It's been a long time since the words "Xbox," "360," and "Warcraft" were uttered in the same sentence. Rumors once flitted about suggesting that World of Warcraft would someday make an appearance on the Xbox 360, but such heady days are long gone. Naturally, one of the chief reasons Blizzard has given for not creating a console port of its massively successful franchise is that it would require compromises. In other words, the control scheme simply wouldn't work. Enter Switchblade, a program from Blue Orb written specifically to allow players to use an Xbox 360 controller to play World of Warcraft. You may recall Blue Orb as the creators of the Texter, a device that converted 360 control stick inputs into keyboard inputs. As with the Texter, we have to question why. Why would a World of Warcraft player want to play with a 360 controller? According to the official site, the goal is to deliver the "console experience." Again, we have to question why someone searching for the console experience would be interested in World of Warcraft, but we digress.
Questions aside, the software actually does look like it makes the controller fairly functional. Of course, in game chat will be a little difficult if you're not near the keyboard, but it might be useful for everyday grinding -- we're not exactly banking on it spurring Blizzard to start 360 development though. The software is available for free at the official website. It's also worth noting that the software is pre-configured for WoW, but is customizable and will presumably receive more downloadable configurations for other games in the future.
According to Planet Xbox 360, the latest Official Xbox Magazine dishes out what its editors believe to be the top 5 games being secretly made for the Xbox 360. More or less the list is a wish list of games that most of us would like to see make an appearance on our beloved console. Many of them have been rumored for quite some time, but it's a nice list nevertheless. Check it out after the break.
Despite earlier (highly dubious) rumors, Blizzard's COO Paul Sams told MCV, "We do not have any plans to take [World of Warcraft] to Xbox 360. WoW is built as a PC gaming experience. Porting PC games to console often compromises games, and we’d never allow the WoW gameplay experience to suffer."
In addition to the obvious absence of a keyboard, he also cites the walled-garden approach of Xbox Live would prohibit play between PC players and their Xbox counterparts. He wasn't entirely dismissive of the idea, offering that, while they don't have any console plans at the moment, they may consider it in the future. Maybe they're just waiting to see if other 360 MMOs are successful.