X-Arcade Adapter for Xbox 360

Matt Barton's picture

I just received an email from Xgaming about their new Xbox 360 adapter. Apparently, there's some kind of legal issues with Microsoft, so you'll actually need two adapters to make this work (including a PS2 adapter). At any rate, at least it's something for folks with X-Arcades who have been dying to connect them to their 360s! It's about $40 for both and $25 if you already have the PS2 adapter.

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Bill Loguidice
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Don't forget the extra cost

Don't forget the extra cost of the wired controller(s) for the Xbox 360, which I guarantee less than 1% of Xbox 360 owners have (PC gamers probably own more wired 360 controllers than 360 owners do, and even those are probably more likely to have the wireless dongle these days for the PC to use wireless controllers anyway - I know I do). It's NOT a good solution, but it's also not their fault and it does allow them to keep their promise of the X Arcade for every modern platform.

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Matt Barton
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I had a very hard time even

I had a very hard time even getting my X-Arcade working through USB on my PC. I finally gave up and just dug out an old keyboard and did it the old-fashioned way. Not an ideal solution by any means.

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Bill Loguidice
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Wonder if an update of hw or sw could fix it?
Matt Barton wrote:

I had a very hard time even getting my X-Arcade working through USB on my PC. I finally gave up and just dug out an old keyboard and did it the old-fashioned way. Not an ideal solution by any means.

Now that really is bizarre and sucks. Have you contacted them for support? I guess that's one of the possible pitfalls of a non-native USB device. It's a shame they can't update the controller to have native USB and PS2 onboard.

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Matt Barton
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They sent me a prototype USB

They sent me a prototype USB connector, but I couldn't get it to work. I could probably buy the new one and maybe not have the problems, but it requires you to replace your PCB and costs $30 to boot. I might look into that if I played with it more, but it stinks that it's so expensive and work intensive. Plus, I wonder if you'd be able to use it for other platforms after you'd made that swap.

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Chris Kennedy
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Controllers

I find it amazing that there are so many legal issues with using controllers on different systems. I don't have a lot of background on all of the various reasons behind many of the issues, but I still find it amazing. Why do I need six guitar controllers? Why do non-Sony controllers need a dongle when bluetooth is available?

There are so many controllers these days. Specialty controllers are large in number and are rarely portable between various consoles. I understand that Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft want their own controller to come with the system, and many companies are going to design their control scheme around the hardware design of the controller. Companies can bank on selling more controllers (look at Nintendo's "scheme" for people to own 4 wiimotes and 2 nunchucks. Thank you, Wii Sports)

That said, people are buying steering wheels, flight yokes (do those still exist?), dance mats, arcade stick controllers, guitars, drums, microphones, and many other things. If you are investing money in these controllers, it would be nice if they were a bit more universal. A company cannot future-proof something - they have no idea what the interface will be on the next gen consoles, however it seems like in this era of standardized wireless communication and USB plugs for controllers (as opposed to the numerous variants of pinouts and encoders for controllers of old), that universal controllers would be a bit more realistic.

This is most likely *quite* possible from a technical standpoint, however the potential money made for the company will seem to always supersede the convenience of the consumer. This goes for both the console manufacturers as well as the controller manufacturers. They want people to continue to buy controllers for the various consoles of each generation. It fits with my conspiracy theory regarding computers and operating systems. Is it time to push some new hardware? Better release a new OS that won't run on old hardware and will force people to upgrade. Ha - That's another topic, and I didn't mean to sound like I was ranting on your post, Matt.

Good news for X-Arcade users.

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Bill Loguidice
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Naturally, some "universal"

Naturally, some "universal" solutions exist, be it dance mats, specialty controllers or audio/video output, that often support three or more platforms, but the big hurdle today of course is the wireless standard that each of the three major consoles have. Unlike the past where everything was expected to be plugged in, today's console gamers expect wireless solutions, so I think that goes a long way to making the universal solutions of the past less viable since - and I don't know the full technical explanation here - that wireless signal which in general is Bluetooth or some variation thereof - has some proprietary element that needs to be licensed. Just like you need a license to create games for a console, console makers had the bright idea to create a scenario where you also need an official license to create controllers, which again, became even more practical in this age of wireless and the increased expectations of end users. Naturally, the console makers have been stingy in giving out licenses because it increases the sales of their own products (and also helps their preferred licensees).

