Review of Knockoff Xbox 360 Wireless Adapter for Windows

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Sicklyboy, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Sicklyboy
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    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    I have an Xbox 360 (Well, technically, now I have 3, but that's besides the point). My first ever controller for it was a wired one, because I wanted to be able to use it with my computer as well. This was years ago, and although I am much more computer-oriented as a gamer than I am towards consoles, some games just play better with a controller. And when those games natively support the Xbox 360 controller, it's a nice little extra touch to be able to get rumble (without having to go spoofing a controller as a 360 one).

    But wires suck. My gaming mouse is wireless (Cyborg RAT 9). My keyboard isn't (who moves a keyboard though(though I DO have a Bluetooth keyboard for my Android phone, compatible with my PC too since I have a BT receiver for it)). And wireless controllers just fit in right nicely in that equation. When you're sitting two feet away from your computer, it makes little sense to have a 10 foot cable trailing along the floor, coiled up a few times. It tends to be a bit of an annoyance as you roll your chair over it a few times. "Why is my controller stuck? Oh, my chair."

    Naturally, I would want a wireless adapter for it. The official ones were always either expensive (I think they were $30 by themselves), or more expensive ($50 or $60 with the wireless controller). Now they're just hard to find, I know Best Buy sells them... but I hate that place, and they're still 50 or 60 dollars. I've known of these knockoff ones for a few years now (ever since I discovered dealextreme), but I had no job at that point - so again, too expensive, even at $15-$20. And then, I didn't know how well they worked.

    Lucky for me, the guys over at tmart.com felt like hooking me up with one of these. Which is really nice, considering I've been wanting to get back into PC gaming a little more than just Minecraft lately (just saw the video for iCEnhancer 2.0, a complete tex pack for GTA IV. Holy crap.)

    (A small aside about tmart.com (this review is NOT about the seller, but the item) - they ARE a China based seller, and as thus have the typical warehouse in Hong Kong. Oddly/conveniently, they also have a warehouse in New Jersey. As such, I got my item in 2 days (USPS UPS, sorry) as opposed to 3 or 4 weeks...)

    Back to what this discussion is actually about:

    Packaging is simple - bump-clasp plastic clamshell packaging, with a thin cardboard insert, the product, and a twist tie around the cable. Cardboard states Xbox 360 compatible, Hi-Speed USB Certified, Compatible with Windows 7. On to the back - Xbox Live in top left corner, and contains tons of "engrish" as is to be expected by these Google Translated packages - See for yourself in the pictures below, but it contains words such as "futuer" (future), "gigathertz" (gigahertz), and "intgrated" (integrated). Alas, don't judge a book by its cover. Inside the package is the receiver and a minidisk containing... containing... I didn't even use the disk, let me see - containing a users manual (PDF), DirectX 9.0c setup, Microsoft Xbox 360 Accessories 1.1 (official Microsoft software), and an x86 driver - no 64 bit one! I've come to expect this from knockoff products, though. I had read about a workaround months ago though, so I knew what had to be done. It's quite easy.

    Once you plug in the device, the LED will light up indicating it is getting power. Windows will automatically try to install the drivers, which it can't find, so it will fail as an "Unknown Device". The easiest way to remedy this is to go into Device Manager, find the Unknown Device, right click and "Update Driver". "Browse currently installed drivers", "List all drivers". Go down to "Microsoft" as the manufacturer, and choose Xbox 360 Wireless Receiver for Windows. Click Next, let it install, and you're good. Now, if you want to install the Xbox 360 Accessories 1.1, run setup.exe or setupstb.exe in the "Software" directory on the disk (or, I am sure it is listed on microsoft's website). This will let you press the guide button for battery information and which player you are.

    Syncing the controller works just like on the Xbox console itself. Press sync button on receiver, LED flashed. Turn on controller, hold down sync on that until the rings flash. A second later, you're registered as player 1.

    I just played GTA IV for a few minutes, and controller seems to respond as accurately as my wired one was. So, there's that.

    I can't speak for the longevity of the product yet, as I've had it for two hours.

    My little brother has the only Xbox 360 wireless headset in the house, and it's 1:36 AM here. I don't feel like leaving my room to grab it just to try it out right now. In the coming days, I might try it, though I personally have little need for it because I use a Turtle Beach XL1 headset for both Xbox and my PC. However, I'll most definitely see how this handles having 4 controllers synced at once.

