Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
XBox (Games) Technology

Xbox 2 to Have Wireless Controllers Standard 146

Posted by Zonk
from the halo-from-your-bathroom dept.
GamesIndustry.biz has the news that the Xbox 2 console, releasing this fall, will use wireless controllers by default. From the article: "Microsoft will be the first console manufacturer to ship wireless pads as standard with its hardware, but not the first to ship an official wireless controller; Nintendo has already enjoyed significant success with the WaveBird, its wireless pad for the GameCube."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Xbox 2 to Have Wireless Controllers Standard

Comments Filter:
  • Brilliant (Score:5, Funny)

    by MarkGriz (520778) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:29PM (#11703270)
    Who came up with this idea... Energizer or Duracell?
    • +5 Insightful
      • "+5 Insightful"

        Not to people with Wavebirds. Can't say what MS has in store, but there are actually people in the world that have a wireless controller that doesn't eat baterries like they were candy.
        • Re:Mod parent up (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SkyWalk423 (661752) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:48PM (#11703483) Homepage Journal
          I have a Wavebird and I am still impressed with the way it was engineered and it's battery efficiency, but I would guess an Xbox2 wireless pad will have a lot more to handle than the Wavebird does. For one, it has to deal with the bandwidth of not only registering button presses, but also the Xbox Live voice data to the headset, which goes through the controller in the current system. Plus I'm sure they are at least considering force feedback (rumble) support. IANAEE so I don't know how much more of a drain this will have on the batteries, but I would have to guess that it will be more than the Wavebird demands.
          • "IANAEE"??? Holy crap man.... you people are going overboard with this abreviations...lol :P
            • by redJag (662818)
              ya wtf ppl?
            • LMFAO!

              Sorry about that...

              IANAEE = I Am Not An Electrical Engineer
              • Oh really? Because my thinking was, and follow me here, no one would dare make a comment on an electrical device without at least a masters degree in electrical engineering. So when I read your comment - at first - without knowing what that abbreviation, my initial question was what school you went to and what research companies you summered for.

                So when I later learned you were not an electrical engineer by way of you defining your abbreviation, I nearly fell out of my chair and my dear friend Fyodor had t

          • Not sure how they will do it but what I've wanted for a long time is a console with build in Bluetooth for controllers and voice.

            That way you could bring your own controller / headset and play with friends with minimum fuss. Besides BT is designed to be used in low power equipment. (BT headsets typically last several hours on a charge.)

            Even if they don't do that they can still let the headsets use their own connection to the system. No need to go via the controller.
            • >Bluetooth for controllers and voice.

              Not going to happen. Not by official channels, anyway.

              Both manufacturers and resellers are making way too much on the accessories. They will try to keep their lock-in as long as they can.
              • I guess you missed it when Xbox used USB 1.1 for the controller interface. Hint: it's possible to use standard interfaces without opening them up to casual use. People at least have to buy expensive accessories. Anyway the headsets aren't worth shit, just having Xbox branding on them is really the most important characteristic.
    • Re:Brilliant (Score:2, Insightful)

      by drmarcj (807884)
      I don't think it'll be as bad as all that. I predict wireless but with a charging base station (like your cordless phone, for instance). I don't doubt they will incorporate force feedback into the gamepad too, given that it's integral to the existing XBox. Of course, if you're gaming for 10 hours straight...
      • Re:Brilliant (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MarkGriz (520778)
        "I don't think it'll be as bad as all that."

        Neither do I, but your logic is not quite as funny :-)

        If they are smart, in addition to a base station type thing, they'd have the ability to go corded as well. This would allow the controller to be powered by the base when batteries are low.
    • Nintendo came up with the idea.

      As always, Nintendo is innovating in games, while Sony and Microsoft just copy them.
  • Rechargable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aggrazel (13616) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:34PM (#11703340) Journal
    If they are rechargable like a Gameboy, then you have the issue of being in the middle of a game and unable to continue because your battery just ran out.

    If not, you have to change batteries all the time.

    Either way, I hope they at least plan to give the option for a corded controller, for those of us that still like them.

