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Microsoft's multi-component gaming ambitions

If these patents are of things to come, then Microsoft has grand ambitions for connecting their devices and your content. Searching through the mess that is the US Patent website, Unwired View dug up a Microsoft patent for a "multi-platform gaming system" that would allow for various devices to sync, talk, and share their resources and content. At the surface the patent is pretty simple, one would be able to connect various devices and share not only their content, but their processing power and resources between the other devices. Ultimately, you'd be able to connect all your Microsoft technology (Xbox 360, Zune, Vista PC or cell phone) wirelessly or wired and transfer information and each device's processing power. But now you can see how infinitely complex the idea could get with the possibilities that come from connecting your music, gaming and computer devices.

The idea of multi-component gaming is an interesting one with a crazy amount of potential. Just think of what could be achieved. If this kind of connectivity ends up surfacing, the Xbox 360 could end up being the epicenter of your digital life at home (if it's not already). No matter what happens, our interest has been piqued ... bring on the all that connectivity!

[Via Unwired View]

Wireless Receiver for Windows available now

For those of you who can't wait to use your Wireless Racing Wheel, controller, or headset on their PC, we wanted to inform you that the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows is currently popping up on store shelves. In fact, Fanblogger David Dreger (Illeisms FTW) came across some receivers in a local London Drugs on the 13th, and we've received a tip from reader Joseph that EBgames displays them as available. Although, upon calling his local outlets, they had none in stock. So, if you're looking for some Wireless PC gaming, hopefully you will be able to find the receiver with little trouble. Go forth and be fruitful, young fanboys.

Use 360 wireless peripherals with a PC

Elsewhere in that Word doc hosted on that listed all the upcoming accessories, was the (as yet still unannounced) Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. What is the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows? From the doc:

"Gamers can get the most out of current and future Xbox 360 wireless accessories with the new Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows. By plugging the compact receiver into a USB 2.0 port on the PC, the Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, Xbox 360 Wireless Headset and Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel can be used on a second platform (ERP TBA)."

That means you won't need to get the (now increasingly marginalized) wired 360 controller if you want to use it with your PC. Question is, how long before the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows gets support for other operating systems?

See also:
360's Mem Unit getting a bump to 256MB?

Read -'s Xbox 360 Accessories (.doc)

Xbox 360 theme for XP

I gave up on messing around with Windows themes after an old Xbox skin baked my laptop, but this Xbox 360 theme for XP makes me feel like slowing my computer to a crawl all over again. The feedback on WinMatrix says it's a nice skin including four sub-styles, an icon package and wallpapers. If you decide to try it out, please comment with a review.

[Thanks Abuzar]

Joystiq reviews the Xbox 360 PC controller: "great hardware, weak software"

After running the Xbox 360 controller through its paces on Windows, Joystiq has concluded, "The hardware is strong. The software is weak." A combination of driver issues, poor game support for the controller's features, and no wireless options leads to an experience vastly different than the perfect integration between the controller and the Xbox 360.

As more titles embrace the controller and its feature set on the Windows platform, and as Microsoft's upcoming operating system Vista adds increased controller support out out of the box, the experience is sure to improve; however, these frustrations are one of the primary reasons PC gaming has decreased in popularity while console gaming has exploded.

Using your 360 controller with Windows

Making the Xbox 360 controller work flawlessly with Windows seems to be no mean feat, but this guide covers the tricky process of getting two Microsoft products to co-operate. Using a third-party shareware program called Pinnacle Game Profiler, it seems you can configure your controller to do just about anything, assigning keyboard and mouse commands to the controller's buttons and axes.

If you're looking for a little cross-platform unification, maybe this will do the trick until Microsoft release some sort of official support for the controller.

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