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May 13, 2007

Gaming in Windows Vista with the Wireless Xbox 360 Controller

Microsoft recently released the Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver for Windows a few weeks ago. I decided to pick one up last weekend as I had too many cables running in all different directions all over my desk. The Wireless Gaming Receiver allows you to use your wireless Xbox 360 Controller to play games on Windows Vista.


The Wireless Gaming Receiver is pretty simple to hook up and install. You plug the receiver in via USB just as you would a receiver for a wireless keyboard or mouse. Windows Vista will automatically detect and install the Wireless Gaming Receiver which is pretty cool.

However, you’re going to want to install the Xbox 360 Accessories Status application on the Wireless Gaming Receiver CD as this will enable you to check to see how your battery life is doing on the wireless Xbox 360 Controller. The Xbox 360 Accessories Status also lets you configure notifications for device connections.

Thanks to a pointer by Michael Wolf, who you can catch over on the Gamerscore Blog, I discovered that you can use the Xbox 360 Controllers (Wireless or Wired) to play the in-box-games that ship with Windows Vista. Sweet! I shot video to demo using the Wireless Xbox 360 Controller to play Minesweeper, Chess Titans, and Solitaire:

Video: Using the Xbox 360 Controller in Windows Vista

I was particularly impressed with the fact they incorporated the ability to have your Xbox 360 Controller “rumble” in certain instances within these games – such as in Minesweeper when I hit a mine.

The Xbox 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver is priced at $19.99. That is not a bad deal if you already have an Xbox 360 and wireless controller. I’ve also seen the Wireless Gaming Receiver and Controller bundled together as well for about $50.00.