Microsoft Introduces Anti-Ghosting SideWinder X4 Keyboard - HotHardware
Microsoft Introduces Anti-Ghosting SideWinder X4 Keyboard

Microsoft Introduces Anti-Ghosting SideWinder X4 Keyboard

Microsoft's hardware division has really been on a roll lately, and the SideWinder X4 proves that the rolling won't be stopping anytime soon. Designed with hardcore gamers in mind (and probably in response to some of those other boards being released by Logitech and Razer), this unit's stand-out feature is the anti-ghosting technology that's built in. Developed by the Applied Sciences Group, this new technology ensures gamers’ most complex key combinations will be recognized by the computer to keep the game in action.

You'll also get macro recording, mode and profile switching, and adjustable backlighting, not to mention a rather sleek looking design. If you're curious how this will also help your performance, take a listen at this: the anti-ghosting tech allows gamers to press up to 26 keys at once; because each key is scanned independently by the keyboard hardware, each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed at the same time. Basically, this helps you to execute combos with an incredible amount of precision.

It'll be available next month for $59.95, and Amazon should list it for pre-order later this week.


The Applied Sciences Group, an interdisciplinary research and development team that works across the Microsoft Entertainment & Devices Division doing applied research for Microsoft Hardware, Microsoft Surface and Xbox 360, developed the anti-ghosting technology with gamers in mind. The advanced technology takes anti-ghosting to the next level by allowing gamers to press up to 26 keys at once. Because each key is scanned independently by the keyboard hardware, each key press is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are being pressed at the same time. The SideWinder X4 Keyboard excels where other keyboards fail, letting users execute key combinations and taking full advantage of their skill and speed.

“We’re always looking for new and novel ways to enhance people’s interactions with their PCs,” said Steven Bathiche, research manager of the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft. “We know that ghosting can be a problem for gamers, so we wanted to develop a way to eliminate this issue and improve the overall gaming experience, and we’ve succeeded with the new anti-ghosting technology in the SideWinder X4 Keyboard.”

Precise Gaming Keyboard With Advanced Features

The SideWinder X4 Keyboard also offers more of the features gamers need to stay at the top of their game. Macro recording lets them string together multiple moves into one press of a button, and the new automatic macro repetition feature lets them repeat the macro over and over as needed with one key. Mode and profile switching also provides easy ways to customize the keyboard for different games and users while adjustable backlighting lets gamers select the lighting level that meets their needs.


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Microsoft does make quality peripherals.  I may dislike a dozen things about their software and game consoles, but I've never had a bad MS controller.  I've washed several of their ergonomic keyboards in the dishwasher and they keep on ticking.

My only fear with this one is that it requires a Windows-only driver to use the macro-ing and other features.

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3vi1:

My only fear with this one is that it requires a Windows-only driver to use the macro-ing and other features.

The only reason that is, is because MS doesn't believe in other systems and just puts on blinders when building drivers.

The question is, will the open source community be able to hack(reverse-engineer)/develop drivers for it, most signs point to yes because they've done it in the past. Though MS could make it easier for people to buy their products, but that wouldn't give the open source community someone so easily hate-able.

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@3vi1 Agreed, I own Microsoft Wireless Laser Desktop 4000, and its a solid Mouse + Keyboard combo at a good price that's performed well these past couple of years.

26 keys is quite an advancement, the other versions of Razer/Logitech support maybe a dozen simultaneously keys pressed. Though I don't know how one would go about pressing 20+ keys at once...

The other great thing about this keyboard is the 2ms response time. And at $60 it will undercut offerings from its main rivals.

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3vi1: "I've washed several of their ergonomic keyboards in the dishwasher and they keep on ticking."

Ha! I take them with me into the shower! Then they spend a day or two in front of the fireplace. It works every time.

The input devices they make are usually good quality. I like Logitech a little better though.

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The features on the keyboard are impressive for the price point!  Although Marco would most likely disagree...

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Hey gibbersome your keyboard is actually a Logitech G11 now. About pushing 20 keys at once it's easy you just have to use your feet and your hands on the keyboard I thought everyone did that. You don't? I was kinda wondering how in the heck unless it is very rapid concession you push a 26 key combo myself. Either way it is much easier to just build a macro and throw it on a function key.

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This looks like a very nice keyboard. It offers all the functionality that all other gaming keyboards have and with that price tag, Razer and Logitech might have to worry.

Microsoft has put out some nice peripherals for PC and xbox. Now it they keep that quality in Software they are gonna gain back some of lost ground being King of the mountain.

Now if they would make HD upgrades for the xbox open or cheaper I would be a happy camper.

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