Beyond 3D heeft een kleine review gepost van de nieuwe Gamepad Pro van Microsoft. Persoonlijk vind ik hem er erg kewl uitzien:
To ensure more than a "simple" gamepad, Microsoft has added something special to this pad. First of all, it's USB only; this makes for an extremely simple installation. Just plug it in and the installation begins. The pad is shipped with SideWinder Central 4.0, which of course helps you set up the pad very easily. I was never fond of the previous versions of this software, but 4.0 now has everything combined into one program and it is very easy to assign special keystrokes or sequences of keystrokes to each of the "14" buttons (I'm including the shift + buttons here). There is no more talk about profiles, now everything is called schemes. The pad is of course shipped with a lot of schemes and even more should be available from MS when you read this.
The second special feature is that the D-pad (the pad you use for movement on a gamepad) now can either act as a "standard" 8-way pad or as a 360 degrees D-pad instead. The standard mode gives you the D-pad you are used to, 8 distinct directions. If you use it in the proportional mode instead, you get something completely different. Now the D-Pad behaves like a normal joystick. First of all it has 360 Degrees movement. No more 8 different directions. It also reacts proportional on how hard you press the pad to one direction. In theory, you actually should be able to use it in a flight-sim, but I hardly think this is why they have included it. It works well though in the games I've tried and if you want the standard mode, just turn the proportional feature off.
The pad feels good in my hands. The 6 buttons are easy to reach with the thumb, as are the D-pad and the shift-button. To top it off, the 2 front-buttons are perfectly shaped for your fingers.