[Thanks, Rob K]
[Thanks, Rob K]
Controllers with turbo buttons have existed for many years, going all the way back to the NES, and controller mods for the 360 are nothing new. But having a turbo button (among many other things) modded into what looks like a standard controller is news to us. The guys over at HGcontrollers seem to have started up a fine little business doing just that. The above graphic is really from their site (can you spot which are the real and fake buttons) and details some of the special enhancements made to the controller for the express purpose of playing shooters.
The goal of these mods is to create a controller configuration that can be played through the entire game experience without having to remove one's thumbs from the sticks. Theoretically, this means that your aim with said sticks will improve, as you no longer have to take your thumb off it to hit the essential buttons. However HGcontrollers does more modding of controllers than simply moving buttons. The staff there will actually create a controller with a custom button layout, toggle switches, microprocessors (turbo) for rapid fire, and more if you've got the cash for it. In fact, their website seems to be a bit behind the times forgetting to tell its readers that there are even controllers specially built for Gears that do your Active-Reloading for you. These controllers look great and all, but specifically modding (or buying) your controller to get better at a game sort of defeats the purpose (FUN!) for us here.
But before everyone gets all worked up and runs through the streets screaming "teh haxorz are modding my Halo 3s!" you should know that any consoles with old kernels which modders revert back to will not connect to Xbox Live or let them play games online. So, in effect, any kernel downgrading would prevent the console from making its way onto Xbox Live ... that is unless they figure out a way to use a dual kernel system. Just play nice online fellow Xbox 360 modders and if you don't ruin our games then we won't tell Microsoft you opened up your console. You rub our back, we'll rub yours.
If we were Microsoft we'd be working on another way to block the modding community's advances, because it may only be a few weeks before they find out how to get the CPU key, revert back to the vulnerable kernel, and mod, mod, mod until the sun goes down.
It looks like Microsoft has finally brought down the hammer on modded Xbox 360s. With the release of the Halo 3 beta and as part of Microsoft's efforts to make Xbox Live a fair, fun, and unified community they are actively banning any Xbox Live connection from a 360 that has been hacked or modded. So, as such, the Live account isn't actually banned, just any connection to Xbox Live from the console is banned. As a result, some people may be finding that they can't connect to Xbox Live and get an error message similar to the one above. You know who you are and shame on you.
What do you think? Is banning modded Xbox 360s from Xbox Live a good thing or is Microsoft taking their banning powers a little too far?
[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]
Over at GrownUpGamers.com they've posted a helpful tutorial to fix those unreliable Guitar Hero II fret buttons on your X-plorer guitar. Their tutorial is for those of you who experience not so responsive fret buttons when rocking out to your favorite jam. This unresponsive fret button problem occurs when the fret buttons don't fully press down on the contact due to some shifting action. And all you need to fix those buttons is some confidence to open up your guitar, some cardboard, scissors, and tape. And voila! Fret buttons fixed. We're just wondering what type of cardboard would work best. Gushers, Pop-Tarts, Fruit By the Foot, or Cheerios ... oh the choices.
That Ben Heck has used his evil genius to do it again, gutting an Xbox 360 controller and replacing its innards with ::shutter:: PS3 Sixaxis technology. Being commissioned to do so, Ben used his technology knowledge to put a functioning Sixaxis controller into a 360 controller shell. We definitely know there is some Xbox 360 controller envy coming from the PS3 fanboys, but why did you have to do this Ben? What have you done with our colorful buttons and you even replaced our spherical guide button with a ... Playstation logo. And is that a USB cable going to the back of it? Please, say it ain't so! It's a sad sight to see, but we know how hard it is for Playstation fans to use that dreadful Sixaxis controller. With heavy hearts, we'll share our controller ... but just this once.