The Active Network

Product: Microsoft Sidewinder Game Pad Pro
Company: Microsoft
Estimated Street Price: $39.95
Review By: Byron Hinson


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The Microsoft Sidewinder Game Pad Pro comes with a new version of the Sidewinder Gaming Control software. As mentioned in the review of the SideWinder Dual Strike, this version (version 4) has a number new features and a far better look than before.

What's New In Sidewinder Gaming Control Software 4.0

  • Schemes instead of profiles: Version 4.0 saves your game controller settings as schemes instead of profiles. You can use version 4.0 to convert your profiles to schemes, although you cannot convert a scheme back to a profile.
  • Profile Activator and Editor functionality in Control Panel: In version 4.0, the SideWinder Profiler Activator and Profile Editor components have been combined and incorporated into the Game Controllers application in the Windows Control Panel. Now, you can create and manage schemes, adjust device settings, and test your device's buttons all from within the Control Panel.
  • Scheme-specific game settings: In versions 3.02 and earlier, the settings that you specified on the Settings tab of Control Panel: Game Controllers were global: they applied to any active profile for a particular controller. In version 4.0, these settings are specific to a particular scheme. The settings you select for your game controller are stored in your scheme.
  • Macro playback features: New features in version 4.0 include the ability to print schemes and advanced macro playback options.
  • Contents of compact disc: The version 4.0 compact disc that came with your SideWinder Game Pad Pro includes only the drivers and predefined schemes for this game pad. To use another SideWinder USB-only game controller, you need to install the software using the compact disc included in the box with that controller.
  • Permanent scheme deletion: In version 4.0, deleting a scheme removes it permanently from your hard disk. You can always reinstall the predefined schemes included with the SideWinder software by re-running the Setup program on the version 4.0 compact disc and choosing to install schemes only.

Compatibility with earlier versions

  • Version 4.0 of the SideWinder software works only with SideWinder USB-only game controllers.
  • Installing version 4.0 doesn't delete or overwrite earlier versions of the SideWinder software.
  • You need to use version 3.02 or earlier to customize your version 3.02-compatible game controllers.

The installation of the SideWinder Gaming Device software is simple. You get the option to install the Sidewinder Gaming Control Software or to browse the CD. I clicked on the Software option and the setup began. The first couple of screens (Shown below) you are presented with an explanation what the new software and Game Pad Pro does.

The installation of the SideWinder Gaming Device software only takes a few seconds to install. Once the installation has completed you get a new Sidewinder Gaming Control Software icon in your tray on the taskbar.

Once that has completed you just have to plug in the SideWinder Game Pad Pro into a USB port. When that is done the screen will show that a new device has been found, it detects the SideWinder Game Pad Pro straight away and sets up the drivers, that is basically it.


<-- Introduction The Game Pad Pro Design -->


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