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on September 27, 2013
I've went through a number of gamepads over the years, dating back to when they connected to the PC via an analogue gameport. I've had pads from the likes of Thrustmaster, Saitek and a few others, most recently using a PS2 controller via a USB Adapter, which was far from ideal.

Over time, the layout of the Xbox 360 controller has become something of a standard for PC games that use a joypad. Many games already include mappings for the controller, and Steam's big picture mode more or less assumes that you're using one. I was looking for a new controller, so with all this in mind I decided to go for the wireless version of the gamepad for windows.

The last time I used an Xbox controller was on the original Xbox with one of the original humongous controllers. I don't have the smallest hands in the world, but that thing made them ache after an hour or so. Not so here; the controller is a nice size, the analogue sticks are positioned well in range of my thumbs, and the overall balance of the gamepad feels good. It also doesn't resort to any of that nasty grippy rubber paint that was all the rage not that long ago. That stuff doesn't last in a tropical climate, tuning into a sticky, messy goop that then has to be removed.

As others have mentioned, the Windows version of the pad uses AA batteries. Myself, I see this as a bonus. Instead of relying on a LiPo pack that may or may not survive more than a year's worth of use (I've heard really bad things about the kit that adds a Lithium battery to the controller) NiMh rechargeable AA's tend to be quite robust, and they're dirt cheap. If they were ever to die, replacements these days are about $1.50 apiece. Ever since low self-discharge cells became the norm, having them go flat by themselves is no longer an issue. Thank you Sanyo for your Eneloops and Amazon for your Amazon Basics AA's; I have a pile of both types at home.

The integration of the gamepad into Steam's big picture interface is impressive. Having it mapped to the Xbox 360 controller layout was a smart move on Valve's part as they were able to concentrate on the on-screen prompts being consistent, etc. It makes me wonder how SteamOS will be once it launches.

Software-wise, the gamepad ships with next to nothing. A driver CD is supplied, which installs drivers and little else. This is the source of the controller's greatest failing; unless you're playing a Games for Windows Live game (hereby referred to as GfWL), there is no way supplied to turn the controller off once you're done. It supposedly turns itself off after a short period of inactivity, but I've heard that can be unreliable (I'm testing this at the moment, and it's yet to turn itself off since I started writing this review). Many resort to disconnecting the batteries once they're done to turn the controller off, which is a workable (if clunky) solution.

If this were what we were stuck with, I'd have docked a star, perhaps 2 for this alone. It doesn't detract from the gamepad while in use, but it's an annoyance that seems doubly odd given a mechanism exists to explicitly turn the gamepad off from software, but that software isn't provided with the gamepad to cover all eventualities. Only the abomination that is GfWL gets that level of control.

Thankfully, the community at large had a bit of a poke about, and the "Xbox360 Controller Manager" was born. This is a little tool that sits quietly in your system tray and responds to a long press of the guide button (the silver button in the middle) with a prompt to turn that controller off. The tool itself takes single-digits of MB of memory, which is background noise in this day and age.

For those of you that haven't already discovered this essential little piece of software, you can get it here:

Save it wherever, add a shortcut in your "Startup" start menu folder, and then forget about it. Using it will become second nature, and you'll forget that it's a 3rd-party application. Honestly, this utility removes the one problem I had with the gamepad, and does it so effectively that I can't help but wonder why Microsoft didn't ship it with something similar.

Overall, I highly recommend this. The biggest niggle I had with it was solved by its users, and if you're looking for a wireless controller for Windows, there really isn't any reason not to get one.

P.S. I'm done with this review, and the controller still hasn't turned itself off. Thankfully, there's an app for that...
44 comments59 of 61 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 5, 2015
Received knock-off, brand-less controller labeled TY-G403A that was much cheaper and obviously not official.
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on August 9, 2011
The controller is the standard XBOX 360 wireless controller. The box contains a wireless controller hub. Supposedly, up to four controllers can be connected to a PC through this hub (though I presume not many games will let you use this feature). I have not tested connectivity for more than one controller at a time.
There are no apparent problems with this, on this Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium install. Plugged the hub into a USB port in the back, pressed the center button on the controller, and ready to go. Works great in Grand Theft Auto 4 (driving much much easier this way).
Can't wait to use this for DiRT3, yeah

The software is nothing special. In fact, beyond the standard joystick control panel, there is nothing else. You can test the functionality of the buttons, D-pad, analog sticks etc. And that's it. Would be cool if the software would allow programming of the buttons, or let you assign macros to the buttons like Intellitype for instance. Logitech does a much better job!
But I will not complain... the hardware is top notch and works great... and wirelessly.

