No matter how fast your system is, you can't game properly without precise, reliable controllers. Crummy console ports, Flash limitations, Windows API changes, and more conspire to render expensive gamepads useless with half your game library. It's equally easy to come across a stunning indie game only to find a horrendous and unalterable keyboard control layout, dictated by programming or browser platform restrictions. What's a gamer to do? Pick up your classic controller and the open-source freebie x360ce, that's what. See also Universal OnLive Wireless Controller review.

With the introduction of XInput API along with the Xbox 360, Microsoft rendered all previous Windows gaming controllers obsolete by making Xinput incompatible with the previous DirectInput API. While Xbox-style controllers for Windows are satisfactory, they aren't cheap. Visit Microsoft Xbox 360 Elite review.

Many gamers prefer classic, high-quality Saitek designs. The free and open source x360ce project was designed to address these problems. Doing the job Microsoft should have done, x360ce intercepts and translates XInput calls so DirectInput controllers can understand them. It also provides a handy configuration window that allows more calibration and customization than many native drivers. See all Games Console reviews.

The free and open source x360ce project was designed to address the problems of using a classic controller for PC gaming. Go to x360ce to download the emulator.

x360ce review

x360ce: Specs

  • Size: 81MB: Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP
  • Size: 81MB: Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP

OUR VERDICT

The free and open source x360ce project was designed to address the problems of using a classic controller for PC gaming. Doing the job Microsoft should have done, x360ce intercepts and translates XInput calls so DirectInput controllers can understand them.

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