    • Re:Rechargable (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NanoGator (522640)
      "If they are rechargable like a Gameboy, then you have the issue of being in the middle of a game and unable to continue because your battery just ran out.

      If not, you have to change batteries all the time."


      I have a WaveBird controller for my GameCube. I haven't run into either problem you mention.

      "Either way, I hope they at least plan to give the option for a corded controller, for those of us that still like them."

      I agree with this, but for the reasons you're listing. I'm worried about interferenc
      • Yup, the WaveBird's battery life is excellent. I've had mine for over a year and I think I've only changed the batteries once.

        I also picked up a MadCatz wireless PS2 controller, which is also awesome, although I haven't had it long enough to comment on battery life. It's seen a lot of use though, so I'm thinking it's probably pretty close to the WaveBird's.

        Having wireless controllers is absolutely awesome in a house filled with cats, a four year old, and a clumsy dad (that's me). No wires where people
        • I have a Logitech for my XBox and I've so far had to change batteries about once every two or three months. I don't use it all that much for playing but I do use it a lot for watching videos (that doesn't use the ruble though).

          Personally I'd rate it over the often praised Wavebird, which I also own one of. The Logitech (the old 4 battery version) fits my hands really well and the button layout is better than standard XBox controller IMHO.)
    • Ideally, it should be able to charge and play at the same time, either drawing power from a wall socket, or maybe a cord that will connect it to the box and draw from there.
      • that would be cool to be able to plug your controller into the wall while you are playing it...that way you are only bound by your outlets, and most people have one near their couch ;) I hope they put a battery life indicator on it like this one [logitech.com]...
      • Yes, that would be a good idea. Have two sockets, one for plugging directly into the XBox in case you wanted it to be wired, and another slot for recharging, so you can charge and play and have wireless at the same time (or well, sequentially :P wireless, wired and charging, wired, wireless)

        A bit like when you connect the GBA to gamecube without a fancy cable, there's still space to charge the gba whilst you play.

        Otherwise making an only wireless controller is an absolutely useless idea. I know how anno
  • For those afraid of the battery issue, I say try it before you discount it. I got a wavebird for my gamecube and absolutely love it. Combine it with some rechargeable AAs and I don't have to buy batteries all the time.

    I suppose, though, that if the physical act of changing batteries in something really ticks you off, this may not be for you.
    • Re:Wireless is good! (Score:3, Informative)

      by ivan256 (17499) *
      The wavebird doesn't eat batteries because it doesn't use the vibration features that most games have.
  • by the_skywise (189793) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:38PM (#11703379)
    There are rumors that the Playstation 3 would do the same as well.

    Wireless controllers are an intersting option. But standard? Note that there are a whole bunch of corner cases that wireless joysticks have that haven't been well addressed yet. For instance, the Nintendo wavebird controller has no vibration capability. Most XBox wireless joysticks don't handle an XBox live headset or memory card.

    Battery life is obviously a problem. I'd like to see docking cradles for the joysticks on the box itself so they can be charged and ready for play. (Or interestingly... maybe they could be connected with cables like they are currently for charging. So play with the cable while charging play without otherwise.)

    And, of course, it's not as satisfying to get pissed off and yank the cable out of the box to demonstrate your frustration... (But it IS easier to throw the joystick across the room...)

    So if the wireless joysticks are standard, does that mean there won't be any joystick "ports" on the box at all?
    • "So if the wireless joysticks are standard, does that mean there won't be any joystick "ports" on the box at all?"

      Boy I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I've had a good experience with wireless controllers. (Nintendo's Wavebird is battery friendly and very responsive.) I also like the idea of no more controller ports.

      On the other hand, I live in an apartment complex. I'm just the sort of asshole that would find it amusing to mess with other people's games.
    • Note that there are a whole bunch of corner cases that wireless joysticks have that haven't been well addressed yet. For instance, the Nintendo wavebird controller has no vibration capability.