    Having never had an official one, I would say I've nothing to be dissatisfied about with the PC Wireless Gaming Receiver for Microsoft Xbox 360 Black.

    Pros:
    Cheap (this one costs $12.17 USD)(and tax free + free shipping since the website is Chinese based)
    Doesn't have the "slice your hand open" plastic packaging - much simpler bump-clasp clamshell.
    So far, works well.

    Cons:
    Lack of x64 drivers on the installation disk. Personally, I would forgo the disk altogether and just use the method I had already outlined. The product description page has directions for installing the drivers from the disk, and mentions on one line "Update Driver warning". I am assuming this is meaning the warning about using a non- digitally signed driver; why bother when the official Microsoft drivers work fine and are readily available, likely already existing on your OS?

    Again, thanks to the guys at tmart for providing me with a test sample. And something I've wanted for a few years, but never had the money to buy or never found it on the top of my priorities.

    And now, the pictures!

    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     
    CaptainSodaPop and narrateP like this.
  2. Skelletonike

    Member Skelletonike ♂ ♥ Gallant Pervert ♥ ♀

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    So those work with the official 360 controlers?
    I've been wanting to buy an adapter but since the control I have came with the 360, it didn't bring it and the gamming stores I checked never even had them for sale, I'd have to buy a whole new controler for it.
     
  3. Sicklyboy
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    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    Mhm. I'm using a official, old as hell (back from when the 360 first came out, but the age is irrelevant) wireless controller that I rapid fire modded (and did a terrible job at doing so). Synced right up, no problem, took maybe 3 or 4 seconds for Windows to initialize the drivers for the wireless controller as I previously had been using a wired one. (When the controller turns off, it "disconnects" from Windows, like it should. Turning the controller on immediately reconnects it.)

    [​IMG]

    Expand that. Devices and Printers view, HWID/PID listing, device description.

    Like I said in the review, the only con I see so far is the driver disk, which isn't even that big a deal if you don't mind taking the minute and a half to specify the official driver. Otherwise, like I said, I don't know how long this will last physically. To help, I'm gonna just unplug it when I am not using it. My friend Joe (big time into computers and gaming, like myself) has the official one. Went to plug it into his HTPC today, and it wouldn't power on (no LED). The official ones have a microfuse that tends to blow on them, rendering them useless, from what I've read. He found the fuse, bridged it, and it worked, so he's gonna solder over it tomorrow. I'm not sure if these unofficial ones have that fuse (I would imagine they do though) and if so, how well they last compared to the one in the official receiver.

    Edit - and as I am sure you know, alternatively, you COULD just get the wired controller and call it a day. They're cheap, like $20 USD for the official ones if you can find someone who sells them. You can use wired headsets with it, though you're limited to 8kHz recording rate (my Turtle Beach headset is recording at 96kHz, I COULD push it to 192kHz if I wanted to but I get bad feedback). But then you do lose the capability of using the wireless headsets (I'll end up checking the bit rate on those once I sync it tomorrow). But the new official wireless headsets for the 360 have Bluetooth built in - so if you have a Bluetooth dongle (my "Generic Bluetooth Radio" you see listed is the $1.82 USD one listed on deal extreme, and it works just fine, plugged in all the time on the front panel (case really blocks the signal)) you could use it. Or, a slap in the face to Sony and use it on the 360 AND the PS3. XD
     
  4. chauffler

    Banned chauffler Banned

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    I have this exact thing plugged into my windows 7 x64 computer.

    tl;dr for this whole review: It works, but tricky install
     
  5. Sicklyboy
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    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    It's not even a tricky install. It takes all of a minute and a half to specify the drivers you want it to use.

    And quite frankly, if someone is interested in buying this or something similar, I think they would much rather have a review like what I wrote than me just saying "Xbox 360 wireless adapter for Windows - it works, but tricky install."
     
  6. narrateP

    Newcomer narrateP Member

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    Ok, i should give it a shot but not the gaming receiver, how about the "Wired Controller Game Pad for Microsoft Xbox 360 Blue" there? if i choose it just because it meet my need both in budget and the time it cost in delivering.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. chauffler

    Banned chauffler Banned

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    nice, but i had to find the correct drivers and modify a config file so speak for yourself, also tl;drs are short for a reason
     

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