If you already own an xbox 360, try to get only the wireless hub.
1515 comments140 of 157 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 18, 2014
******************* This review is for the product sold by "GPStock" *******************

************************ NOT a review for the one sold BY AMAZON!! ********************
This is the verified purchase proof.
Here is the deal, Amazon blends the freaking reviews from one product into another, and changes the products in and out and sellers in and out and back and forth all the time without warning. I'm really getting sick of this practice. This helps no one but the dishonest sellers that are trying to rip people off by exploiting the fact that they can sell a product that is NOT the same as all of the reviews written for it! I read the reviews for this product, and they all said that this comes with the wireless dongle for use with PC.

Well I opened up the package and there is a big sticker over the package saying: Attention, this does not contain a wireless dongle! Well why the hell didn't you say that in the description!? Maybe because no one would buy it then?

What a bunch of BS. I look at the product link from my own order - same exact listing, but sold by Amazon, and it costs 2 dollars more, and supposedly comes with the dongle.

Even after getting duped by "GPStock", when I check my original order, and follow the link, it takes me to the product sold by Amazon. If I follow the "buy again" link, it takes me to that product sold by Amazon. BOTH are called the exact same thing: "Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows " NOW, a few days later, the one sold by "GPStock", is listed for thirty-four ninety-five, and not available on prime, but when I bought it on Sunday, it was four bucks more. So I had no reason to think it did not come with the dongle, as all the reviews I read, confidently said that it did.

I called Amazon and explained that I was mislead and that I got a product that was not as advertized. Also it is actually as much the fault of Amazon as it is "GPStock" because they combine all the reviews for a product, even if there are different sellers with different versions of that product, some missing important items in the package, for instance that let you use this Xbox controller with windows like it says on the freaking package, and in the description.

It looks as though they opened up the package and took the dongle out, because there was an empty compartment with nothing in it. Funny that the only other thing they sell on Amazon is the DONGLE! Geez, I wonder where they got all those dongles!? Oh, that's right, they took it out of my package!

So anyway, I got an RMA label and just returned it, and Amazon also let me purchase the "correct" one (we'll see if I ever get the dongle), and then refunded me the difference for one day shipping. I did have to pay more for the correct product with the dongle though, just four bucks, and also had to pay tax which I didn't before, and the prices all went up since I ordered the original one last Sunday, June 15th.. The first entire order was thirty-nine ninety-five, but this new order, even with the discount was forty-six forty-three. So I still ended up paying about six bucks more altogether, and have to wait another day because of their screw up with the descriptions/ reviews.

This is to Amazon: You MUST SEPARATE out the reviews for a product based on the sellers selling it, especially when one seller might be a liar, and the other might be trustworthy. It makes a difference! You cannot continue to lump all these reviews for a product into one huge pile, when there are actually reviewing completely different products sold by completely different people, some using a PRODUCT NAME to intentionally and knowingly mislead the customer.

It's the same problem with DVD and Blu-ray disc movies of all different types and versions of the movie.. You lump all of those reviews together and then people get a DVD when they ordered what they thought was a Blu-Ray, or they get a complete different version of the movie, because the reviews are all or partially inaccurate, but the only fault lies with Amazon, not the reviewers. It is not only morally wrong, and misleading, it is probably illegal. Have you ever heard of "bait and switch"? That what happens when you lump all the reviews together like that. And then you have to pay for RMA shipping labels and it is all a big waste of time as well.

LINK for controller sold by the liars, GPStock:

LINK for the genuine "for Windows" Xbox 360 controller sold by Amazon:

Now you go look at the reviews for both of the products above. They are exactly the same reviews, and exactly the same description. GPStock should be kicked off of Amazon!

Now the listing from GPSTOCK is mysteriously gone and there is no controller being sold by them now.

They emailed me, trying to get me to take down my reviews on them AS A SELLER, claiming they're "new" to all of this. I do not believe it for a second. All of their "mistakes" benefit them, not the customer, ironically.
33 comments58 of 63 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 7, 2015
Some people seem to be able to get the real controller by Microsoft when they order this, others receive a cheap knock off. I was one of the others. The wireless adapter should have a sync button and the controller itself should also have a sync button. Neither of these are available on the cheap knock off and you cannot use it with an Xbox 360 since there is no sync button. The packaging also advertises it is Android compatible. If you had any doubts this was an imitation, that alone should be enough to confirm it is. If you notice that the controller comes in some rather cheap clamshell packaging, feels a bit lighter in your hand and has no sync button, return it right away. Nearly $50 is not a good value for the cheap knock off version when you are being sold the official Microsoft version.

