Microsoft Introduces Anti-Ghosting SideWinder X4 Keyboard

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News Posted: Mon, Feb 1 2010 11:49 AM
Microsoft's hardware division has really been on a roll lately, and theSideWinder X4 proves that the rolling won't be stopping anytime soon.Designed with hardcore gamers in mind (and probably in response to someof those other boards being released by Logitech and Razer), thisunit's stand-out feature is the anti-ghosting technology that's builtin. Developed by the Applied Sciences Group, this new technologyensuresgamers’ most complex key combinations will be recognized by thecomputer to keep the game in action.

You'll also get macro recording, mode and profile switching, andadjustable backlighting, not to mention a rather sleek looking design.If you're curious how this will also help your performance, take alisten at this: the anti-ghosting tech allows gamers to press up to 26keys at once; because each key is scanned independently by the keyboardhardware, each keypress is correctly detected regardless of how many other keys are beingpressed at the same time. Basically, this helps you to execute comboswith 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 interdisciplinaryresearch and development team that works across the MicrosoftEntertainment & Devices Division doing applied research forMicrosoft Hardware, Microsoft Surface and Xbox 360, developed theanti-ghosting technology with gamers in mind. The advanced technologytakes anti-ghosting to the next level by allowing gamers to press up to26 keys at once. Because each key is scanned independently by thekeyboard hardware, each key press is correctly detected regardless ofhow many other keys are being pressed at the same time. The SideWinderX4 Keyboard excels where other keyboards fail, letting users executekey combinations and taking full advantage of their skill and speed.

“We’realways looking for new and novel ways to enhance people’s interactionswith their PCs,” said Steven Bathiche, research manager of the AppliedSciences Group at Microsoft. “We know that ghosting can be a problemfor gamers, so we wanted to develop a way to eliminate this issue andimprove the overall gaming experience, and we’ve succeeded with the newanti-ghosting technology in the SideWinder X4 Keyboard.”

Precise Gaming Keyboard With Advanced Features

TheSideWinder X4 Keyboard also offers more of the features gamers need tostay at the top of their game. Macro recording lets them stringtogether multiple moves into one press of a button, and the newautomatic macro repetition feature lets them repeat the macro over andover as needed with one key. Mode and profile switching also provideseasy ways to customize the keyboard for different games and users whileadjustable backlighting lets gamers select the lighting level thatmeets their needs.


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3vi1 replied on Mon, Feb 1 2010 10:44 PM

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.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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Soupstyle replied on Mon, Feb 1 2010 11:29 PM

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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realneil replied on Tue, Feb 2 2010 10:54 AM

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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rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 2 2010 11:18 AM

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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