for the PC – good enough to rival those of the well-established consoles. And to MS’s credit, their range of joysticks and pads has served to act as prototype to many-a-competitor’s newer makes and models. (How many black PC pads and pads have you seen since 1996! They were all beige before that.) Well, not to harp on about the history too much, my opinion is about the first and original MS Sidewinder Gamepad. Pretty ordinary by today’s standards – no force feedback, no analogue control, and no wheel. But even so I wouldn’t go trading it (well, them actually – I have three!) for the newer MS Sidewinder freestyle or it’s more flash stable-mates like the MS Sidewinder Pro (Silver with USB, with fewer buttons, no on-board port, and more brittle and liable to break) Reasons? Well let’s go back to 1996. Not many games used the Sidewinder back then, so the software CD was essential. Not only for the device driver (which made the pad virtually plug and play after installation) but also the ‘Game Profiler’. This allowed you designate keystrokes to buttons on the pad for all games in the Win 95 environment. (This was a god-send for the early days of the First Tomb Raider on PC, which I played accelerated by a Matrox Mystique 2mb – how times have-a changed). The only annoying thing at the time was that it only worked under windows, and me being a Street-Fighter freak (The Super turbo version of which was exclusively a DOS game) really pissed me off – and not just because the pad (and t he game) wouldn’t work simultaneously. I’ll explain. I was disappointed that this particular game wouldn’t be able to take advantage of undoubtedly the most awesome feature of the pad. The MS Sidewinder has been graced with an on-board joystick port, which means you can daisy chain MS Sidewinders (and only Sidewinders) for multiplayer action!!! Now since 1996, the MS Sidewinder device driver has come standard with Direct X, and compatibility is virtually guaranteed with all Windows based games. So although I missed out on all but single player Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, since then my purchase has borne fruit. Multi player Actua Soccer 2 and 3, Fifa 2000, Split screen Fatal Racing, Split Screen POD are just some of the exciting multiplayer games that have really been enhanced by the use of the MS Sidewinder pad, and have subsequently prompted me to buy a second and then a third pad (with the price coming down significantly with each purchase). And I always have the option of taking my pads to my friends houses if they ask so we can combine MS pads to get the full compliment of 4 – beats having to haul my whole computer for some multiplayer action! As a result, 4 MS pads seemed more than a viable alternative to the gravis multiplayer pad set, which I gather was rather hit and miss in it’s compatibility – no such problems have arisen for MS’s Sidewinder. Aside from multiplayer, I also use it for MotorHead, Star Wars Racer, The Tomb Raider series, Dino Crisis (it’s a superb substitute for the PSX pad), Jet Boat Superchamps. In fact I use it for nearly all games barring first-person shooters. The pad itself looks really like a stealth bomber – but most pads nowadays due partly due to the influence of this very pad. It fits perfectly in all but Homer Simpson’s hands, so no problem there, unless you too are a heavyweight fatty. The buttons too are s ilky smooth to the touch as is the d-pad on the modern Sidewinders. Older Sidewinder’s have ridges that stick up on the up, down, left and right points of the d-pad. Latter versions have done away with these and feel totally smooth. But the ridges aren’t really that big a problem, and you wouldn’t REALLY notice them unless you’re like me and have both older and newer versions to compare – in which case you’d always go without ridges – CF condoms, where ridges are always appreciated. It has a generous 11 buttons and a digital d-pad. Two of the buttons are shoulder trigger buttons. There are 6 regular buttons for easy access to your right thumb (reminiscent of the 6 buttons on the Japanese Sega Saturn pad). Then there 3 buttons down the middle. ‘M’ switches between macro functions that you may have programmed using the accompanying software, effectively doubling the number of functions buttons at your disposal. Then there is the start button – which as it suggests is used by most modern games to start the game – duh! And finally there is the mode button. If you are not an owner of more than one MS Sidewinder, but own another joystick, wheel, etc, then you can still attach it to the Sidewinder’s on-board joystick port. Although this auxiliary device won’t work while the sidewinder is functioning, by pressing the ‘mode’ button, the MS Sidewinder is disabled and you can use the auxiliary device. No need to go round the back of your carefully placed PC tower and fumble around for the joystick port. In this capacity, the Sidewinder can also act as an auxiliary joystick cable extension! And at £19 pounds or less, it might actually be cheaper than dedicated joystick extension cables! While games now cater for things like force feedback, the MS Sidewinder may leave you feeling a little as if you’re missing out on something. You might d o well to do as I, by complementing the pad with the MS Force feedback Steering Wheel (really NICE – the most classy on the market in my books) or force feedback joystick if you are the type that’s into flight sims. But overall, for the multiplayer experience, I couldn’t recommend any other joypad. The excitement of multiplayer in your own living room is now possible with these pads.

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                10.10.2000 23:37

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                The Sidewinder is a nice little gamepad made by Microsoft. I was surprised by how well it had been developed - it fits into your hand just right (assuming you aren`t abnormal) and just keeps on working. I`ve dropped mine more times than I can remember and it just keep on working away. The only problem I have ever seen was when a very young cousin of mine wanted to use the gamepad to play a game - it was too big for his hands. Most people should be fine though - my hands are larger than normal and I have no problems using it, nor do any of my friends who range in size from tiny to huge :-) If you can use a normal mouse without it feeling the wrong size then you shoudl be fine with this gamepad. As for the gamepad itself it has buttons galore. The buttons are all in easily accessible places so you won`t miss them in the heat of the moment, and they are very reliable - they aren`t going to break after a week or two of hard use. If you only want a gamepad for very occasional use then this might be a bit too expensive for you. If you are planning on using it fairly regularly then you`d be well advised to give this a chance. You will certainly get your moneys worth if you do.

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