Microsoft’s SideWinder Gaming Hardware Isn’t Dead Yet

Microsoft’s SideWinder Gaming Hardware Isn’t Dead Yet

Has the long-lived SideWinder line of gaming-centric computer peripherals finally bitten the dust? Microsoft says it isn’t so.

Microsoft’s been releasing computer gaming peripherals under the SideWinder brand for the better part of two decades, pushing out everything from flight sticks to elaborate force feedback steering wheels. The line was put on hiatus in 2003 due to low sales, but was revived in 2007 with a new focus on mice and keyboards for the PC gaming crowd.

On Tuesday reports surfaced of Microsoft putting the SideWinder line to sleep for good, citing too much competition from the likes of Razer, Mad Catz and SteelSeries in the PC gaming peripheral market.

We reached out to Microsoft’s hardware division today regarding the future of the SideWinder line, vis-a-vis does it indeed have one? What’s the official word?

“Microsoft Hardware has not made any announcement about the SideWinder line of products; it is not discontinued.”

So the line lives on. Just because it hasn’t been discontinued currently doesn’t mean its days aren’t numbered, but for now the SideWinder sleeps soundly.


  • I’ve been using Side Winders for a couple of years now. I got the x5 which was great if only a little too light. So a few months ago I got the original Side Winder with weights and a little dli lcd screen on the side. Its a brilliant mouse.

    • I still use my ‘Sidewinder Strategic Commander’.

      It’s freaking awesome at what it does, and it still works great… biggest problem is that they haven’t updated the software or profiles, but it’s over 10 years old so that’s hardly surprising.

  • I use a x5, best mouse ive used so far, had alot of problems with Razer and logitech offerings, faults etc

  • Feh, I got an X8 mouse and the X6 keyboard, and between the pair of them, every driver I’ve installed for them leads to trouble.

    Phantom typing, right click not working, mouse not responding. Clicking at alternate times to when I click.

    Gimme good drivers for Sidewinder and I’d be happy as, but I think I’ll move onto Logitech once these get too long in the tooth, as Logitech always worked pretty solidly for me. Not sure about Razer, heard too many bad tales, but I love their design and overall naming conventions.

    • I have two X8’s, and I’ve never experienced such a problem. Drivers on the disk work fine, and you should be able to get them from Microsoft as well. Heck, you don’t even need to install drivers, plug and play will work fine and will cover most of your basic functions.

      I would say that the problem lies elsewhere.

      • I’m running them on the plug and play drivers now and they work. It’s just when I run the official drivers that are supposed to take advantage of all the fancy tasks the mouse and keyboard claim to do. Then it just goes batshit and I can’t use it.

  • I still have and use my Sidewinder Force Feedback 2 joystick, it’s still fantastic.

    It really angers me though, that despite it being a USB joystick, it is no longer supported by Microsoft, and no drivers are available for either Vista or Win 7… so I can’t ever upgrade my OS from XP, without having it rendered useless (tried it on a friends Win 7 system, the FF doesn’t work, so it doesn’t even so much as have a centering spring…)

    I would love for Microsoft to come out with a new Sidewinder FF joystick because I love mine, but since it’s been nearly a decade since the last one came out, I doubt it’s going to happen… I want DX11 and my joystick working dammit!

  • I’m typing this right now on an X6, and I clicked the submit button with an X8. They’re a brilliant combo, but the only issue I’ve had is that the keyboard has a few ghosts, especially around the arrow keys.

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