Last week at the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany, Microsoft Hardware debuted the SideWinder X6 Keyboard. The most versatile gaming keyboard on the market, the X6 is the first gaming keyboard with a switchable key pad that can be attached to the left or right side of the keyboard for ultimate flexibility. To round out the SideWinder line, the Hardware team also launched the SideWinder X5 Mouse, a fast, powerful gaming mouse designed to give mainstream gamers that competitive edge.

The switchable key pad makes the SideWinder X6 Keyboard ideal for gaming as well as productivity. The key pad is a standard number pad in normal keyboard mode, but becomes a programmable macro pad in game mode. Complementing the adaptability of the X6 keyboard are features specifically designed for gaming, including the capacity to store up to 90 macros per game and backlighting that helps gamers get into the gaming frame of mind.

Customisation

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. 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

Microsoft SideWinder X6 keyboard

The SideWinder X6 Keyboard is more than a standard keyboard – it was built with gamers in mind, to give them the edge over the competition. To complement this versatility, the keyboard has the following additional features to produce the ultimate gaming accessory:

  • 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 can now enjoy a heightened experience when adsorbed in a game. The two-colour adjustable backlighting helps set the mood. The red backlighting indicates standard keys that are not programmable, while the amber colour indicates custom-programmable macro keys in game mode that can be tuned to the gamers’ preference.
  • Media keys, the X6 also includes full media keys and volume and backlighting control dials to fine-tune the gaming experience.

SideWinder X5 Mouse

Microsoft SideWinder X5 mouseMicrosoft 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 customisable buttons, and a Quick-Launch button that instantly launches the Windows Vista Games Explorer.

Pricing and availability

The SideWinder X6 Keyboard will be available in November 2008 for a recommended retail price of $149.953 . The SideWinder X5 Mouse will be available in October 2008 for a recommended retail price of $99.95.

Source: Microsoft