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Microsoft Xbox 360 Wireless Controller for Windows - Black
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- 2.4GHz wireless technology with 30-foot range
- Adjustable vibration feedback for longer battery life
- New left and right shoulder buttons are designed for ease of use
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Using optimized technology, the black Xbox 360 Wireless Controller lets you enjoy a 30-foot range and up to 40 hours of life on the two included AA batteries—and when they run low, you're given ample warning so you can connect a Play & Charge Kit for uninterrupted play. Plug the Xbox 360 Headset into the controller for full two-way voice communication: a wireless first.
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NOTE: be sure you install the driver before you plug the device in for the first time! there is a warning about this on the USB cable but just wanted to reinforce that..
The only negative that I can think of is that the battery life is a little short. Not drastically short, but shorter than my old Logitech Dual Action wireless by about 25%. What it may lack in battery life it makes up for in plug and play functionality with a great many games that natively support it. Rarely do I have to go through the old programing hassles to set up this controller to work with my games; something that I couldn't say about the aforementioned Logitech. And for those times when the game that you're playing doesn't natively support the Xbox 360 controller, there's a great utility called Xpadder that will take care of that problem for you with very little fuss.
I should also mention that this package comes with the controller and the receiver that you plug into your computer. But you only need one receiver to run multiple controllers, so if you desire more you can simply buy the regular Xbox 360 controller since it's the same thing minus the Windows receiver.
I've had this controller for a long time now and I've never had any problems with it whatsoever. I wish that I could say the same thing about all of Microsoft's products. If you're looking for a gamepad for your computer, I can't think of a better option than this.
The controller is comfortable, feels sturdy (we shall see how long it lasts) and the buttons are laid out well, all controls are easy to reach. Since this game was designed for this controller the functions are laid out nicely. (That is though about the game, not the controller.)
I have a logitech wireless rumblepad and there is a config file available for mini-ninjas from a third party, but even with that, it is just not right. Sad. The logitech controller is a bit smaller, I prefer the MS, but that is personal preference.
I am running XP, so I downloaded the newest drivers from MS and installed BEFORE plugging in the receiver. Worked w/o any issues. (Did not even request a reboot.)
I (accidentally, I multiboot the machine and I forgot to unplug the receiver) tried it under Win7 and Win7 could not find the drivers automatically. I assume it would work if I downloaded the drivers manually, but still, it is a shame that MS HW can not get this work. Tons of other HW makers publish their drivers via MS and so those work under Win7 w/o manual download. Anyhow, according to my (limited) experience in the past, MS HW is not very good at supporting their older gears under newer OS-es. Again, shame.
I did not try to connect it directly, based on the advice here, I connected it via a powered(!) USB hub - it works fine.
According to the reviews the (separately available) chat-board does not have drivers for Windows at all. As I said - shame.
But as a straight game controller to play XNA based (which I think mini-ninjas is) games, this is a solid and very well designed controller.
I bought it for $40 when it was on sale. Since the controller alone sells around $35 that sounds reasonable, but honestly, the controller and the receiver are both overpriced. The controller should be $25 when sold alone and the receiver $10. The regular price for this gear is simply highway robbery.
Also, this may be helpful for others, I have two PCs within 6 feet of each other, and each PC can have their own USB receiver and game controller sync'ed to them. It sometimes can be tricky initially but it will and does work. I'm not talking about sync'ing 2 controllers to 1 USB receiver on 1 PC. I'm talking about controller 1 sync'ed to PC 1 and controller 2 sync'ed to PC 2, both within close range of 5 or 6 feet.
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