In other words, your thumbs never have to leave the analog sticks, making the controller optimal for first person shooters. Those with a feeling of déjà vu are probably thinking of the HG controllers we covered a while ago. The difference here is that F00 f00's control moves the analog stick and does away with the face buttons entirely, rather than doubling them. It's a pretty neat idea, and it makes us wonder how many melee kills we must have missed in Gears. Check out a video of the controller after the break.
[Thanks, Rob K]
More kick-ass photos after the break.
Controllers with turbo buttons have existed for many years, going all the way back to the NES, and controller mods for the 360 are nothing new. But having a turbo button (among many other things) modded into what looks like a standard controller is news to us. The guys over at HGcontrollers seem to have started up a fine little business doing just that. The above graphic is really from their site (can you spot which are the real and fake buttons) and details some of the special enhancements made to the controller for the express purpose of playing shooters.
The goal of these mods is to create a controller configuration that can be played through the entire game experience without having to remove one's thumbs from the sticks. Theoretically, this means that your aim with said sticks will improve, as you no longer have to take your thumb off it to hit the essential buttons. However HGcontrollers does more modding of controllers than simply moving buttons. The staff there will actually create a controller with a custom button layout, toggle switches, microprocessors (turbo) for rapid fire, and more if you've got the cash for it. In fact, their website seems to be a bit behind the times forgetting to tell its readers that there are even controllers specially built for Gears that do your Active-Reloading for you. These controllers look great and all, but specifically modding (or buying) your controller to get better at a game sort of defeats the purpose (FUN!) for us here.
The music genre argument -- why don't you play a real instrument! -- gets more and more vague as industrious gamers begin to meld game instruments with the real thing. The latest in a string of Frankensteinian efforts is a modification to the Rock Band Stratocaster that bestows the guitar with real guitar strings! Well, actually it bestows the instrument with precisely one guitar string, but it's a start, right? Now you might not look quite as ridiculous when you play the game with a pick. How does it work? The string is attached to a switch (the knobby thing on the left in the image above) which is activated when pressure is applied to the string. Ingenious, we say! The only question now is how we get our hands on one. Check out a video of the mod in action after the break.
Ben Heck is at it again. You may remember his work from a project we reported last year, in which Ben crammed the innards of an Xbox 360, along with a full keyboard and monitor, into a svelte laptop case. He's done it again, this time adding perks from the Xbox 360 Elite, including HDMI video, a 120GB hard drive, and a built-in Vision camera. In short, the thing is effing amazing (and practical). Check out Ben's BioShock inspired video about his new creation after the break.
Unfortunately, there's nothing to be done with this fabulous bit of hacking yet. We suppose you could try using it to play a PC game, though we imagine such attempts would be less than successful (though possibly hilarious). We're sure someone will create a program just for the drums though (perhaps the successor to Frets on Fire?). For now, you'll have to entertain yourself by watching the numbers light up on the config screen.
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.
[Via WoW Insider]
Before the cries of "OLD" start filling the comment threads, yes, we knew that Halo 3 was leaked several days ago. We chose not to propagate the story, but it seems to be reaching critical mass now, so there's no point in ignoring it. And before you ask, no, we're not telling you how to get it. The game data, which clocks in at about 6 gigabytes, is being shared and downloaded on a number of file sharing sites. According to gamesindustry.biz, the file has already been downloaded in the thousands. Of course, the file is only playable on modded Xboxen, which means that online multiplayer will likely incur a hefty swing of the Microsoft Banhammer. Considering that multiplayer and online co-op are more or less the heart and soul of Halo 3, downloading an illegal copy seems a little on the lonely side, thrilling though it may be to put one over on The Man. At any rate, the leak is sure to be an upsetting, if not unexpected, blow to MS and Bungie.