      I got a kick out of the rumble pack when I first played starfox64, but really, the vibration function is nothing that couldn't be removed in favor of audio/visual cues. It's kind of nice to have that additional cue that doesn't come from the television, but overall, it's overused and for the most part unnecessary.

      N
      • I agree about the motors, I haven't missed them with my wavebird, and actually now prefer not having it. I have a new rule when it comes to controllers, no wires. The wavebird is just so wonderful, that I can't play when I have to use the corded controler for things like Donkey Konga. Nice to see that another company is doing them first party.
      • I think it really depends on what kind of games you play. The rumble function is an integral gameplay feature in racing games like Rallisport Challenge 2 or music games like Amplitude, so I would be sad to see it go. And it can be put to good use in other types of games, too. But yeah, some games certainly don't make use of it.

        You could replace it with audio/visual cues in some cases (not for rallying games though because you need that input while paying strict attention of already existing audio/visual in
    • So if the wireless joysticks are standard, does that mean there won't be any joystick "ports" on the box at all?

      This is Microsoft's way of teaching a lesson to all those people who hacked a USB port into their xBoxes.
    • For instance, the Nintendo wavebird controller has no vibration capability.

      Is this important? I always turn off the vibrator in games, not because it makes me feel dirty but just that it is damn annoying, IMO.
  • by Chonguey (567386) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:41PM (#11703411) Homepage
    No doubt the Xbox2 controller will be so large it will house its own power generator.
    • I'm sure you could fit a nice sized tokamak reactor in there ;-)
    • I must be the only person who likes the original Xbox controllers. I mean, the whole thing's not that [penny-arcade.com] big.

      • You're not alone. I love the size of the original Xbox controllers' size...but, I'm not that fond of the button layout and d-pad. I think all consoles should start releasing different sized controllers...wouldn't it be hillarious to buy the Xbox 2 and hear the clerk as you "Do you want to super-size your controllers with that?" ;)
      • I must be the only person who likes the original Xbox controllers. I mean, the whole thing's not that big.

        I like the original controllers too. Of course, I have big hands.

        And you know what they say about people with big hands, right?

        ... wait for it ...

        Big gloves!

        Thank you, I'm here all week!

    • I know you were joking but wouldn't it be interesting to say have a wind up generator, this would solve two problems, it would generate power for the controller and provide kinetic energy for the rumble pack...

      Kills two birds with one stone...

      However, I have the feeling that they will just have recharge stations or something similar to Logitechs MX1000 mouse which has a very handy battery level LED on the unit itself.
  • Let me think... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Can anyone here think of another console that uses wireless controllers, a PowerPC proc, an ATI video card, and has no hard drive? I can. Here is a hint: it is the Gamecube. And my gamecube's power cable doesn't spontaneously combust.

    While I'm glad that wireless controllers are becoming the mainstream, I think Microsoft is swiftly headed toward its own death in the console market. When the Sony and big N consoles release almost a full year after the Xbox2, they will feature roughly twice the processing
    • PS - I have nothing against microsoft as a company, unlike most of the posters here. I think they are good for the console market, at least so far, providing an almost Sega Genesis-like amount of freedom for developers. I just think they're making a series of mistakes here that are worthy of Nintendo ;)

      I agree. While I love my Xbox dearly, the most recent rumors seeming to come along the pipeline (a rumored absence of a Hard Drive, in particular) do not bode well for the next Xbox iteration.

      Wireless c

  • The Wavebirds are great, but they don't have support for vibration. For some games I prefer using wired controllers for this reason. Seems like support rumble and other stuff like a headset would kill batteries pretty fast. -paul
  • So now what... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    What's going to happen when you have an Xbox2 party and you have 4 consoles in one basement?
    • by kajoob (62237) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @04:01PM (#11703658)
      You could always go outside and talk to some girls.
    • Re:So now what... (Score:2, Informative)

      by ostermei (832410)
      They most likely will do what Nintendo's done with the Wavebird and allow each controller to function on one of 16 individual channels.
      • Re:So now what... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by duggy_92127 (165859)

        ...allow each controller to function on one of 16 individual channels.

