September 10, 2008
Microsoft said Wednesday that it plans to release a wireless version of its SideWinder gaming mouse.
The SideWinder X8 will feature a 2.4-GHz wireless connection and Microsoft's BlueTrack technology, which is designed to boost frame rates, speed, and acceleration when the device is used. It also gives the SideWinder X8 an on-screen tracking range from 250 to 4,000 dots per inch. "When we conducted our research, we found room for improving on the wireless experience for gamers ... as it related to perceived delay or lag time of response," said Bill Jukes, Microsoft's product marketing manager for hardware, in a statement. The Sidewinder X8 is electrically powered through an external power cord and can run untethered for up to 30 hours on a single charge, according to Microsoft. It also has a scroll wheel with a tilt feature and vertical side buttons designed to prevent unintentional activation. A Quick Launch button provides one-touch access to control panels for Microsoft's Intellitype keyboard an Intellipoint mouse software (on Windows XP only). The Sidewinder X8 will be available in February for $99.95, Microsoft said. Though computer mouses can be purchased for considerably less, Microsoft is hoping that the Sidewinder X8's high-end features will appeal to power gamers who need precise controls to successfully take on graphically sophisticated titles like Far Cry and Crysis. Microsoft distributes mouses and other PC peripherals through its Entertainment and Devices division, which posted a 37% sales gain in the most recent quarter. Shares of Microsoft were up 1.89% to $26.59 in afternoon trading Wednesday.
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