By Thomas McKinnon 29 October 2008


Gaming is fast becoming recognised as a sport; there have even been petitions to include it in the Olympic Games.

Considering Chess is recognised as a sport it is not altogether unreasonable for competitive gaming to be regarded as such, as well. Is there any wonder then that peripheral manufactures are marketing their wares in a similar fashion to say football boot manufacturers, ‘guaranteed enhanced performance’ slogans and all? 

Microsoft is no exception with the release of their resurrected Sidewinder brand in the shape of the new Sidewinder X5 Mouse and Sidewinder X6 Keyboard. The X5 Mouse is remarkably similar to the original Sidewinder Mouse with the omission of an LCD display and adjustable weights. While more basic than its predecessor, at a reduced price mind you, the X5 still delivers on the core features most gamers require. You can customise your sensitivity settings, you can assign macros and utilise a Microsoft quick launch function. The fact that the mouse also looks and feels great makes it ideal for gamers.

The X6 on the other hand is an entirely fresh product. The keyboard features a switchable number pad which can be placed to the left or right of the keyboard. It also boasts multiple modes including normal and gaming modes, switching to game mode causes the backlighting on the keys to go from red to orange – very cool. It even has cruise control options (the ability to ­continue an action ­without holding keys), support for assigning up to 90 macros and dedicated multimedia controls. The X6 is a serious bit of kit and a very impressive first attempt at producing an extreme gaming keyboard by Microsoft.

There can be no doubt that this is a double act, each of these peripherals is fantastic independently, but put them together and Microsoft just could be onto something in the performance enhancement stakes.

The Sidewinder X6 Keyboard is available for R769 (incl VAT) and the Sidewinder X5 Mouse R499 (incl VAT) from ­Computer ­Corporation on 08616-08616.

Excellent performance and response times.
Not weighted like its predecessor

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