Microsoft Strategic Commander in the test: Mixture of mouse, trackball and joystick
That Microsoft has not only established itself in the software segment is proven not least by the very popular SideWinder game controller series. The SideWinder gamepad in particular is widespread and has won numerous awards. But for strategy games such as Command & Conquer or Age Of Empires, gamepads or even joysticks are completely unsuitable. In order to be able to cover this market segment, Microsoft developed the SideWinder Strategic Commander (SSC). This game instrument is primarily intended to simplify scrolling movements and to make keyboard shortcuts that are used very frequently accessible more quickly. Whether Microsoft has achieved this goal with the Strategic Commander and to what extent the device can also be used in other game genres, you will find out below.
To get a first impression of the game controller, has Microsoft includes an interesting demonstration video on the CD that is supplied with the SSC, which we hereby want to make available to you:
- (video unfortunately no longer available)
Scope of delivery
The SSC comes to your home in beautiful packaging. For around 130DM (with KM-Elektronik 110DM) you can get the Strategic Commander with a two meter long cable as well as a small installation manual and a program CD, which also contains the extremely extensive manual in 6 languages.
The above Part of the SSC consists of a support surface designed for the left hand. Like a joystick, it can be moved freely in the X and Y axes. As usual in the SideWinder series, you can also turn the controller around its own axis up to 45 ° to the right and left.
Eight buttons arranged in pairs on the top can be operated with ring, middle and index fingers. The three buttons on the right side make it possible - like the 'Alt' key on the keyboard - to switch through three functions of the eight finger buttons with the thumb. There are 24 functions available. There is also a slide switch on the device base that can select three different, freely programmable button profiles. In the end, you have 72 functions with only six buttons.
On the next page: Installation