Controlling the Xbox 360

There are a huge amount of different options for controlling the Xbox 360 console, and when I got mine I had a little think about what ways I’d like to use it.

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller and Chatpad

Obviously the default way of using an Xbox is with the usual wireless controller. I’ve had a few different ones over the years, but I’m currently using a full black one that came with the console as standard, as well as the black chat pad. There are other versions of the controller, including wired and the transforming D-pad. (Though the transforming D-pad doesn’t come in black.)

The Chatpad itself was marketed for enabling Messenger integration into the Xbox experience, though for me it’s mostly just for general text input, standard Xbox Live messages and searching. Personally I wouldn’t want to give it up now, and I’d recommend one to anyone with an Xbox 360.

Xbox 360 Media Remote

One of the things that really sold me on the Media Remote is the way it can control many types of television, which means I don’t need to have two remotes on the coffee table. I can switch on the Xbox and launch various applications, including apps like iPlayer and Lovefilm without having to touch the controller – in fact sometimes I don’t touch the controller at all (unless I’m doing text input with the Chatpad!)

The remote includes the usual coloured YXAB face buttons, a guide button, and plenty of media controls including play/pause and fast forward/rewind as well as ones more geared towards live television, which I know is supported by Sky in the UK and many other providers in the US.

Xbox Companion for Windows Phone

An interesting addition to the Xbox is using a companion app from either Windows 8 or Windows Phone. I might write about this separately, but I would just add that I have often used this app, mostly for changing music on Zune while I’m in another room. Handy!

What else?

One of the things I didn’t bother getting is the Kinect, it may be something I want in the future, but right now I just don’t think it’s that important. some of the voice stuff at E3 2012 was pretty cool, but not enough to make me change my mind.

I am very interested in Xbox SmartGlass though, and as soon as I get myself a Windows RT tablet I’ll be sure to write about it.