If you want to avoid the possibility of having to return this, just order a regular wireless xbox controller and get a wireless adapter separate for your PC needs.
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on December 3, 2011
If you want a wireless controller to use for your PC games, then this is a definite must have. I snagged one for use with "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim" and it works great. Being that the game is already set up for use with the controller, it was immediately identified and all buttons linked to what they are meant to do. Only takes a few minutes to get the hang of the new set-up (find a quiet area away from people in the game to practice), but the controller is way better than using the keyboard and mouse. Even though the majority of the keyboard does not work when using the controller, gladly you can still use the tilde (~) key for acessing the command console and the "PrtScn" button is active for taking snapshots. The only minor negative note I have concerns not be able to fully use the keyboard when the controller is plugged in. It should work in conjunction with the keyboard instead of completely blocking most of its use. As for the unit itself, it is very comfortable to hold and use. All of the buttons are placed perfectly. Once you know which one does what, moving and fighting in the game is a snap. There are some extra plug-in ports on the controller that are not identified as to their use in the simple fold-out instruction manuel. One on the top below the word "XBOX 360" and another on the bottom between the hand holds that has three holes. Would be nice to know what these are for, but the instructions have nothing on them. All in all, this controller is well worth the price and works perfectly for PC games, especially newer titles.
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on December 15, 2011
I have only used this to play Skyrim on Windows 7 Home Premium but it works flawlessly. Also, the cord for the USB adapter is surprisingly long (around 5-6 feet) allowing me to place the adapter on my desk (behind my monitor).
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on December 5, 2012
I am very impressed with this product. Not only is it offered at a great price, but the included wireless adapter that allows me to sync up ANY wireless XBOX360 controller (up to 4) with my pc for multi-player fun is most excellent! Nothing is better than sitting back on my futon and playing Skyrim on my PC with a controller, or bringing my friends over to play Magicka or an emulator based multi-player game using multiple XBOX360 controllers synced up to my pc.

The only issue I have seen is that there is no way to turn the remote off when you stop playing, however the XBOX360 controllers have a very easy to access battery compartment. You only have to press the button and pivot the battery cover a small half inch and it will power off the remote. Nearly as easy as a power switch!

With Steam's new Big Picture, your PC becomes a media center and with ease you can control it via your xbox360 controller.

100% will buy this again if I need to, but based on the excellent experience I have had so far, I do not see there being any issues in quality to where I would need to buy another. Seriously thinking about purchasing one as a gift for a friend however :)

Using this remote with XMBC is a bit of a setup, but once you do some searching (google it) you can find a somewhat simple solution and get it working just fine. It is not the controllers fault, it is actually XMBC's and Windows gamepad config's fault. Easily fixable. :)

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on November 28, 2012
Works perfectly in Windows 7 and Windows 8.. No extra drivers necessary. Works great with Steam BIG PICTURE beta. Clicking the center MS button brings up the steam splash screen. Very cool.
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on June 20, 2014
I ordered this because it said that it DID come with a usb dongle. When I received mine today, there was no dongle. That makes this controller more expensive than a deal I passed up for this one, makes it useless to me currently, and makes it much more expensive than a one that legitimately comes with a dongle as others have posted because it would require a purchase of dongle itself. This was a sold by GPSTOCK and fulfillment by amazon. Yes, this is the fault of GPStock for not sending what was advertized, but it is also the fault of amazon for not confirming their products are the same as the product page of the item claiming to be sold. This might work if I had a usb dongle, but I currently have a $40 falsely advertised paper weight.

I dont know about other sellers of this item, but DO NOT BY FROM GPSTOCK.

EDIT: the following was the response I received from GPStock:

"I would like to apologize on behalf of the whole GPStock Team. We are new to amazon seller central and have made a genuine mistake. We listed our product as Xbox controller for Windows which misled many of our customers into believing that we would be including the USB receiver. Although we did not write in our product description that the receiver would be included, we now see how customers would assume it would be. Therefore we would like to offer to send you a free receiver to make up for our mistake. We will also be changing our Product name, along with adding an ultra-clear descriptions and product images to ensure that there will be no more situations like this. Hopefully by the end of the week, all changes will be made because Amazon is slow with re-instating blocked accounts. So, please send us your address so we can send the USB receiver as soon as possible."
44 comments8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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