XCM Cross Battle Adapter Review: Xbox 360 Controller on a PS3
Nothing is more important to a video game player than the pair of input and output. The output can look like pure graphical nirvana, but if the input is awkward or inaccurate, the entire experience feels stilted and lacks that immerse touch. One could level that criticism at many Playstation 3 games, thanks to a convex pair of triggers and the small-hand ergonomics of the Dual shock 3 and Six axis controllers.
On the other hand, players have heaped acclaim on the Xbox 360 pad, for its concave triggers and thick, palm-accommodating wings. Modders even tried to fit the Sixaxis innards in a 360 controller case. So, I’m quite sure I wasn’t the only one looking for an adapter for my Xbox 360 controller to work as a PS3 controller.
Today, XCM has delivered just that in a compact plug-and-play solution. Once you shed the packaging from the XCM Cross Battle Adapter, it’s a quick plug into any of the USB ports on the front of your Playstation 3 and a WIRED Xbox 360 controller into the CBA’s port. There. Done. No soldering, screwdrivers, or shoehorns required.
The CBA just works. How else can I say it. I’m convinced it would even pass a double-blind test, were it not for help tips showing up in games. I ran the device through the following gauntlet of games to test its responsiveness:
- Crash Commando: Firing a weapon on the Right Bumper is a little out of the ordinary, but it was originally mapped to the R1 button, so no gripes here. It was even easy to get use to the change.
- Bioshock (Demo): As far as FPS goes, I was a bit worried since so many PS3 shooters put primary fire on R1, but Bioshock was an exception, letting you juggle weapons on R1,L1/RB,LB. It felt like I was playing on the Xbox, except that I had to remember A is X and X is Square.
- Everyday Shooter: You could say the modern twin-stick shooter was born on the Xbox 360 controller, so Everyday Shooter knew how to behave, even in the absence of a Sony-branded controller.
- Metal Gear Solid 4: Yes, I have played MGS4 on an Xbox 360… controller. Thumbing my nose at Kojima’s stalwart loyalty to the ‘station, I gave his magnum opus a spin and came away pretty pleased, but my fears were realized when I pushed RB to attack. It wouldn’t be a game-breaker, but it would certainly take some getting used to.
- Motorstorm: Let me say that Motorstorm was a great game that not only looked great, but it was also an excellent showcase for the PS3′s early capabilities. But those darn triggers put me off something awful. Now, I can go back and enjoy Motorstorm without concentrating on keeping the trigger from slipping.
- Mirror’s Edge (Demo): With side by side comparisons with the Xbox 360, they felt identical. I thought I detected a slight delay in the sticks, but I think it has more to do with the game’s coding than the CBA, since I never experienced any slowdown anywhere else in my tests.
- Burnout Paradise: Slick as could be. I even felt comfortable jumping on a bike in first person and peeling down the highway. Couldn’t be any better.
- WipEout HD: Wipeout plays a little differently from other racers. The triggers function as bank control while the X/A button is gas. Despite this major difference, the CBA and 360 controller gave me exceptional control.
Additionally, the CBA features rapid-fire settings for the four face buttons and the four shoulder controls. Also, the Xbox Guide button now functions as the PS button, giving you quick access to the XMB in-game.
I really can’t give anything but a glowing recommendation for the CBA, but there are a few drawbacks I should address:
- Rumble: The CBA does not transmit rumble, or at least any rumble I was aware of, but if I have gone this long without a vibrating PS3 controller, I think I can survive a still 360 controller, too.
- Tilt Control: It goes without saying that you lose tilt control when you use the CBA. So, games like Lair and Warhark will either be handicapped or unplayable. But that’s really a case by case issue. At least the CBA knows what to do in the absence of a tilt sensor and doesn’t act erratically.
- At the Mercy of Design: Developers make the decision how to map buttons and rarely offer freely-remappable schemes. If PS3 dev says “Fire with R1 because it’s better than the trigger”, you can’t do anything but push RB. However, this is no fault of XCM. Their device does exactly what it should. Blame Sony for making the Sixaxis the way they did and forcing developers to make these decisions. So, it follows naturally that games that use gas and primary fire on the triggers will benefit the most from this device.
So, in the final analysis… damn. XCM found a great niche in the market and nailed it, producing a stand-up accessory. The XCM Cross Battle Adapter works like a charm. If you have been waiting to swap your Six’ for a Threesixty, search no longer. This is the answer.
Two thumbs way up. And a pair of index fingers that will thank you. If any of you guys plan on buying it, feel free to use our amazon link and hook us up. XCM Cross Battle adapter
For those who are interested in connecting your PS3 controller to a Xbox 360, XCM has already announced to release the Crossfire Battle Adapter sometime around late February. Not too far along.
Here are some videos I’ve found to provide you with some visual details.