        Useless answer. Let me re-ask the question:

        What happens when you have a party and have 17 people playing on five Xboxes?

        (anticipated answer) Up it to 32.

        (sigh) What happens when I go to PAX next year and there are a hundred Xboxes with 350 people playing them, in the same room?

        Doug

        • I would hope that they'd use something like 802.11 for their wireless....that way each controller has it's own internal IP...and you could have millions in the same room ;)
        • Useless answer.

          I'm not sure I quite understand. If it was a useless answer, then you asked a useless question to begin with, as I answered you quite handily. Anyway, that's neither here nor there, as you did rephrase the question.

          What happens when you have a party and have 17 people playing on five Xboxes?

          You already answered this one for me (up it to 32 ;) but I figured I'd comment on it anyway. Another solution is something I've seen some other posts mentioning: Bluetooth. Set up internal bl

          • Set up internal bluetooth in the Xbox itself and pair each controller to the specific Xbox

            Time and time again, everyone always misses this.

            ROUTED PROTOCOLS SUCK for controllers, especially low-bandwidth ones like Bluetooth.

            * If you add in the complexity and overhead of Bluetooth combined with the anemic connection speed, you get noticeable controller lag.

            * If you increase the thoroughput to speed up the handling of packets and thus reduce the noticeable lag, you get either less range or more power con
            • ROUTED PROTOCOLS SUCK for controllers, especially low-bandwidth ones like Bluetooth.

              Perhaps I'm not using the same definition of routed as you but I fail to see in what way a Bluetooth would be a routed protocol. Now I haven't used a BT keyboard/mouse myself so I can't say if it's a bit problem with games, but it seems to work quite well.

              The biggest problems people seem to have with BT keyboards is that it typically doesn't establish the connection fast enough for the user to press the magic enter BIOS bu

    • Well the Nintendo Wavebird controller has 16 different channels to choose from..

      4 pads x 4 consoles = 16 controllers!!
  • This'll be sure to help keep the costs on this thing down...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If they're lith-ion batteries and a docking station comes standard, I'm all for it. If they require AA batteries I'd rather deal with a cord.
  • I would love it if they used bluetooth for it.

    I've had a Logitech Dinovo Bluetooth keyboard and mouse set for over a year now, the keyboard will go several months on 4AA's, and the mouse will last several days on a charge.

    It might be a bit more expensive for controllers, but with native ability to add any bluetooth device to the console, such as mouse, keyboard, headset. It seems like it would be a no-brainer.
  • by LincolnQ (648660) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @03:58PM (#11703622)
    Wireless controllers are generally banned in tournaments, or at least restricted. With Wavebirds, for example, you don't want to be using one in a tournament, because if someone else sets their Wavebird to the same channel, all of a sudden you can't control your character anymore! And this is an easy thing to do, especially in a crowd with a bunch of people.

    Even if the Xbox controller doesn't have channels and instead has some bluetooth-esque pairing strategy, you can still screw with it by building a device that simply spams the air with RF on the same frequency as the controller, nullifying all wireless controllers in the area. It's just a bad idea.

    • and if this ever happens, you simply stop the game, punch the guy who is screwing with you, kick him out of the tournament, and go on. thats the wonderful thing about playing games 'in person' as opposed to online: its a lot harder to get away with bs. if you see a guy with an RF fuxxoring device, you kick him out. if there are any issues caused by something you can't see, you just stop the game until you figure out who's not playing fair.

      or, you can just play with friends and not have to worry about it.
  • by kmahan (80459)
    It makes sense -- Less wires to heat up and burn down your house.
  • How about a wireless controller which connects to an xbox cable which would seamlessly recharge the wireless pad's batteries while playing? I'd like the same thing for my MX700 mouse. Man is it ever unnerving to have to stop playing because your batteries are about to fail...
  • I can safely assume that most people here have never been to a lot of lan parties with xboxes or have 4 consoles in their room.

    This is a wonderful idea. When you have four consoles in a room, the controller cords get very tangled and it takes a LOT of time to untangle them.

