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Preview by Alfred Giovetti
Price: $40
Release: December 1996
Developer: Microsoft
Producer: Microsoft
Phone: 800-426-9400
Website: www.microsoft.com

History: Last year Microsoft entered the game controller market with a revolutionary joystick design. This new reliable joystick incorporated the rudder or torso turning function into twisting the stick around the shaft to the right or left. The design was an immediate hit and the joystick is continuing to sell well.

The Design: The new product is a new design, two trigger game pad type controller with thumb controls for the eight way directional pad, conspicuously without a stick, six action buttons, and two trigger buttons

Microsoft claims that this new six button and two trigger game pad type controller for two handed play will be released in the middle of the forth quarter of 1996. 3gamepad.gif - 30.5 K

Multiplayer: The game pad will daisy chain to accept up to eight pads simultaneously on the same computer making it easier for the gang or the family to sit around the new multi-media wide screen television and play on the same console.

Special software helps with the mapping and programming of all those buttons and direcections which should be a complicated affair. The 3D pro joystick can be used with the game pad so that players can use either one or both to control the same things.

The joystick supports hot plugging so that people can enter the game later even if the whole daisy chain is not hooked up and there is no need to exit the game or turn off the computer. The cord is a one foot more useful seven foot for even the most demanding applications.

An as yet unnamed software title will be included in the pack that is designed to take advantage of the game pad features.

John Patterson, Computer Player, volume 3, number 4, September, 1996, pg. 17.