With that said, even though most would probably prefer to be in that situation, I don't think most gamers have multiple consoles. It's generally go with one and maybe go with another late in life, so I'm not sure there's enough profit margin in selling a wide variety of universal solutions (or investing heavily in that practice). You can probably sell just as many for a single system or force people - like myself - with multiple consoles, to buy multiple solutions.

That's why in my case, I have one primary platform for my gaming endeavors, the Xbox 360. I generally buy for that for a variety of reasons. I have the other two to fill in the gaps (sometimes it also doesn't matter, like with standard games). Would I like to use my Guitar Hero band kit on my PS3 or Xbox 360 - or even microphones and other peripherals? Of course, but ultimately I'm not missing out too much by picking a primary platform for one type of game, though it does certainly minimize the advantage of owning every platform and being able to pick and choose the best of everything.

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Matt Barton
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Yes, it's clearly not

Yes, it's clearly not xgaming's fault. I'm sure they're just as frustrated as anyone else.

USB in fact means universal serial bus. The whole idea behind the standard was to eliminate compatibility problems and make it so that one port could accommodate a whole range of devices, from printers to mice to external hard drives--you name it. There's really no good excuse to make a game port unique to a system, unless (as you rightly suggest) it's purely in the interest of the manufacturer, who can then apply patent pressure to get more money. They see as just as another profit stream (along with licensing all software for their console, etc.) I guess this works out fine for console makers, but it hurt proprietary computer makers. Let's not even get into the drivers hell associated with printers even right up to this day. It baffles me that I have to go through torment to get a brand new printer to work with my Mac and PC, and I shiver when I think about what Linux folks must have to go through.

What makes even less sense to me are proprietary power supplies and ports. I mean, what the hell? Are they afraid someone else is going to try to make a better power supply--or are they really making that much money from selling replacement power supplies? I'm always enraged when I buy a device and find that it has some wacko power supply and hookups that can't be replaced with an off-the-shelf part.

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Bill Loguidice
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I can understand the

I can understand the proprietary power supply thing from two standpoints. One, of course, is, as you say, money--that's a high profit margin item when it needs to be replaced. Two - and in the hardware manufacturer's defense - they're responsible for replacing a system in warranty, and with people plugging in who knows what (in theory) that can cause all kinds of problems, it's not worth the potential hassle to please a select few people. Things like the power supplies are the least of our worries.

Anyway, as always, if you want a "universal" system, the PC has been and will likely always be the way to go. Another strength of the PC is that's it's mostly open, which is also it's biggest downside (from a stability/compatibility standpoint, i.e., you can sometimes do too much to it and cause unintended conflicts).

By the way, that 20GB Xbox 360 that was sent to me (bare bones) by accident is a three ringer, so it joins my other three ringer in limbo. So two working 360's in my house and two non-working ones.

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Chris Kennedy
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Ack

I meant to mention that some universal options exist simply to acknowledge it but still push my point.

You are right, Bill. Most people don't have multiple consoles. Therein lies another problem - the likelihood that you can just pick up a couple of your controllers and take them to a friend's place hinges on which console your friend owns. Is it the same one that you own? If not, then one or both of you has to shell out the money for another controller just for two people to play together.

I believe there are several websites out there that describe various internal "mods" you can do to bring back a three ringer. You could always give that a try. I have a launch 360 that is still functioning, however I rarely play it. I expect to have to do something someday to keep it working, however I don't have a game that I find I really want to play on it. (My primary platform is the PS3).

That proprietary power supply connector thing can be frustrating, but I agree that it does help relieve companies from having to help out consumers that plugged in who knows what.

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Catatonic
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Same thing applies to the

Same thing applies to the iPhone platform. If you want to communicate with a USB or Bluetooth device, you have to join their hardware program ($$$) and you're not allowed to communicate with devices made by companies other than your own. So let's say somebody makes a game controller for the iPhone - there's no way for other developers to make games that use it.

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