The Microsoft Sidewinder Mouse is the most complicated consumer computer input device ever made. It’s also one of the best.

It’s a mouse, designed for gaming, that Microsoft says was inspired by the Master Chief from Halo and the Mazda Senku Concept Car, among other futuristic muses.

“Microsoft Hardware conducted research with hundreds of gamers all over the world to uncover what they want from their mouse,” Microsoft said of the Sidewinder. “Research revealed gamers’ desire to personalize their mouse to fit their needs, whether it’s tweaking the weight, dots per inch (DPI), glide of the feet or button actions.”

The Microsoft Sidewinder's WeightsThe result is a pointing device with a built in display, add-on weight bars and the best scrolling wheel ever made.

Some consumers may find the Sidewinder overwhelming — and with good reason. You expect to buy a mouse and find, well, a mouse in the package. The Sidewinder opens up with a cable anchor that doubles as an accessories box for all your weights, an opening compartment for said weights and more buttons than many joysticks. This isn’t an office product.

There are two features that really set the Sidewinder aside. First of all, the tiny LCD screen displays the mouse’s sensitivity setting, up to 2000 dpi. It displays this feature right on the mouse, meaning you don’t have to interrupt your full-screen gaming session. Also keeping your game in the foreground, the LCD also handles display prompts for recording in-game macros and assigning them to one of the buttons.

The Sidewinder Mouse comes with four weight cartridges, three of which can be stored at once. Three 10g and a 5g cartridge let you store from 0-30 grams of weight adding to the overall level of detail you can employ on the mouse.

At $60-$80, the Sidewinder Gaming Mouse is a decent-sized investment, but considering the $50 pricetag on most games, I think it’s well worth it.

Quick hits:

Producer: Microsoft
Platform: PC USB
Genre: Hardware/Input Device
Launch Date: August 22, 2007

Overall: [rating:4.5]

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

2 Responses

  1. Grendel

    That opening line is utter BS. Most of the features on this mouse have been used by other manufactors for a while. The only uniqueness is the LCD, but its funtionality (DPI display) is done in other mice as well (via LED), the vertical arrangement of the two side buttons (vs horizontal on other mice), and the cable anchor. The amount of buttons is mediocre at best, 2000dpi isn’t that much, the whole mouse is HUGE, switchable weights have been around a while, and if you think this the ultimate scroll wheel you have not tried the metal wheel of the competion.

    Seems that this article lacks the “Sponsored by M$” disclaimer.

  2. John Guilfoil

    Yes! Another anti-microsoft person busting out the circa 1996 M$ moniker! Got something you wanna say about Windows ME too?

    I say the same thing to everyone — you don’t like the review, write your own.


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