Ambidextrous SideWinder X3 Budget Gaming Mouse

Microsoft has just announced its new SideWinder X3 gaming mouse, which marks Microsoft's first SideWinder mouse that can be used by both right and left-handed gamers. Not only is the mouse ambidextrous, but it also comes in at the relatively inexpensive price of $39.95, which should make gamers on a budget very happy.

The SideWinder X3 shares a number of the same attributes as its SideWinder X5 sibling, including laser-based 2,000-dpi tracking, on-the-fly DPI switching, five programmable buttons, and a wired USB interface. Both mice have rated 7,080-fps image processing, up to a maximum 20G acceleration, a maximum speed of 45+ inches per second, and main mouse buttons with an expected lifespan of 10 million clicks.

The primary differences between the X3 and the X5 are that the X3 is slightly smaller and has a single, recessed button on the left and right sides of the mouse, while the X5 has two vertical side buttons only on the left side of the mouse. Also, the X5 is designed to be a right-handed mouse only, while the X3 has a symmetrical shape that should fit right or left hands. The X5 also has an MSRP of $59.95, which is $20 more than the X3 (although the X5 can usually be found just under $50 from a number of online retailers). The X3 also includes a "wide, detented scroll wheel for more precise click movement" and "wide-glide feet for smooth handling and a light, balanced feel."

Those who have been active gamers for a decade or more might remember that SideWinder was also the brand of gaming peripherals that Microsoft released in the 1990's, including the original SideWinder Game Pad, the SideWinder Force Feedback Pro joystick, and the SideWinder Game Voice headset. SideWinder-branded gaming peripherals died off in the early 2000's, only to be resurrected by Microsoft a few years later.

Since the resurgence of the SideWinder brand, Microsoft has released the SideWinder Mouse, the SideWinder X5 Mouse, the SideWinder X6 Keyboard, and the SideWinder X8 Mouse. The SideWinder X8 Mouse, which was just released this last February, is currently the highest-end SideWinder product, with an MSRP of $99.95. The X8 is not ambidextrous like the X3, but it does feature twice the sensitivity at 4,000-dpi, 12 buttons (seven of which are programmable), is wireless (and rechargeable), and uses Microsoft's proprietary BlueTrack Technology.

The X3 is expected to ship sometime in May and Microsoft claims that it is "available now for pre-sale on" We couldn't find it listed on Amazon yet, but we expect that it will likely show up in the next day or two.