Microsoft SideWinder X4 Gaming Keyboard Exorcizes Ghosting

Microsoft‘s hardware group has announced its latest and greated gaming keyboard, the SideWinder X4. What makes the X4 special? According to Microsoft, it’s new anti-ghosting technology from its Applied Sciences Group that enables gamers to hit key combinations of up to 26 keys without any fear of ghosting: producing unintended characters or omitting certain keystrokes. The result is a keyboard that’s perfect for executing a broad range of pre-recorded, custom macros that will reduce your enemies to smoking puddles of goo. Or, that’s what we imagine, anyway.

Microsoft SideWinder X4 gaming keyboard

“We’re always looking for new and novel ways to enhance people’s interactions with their PCs,” said Microsoft Applied Sciences Group research manager Steven Bathiche, in a statement. “We know that ghosting can be a problem for gamers, so we wanted to develop a way to eliminate this issue and improve the overall gaming experience.”

The SideWinder X4 individually scans keys by the keyboard hardware, so ever keypress is detected regardless of how many keys are down. (Typical keyboards use the same circuits to handle multiple keys, meaning that there are some key combinations they simply can’t detect, or that they detect incorrectly: maddeningly, these combinations vary widely from model to model and maker to maker.) The SideWinder X4 also feature other features designed to appeal to gamers, including built-in macro recording and macro repetition features for setting up key combination. The keyboard can also be toggled between two different gaming modes, and can automatically switch profiles based on particular games and applications so custom macros for a particular title are available at your fingertips with no fuss. The SideWinder X4 also features adjustable backlighting, just in case you want to look cool while slagging your enemies.

Microsoft says the SideWinder X4 will be available in March with a suggested retail price of $59.99; pre-orders should go live on Amazon.com later this week.