"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," explained Steven Bathiche, research manager of the Applied Sciences Group at Microsoft. The SideWinder X4 also has some other gamer-centric functionality, such as macro recording, mode and profile switching, and adjustable backlighting.
In a common phenomenon called "ghosting," standard keyboard architecture typically records keystrokes in such a way that not all of the keys will always register properly when certain groups of them are pressed simultaneously. The SideWinder X4 reportedly eliminates this problem by giving each button a dedicated input. The X4 "ain't afraid of no ghost," allowing gamers to press up to twenty-six buttons at a time.
The SideWinder X4 Keyboard will be available for pre-order on Amazon.com later this week, and launches in March for the estimated retail price of $59.95.