Recently I bought a Microsoft SideWinder USB joystick from work with the intention of using it for a future Linux project. Microsoft makes a number of joysticks including the Sidewinder 3D Pro, Precision Pro, Force Feedback Pro, Precision 2, Force Feedback 2, and the one I have which is just dubbed “SideWinder Joystick.”
My SideWinder Joystick has a part number of X05-63895 and a Product ID of: 52892-764-0090496-0000. My SideWinder doesn’t have the force feedback feature according to the really tiny article on Wikipedia. Microsoft maintains a hardware section, but sadly it doesn’t have any information on the SideWinder Joystick.
I found a SideWinder joystick that looks exactly like the one I have, but with a different product number on the Amazon web site. The Amazon listing indicates that it works with Windows 98SE, Me, 2000 Professional, XP Home and Professional, but I can say with certainty that it works with Ubuntu Linux as well by issuing the following command to activate the module:
sudo modprobe sidewinder
Carlos Santiago’s review of the SideWinder joystick is particularly helpful because he indicates that it’s best used as a joystick for flight simulators.
At this point my son walked in and mentioned the same thing. The design looks very much like a yoke would on an aircraft, so it makes good sense that we’re not talking about a joystick that would be generally used for non-flight simulator games (a gamepad is probably better).
My initial intent was to use the joystick as part of a Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator project, but it might make more sense to build a flight simulator cabinet with multiple monitors running something like Flightgear.
Update: The Microsoft SideWinder Joystick does indeed work with Flightgear… now if only I could fly as easily as it was to install this joystick in Ubuntu and get it working with Flightgear.
Update #2: It works quite nicely with SuperTux 2 as well!