    Plus, when i am at a lan, we constantly have to have cable extenders because of the piss poor distance on the xbox controllers. The standard feature of wireless controllers would be wonderful. I can sit anywhere in the damn room i ple

    • [with wireless controllers] I can sit anywhere in the damn room i please without distance issues.

      +5 funny!!!
    • um, whose controller cable's are longer than the piss-poor xbox's?

      That's right, no one's. They're the longest controller cables on the market.

      I'm sure lengthening the controller cables will reduce tangling issues, too.
  • There are so many problems with this it's silly. Please correct me if it's already been mentioned before - but this is not a cost effective solution, even if they do use rechargable batteries.

    For one, okay, with rechargable batteries, cuts costs a little bit - means you don't have to go and buy new ones all the time.

    Can you recharge them whilst you play? I don't know. Well, if you can't, then it's pretty useless, right? You'd always have to have spares.

    They could make batteries to charge whilst they're i
  • I'm suprised nobody has mentioned this yet but how many times in the past year have you lost a TV remote or a cordless phone down in a couch? This is just one more device to get lost. Kids can carry them out of the room, dogs can bury them under the bed, overzealous parents might think the are "broken" and chuck them...
    I'm all for wireless but for SOME things it is nice to be able to just follow the cord and find the device. At least give people an option...
  • Wireless sounds great and all but I think I'd much rather just have one that comes with a 10' retractable cord. Wouldn't it be great to just hit a button on the cord and have the whole thing reel up for storage?
  • This would be cool if they make the same controls have a wired option to get around all possible interference problems and this would let you recharge the controls.

    -prator
  • Logitech Wireless (Score:3, Interesting)

    by White Roses (211207) on Thursday February 17, 2005 @05:38PM (#11704877)
    Logitech makes a wireless controller for PS2 [logitech.com] as well. I love it. If I'm playing while my daughter is running around (she likes to dance to Katamari Damacy), there's no cords for her to get tangled in. I suppose the same could be said for pets, etc. Plus, with a large 50" HDTV, it's nice to sit some distance away without the cables hanging around.

    Runs on 2 AA batteries, and I can attest to the 50+ hours of life that they mention on the site. Plus with rechargeables (say, a couple pairs), you're in good shape, and the "power pack" is non-proprietary and user-serviceable.

  • by Saige (53303) <evil...angela@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 17, 2005 @05:44PM (#11704973) Journal
    "Microsoft will be the first console manufacturer to ship wireless pads as standard with its hardware, but not the first to ship an official wireless controller; Nintendo has already enjoyed significant success with the WaveBird, its wireless pad for the GameCube."

    Aah, so Nintendo was the first to have official wireless controllers?

    How soon people forget. [atariage.com] They were only beaten by, what, 2 DECADES?

    Did the video game crash result in peoples' memories being wiped of everything that came before it?
  • As an owner of TWO cats, I can say, what a relief!

    I've already had to toss out 2 PS2 and 1 XBox controller(s) due to cats chewing the cable. I don't know what it is about strings and cables but they drive cats wild. :(
  • Microsoft Standard Battery's
  • As much as the battery issue worries me, I've got to say I'd be worried about losing them more than anything. Go over to play halo 3 and realize that one of my controls has disappeared, not a fun situation.
  • Microsoft will be the first console manufacturer to ship wireless pads as standard with its hardware

    Does the CD-i not count as a game console? It shipped with wireless controllers standard. Albeit, they were IR, not WiFi or RF.
    • I'm not 100% sure which came first, but it's also worth pointing out that the Memorex VIS and Bandai Playdia both came with built-in wireless controllers in the very early 90's... there's also the Nuon that came out in 2000. Of course, all three are terribly obscure (If you haven't heard of any of them, consult Google), so it's no huge surprise they're forgotten... but...

      The Playdia was only released in Japan, and the Nuon was essentially a DVD player (which obviously would have a remote), so you can kind
  • That honor belongs to Atari [atariage.com]. However, they were so big that they were really too difficult to use.

Parts that positively cannot be assembled in improper order will be.

Working...