Just Picked Up: Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows

Subject: General Tech | October 29, 2015 - 09:36 PM |
Tagged: microsoft, xbox, windows 10

As some have noticed, my recent “Just Delivered” post for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller was not very... wireless. Simply put, the Elite does not come with a wireless adapter for Windows, because that would be useless for the console-only crowd, and its price was already high enough. While it was released on October 20th, the Xbox Canada website gave a server error for its product page until the 22nd.

It seemed like a bit of a rushed launch, to say the least.

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Well, when I popped into EB Games on my walk today, I was surprised to find that they have stock. Yay. Installation was relatively simple. Open the box, stick it into an available USB port, wait for Windows 10 to recognize it, put batteries in your gamepad, turn the controller on, press both sync buttons, and wait until the Xbox logo (on the controller) turns a solid glow. From then on, you just need to turn the gamepad on and off by pressing and holding the Xbox logo, which takes about a count of fifteen to turn off.

A couple of additional notes. First, the adapter is said to support up to eight controllers. This is great, especially for indie developers who are interested in party games. Also, the ability to update controller firmware will be added via the “Xbox Accessories” app from Windows Store, which is the same one used to rebind gamepad inputs. That update will be available on November 12th (see "Headset audio issues through the controller"). Thanks to an anonymous comment for this info!

Also, this means that you pretty much should not get Xbox One accessories unless you're planning to run Windows 10.


October 29, 2015 | 11:52 PM - Posted by brisa117

I picked one of these up too. I've been using my XBONE controller to play Rocket League and hated being tethered. My Gamestop had one in stock that they were nice enough to hold for me. The guy there said that they only got an extra one because one guy preordered his at their location. Looks like they're probably not going to be widely avaliable at first (so order online or check availability). Only one store (out of like eight in town) had it and they only got one extra.

Long story short, they're exactly as advertised except I don't think they work with Steam Link (not verified) or versions of Windows before 10. Other than that, it's a good buy.

October 30, 2015 | 10:28 AM - Posted by Mitesh (not verified)

Thanks for letting me know the adapter won't work on anything but Win10. Save me some cash, before I buy the controller for the X1.

October 30, 2015 | 04:31 PM - Posted by brisa117

The controller still works with Steam Link, you just have to be wired.

October 30, 2015 | 12:33 AM - Posted by Bleomycin (not verified)

Really sucks these things require windows 10. There's 0 technical reason for this...

October 30, 2015 | 06:16 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Just like there is 0 technical reason that a new printer doesn't support Windows XP. You have to move on sometime ;)

October 30, 2015 | 09:45 AM - Posted by S-L-R (not verified)

Except this is much worse. It's not "limited" to newer versions of Windows. It's exclusive to Windows 10 for absolutely no reasons other than forcing people to migrate over Win10. Also, it's not compatible with SteamOS (meaning linux based OS) which is a totally stupid move from Microsoft. They could have competed with the Steam controller in a great way, but instead they locked it down.

Please, someone hack this thing to work with something else.

October 30, 2015 | 10:33 AM - Posted by James (not verified)

OR, barring some serious odd compatibility issue, you just take the FREE upgrade to Windows 10. No harm in it and alot of the initial bugs seem to have been ironed out. You could even wait until the major update in Nov to be sure you have the most stable OS. And once you upgrade over top of Win 7 or 8, a clean install from there on is a BREEZE. You just skip the key prompts and it self activates. The Nov update will even supplement that with allowing you to use an existing 7 or 8 key to activate if it doesnt do it automatically. And frankly, any privacy concerns to me are a bit blown out of proportion for normal users. I dont use cortana as is since i dont have a desktop MIC, but if they wanna use my requests for sports scores and searches to make money I dont care. At this point all we're monitored a lot of places. Taking a stand against microsoft for alleged data mining isnt going to matter. Its the same false panic that the Kinect had.

October 30, 2015 | 11:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Steam OS and the Steam machines are incoming, and expect M$ to go all Apple on its customer base, even for PC/Laptops that M$ does not even manufacture. The good news here is that some of the once Smart phone only manufacturers are now introducing laptops, and maybe more PCs will follow that are made for Linux OSs like Steam OS, so screw M$ and its closed ecosystem! M$ will be still trying to Ram 10 down users throats come the new year, but 7 will remain on the majority of users PC/Laptops while the transition to Steam OS happens for gamers.

Vulkan will be introduced this year and M$ is making a lot of third party OEMs angry with its continued encroachment into the Tablet/hardware side of things! I'll expect that the some of the smart phone makers that are now branching out into Laptops will want to go with more Linux based OSs, with AMD APUs in non thermally restricted laptop form factors that can keep both M$'s and Intel's greed out of the equation. When M$ offers its OS for free, you become the product, and M$ at one stayed out of its users personal business. M$ is all Apple about its OS now, even more so than Apple is about Apple's OS! Enjoy your quantified and metered existence with the M$ collective!

October 30, 2015 | 10:07 PM - Posted by DarkMoonZoroark (not verified)

Why do people not realize that the reason for it working on only Windows 10 is due to the Xbox App on Windows 10. The drivers were made to work with it and i'm guessing the limitations on the older versions of Windows can't handle it as well. Now they probably could make it work for more money and effort but why not try to convince people to upgrade. that will bring them more money. Microsoft is also trying to integrate Windows 10 and Xbox One to the best they can. I am in the preview program and can see well that they are working hard on that. still some party chat bugs at the moment but everything has something wrong when it comes out and its still in pre-release. Overall it works with Only Windows 10 so they make money from people upgrading, it will work with the Xbox App on Windows 10 and so it will work better when they add more similarities to both Windows 10 and Xbox One. i have Windows 10 but i see what they are doing as well as all the people complaining about this device. The world we live in is advancing very fast and the technology even faster around 30-40 years i would guess without looking it up that it took a few hours to make a game like "Snake" on the commodore 64 and now look at computers today. if you took the time to read all this i thank you for taking the time to view my opinion.

November 1, 2015 | 11:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Why do people not realize that the reason for it working on only Windows 10 is due to the Xbox App on Windows 10."

Why do you not realize - that it would take them all of one afternoon to make a Windows Vista/7/8 driver that would work exactly how the existing XBox 360 controller compatibility works. It is OK to make this work with the XBox App in Windows 10, but it is less OK that they are using this as another way to try to force people to upgrade from earlier versions of Windows when there is no hardware reason that this couldn't be backwards compatible.

November 2, 2015 | 04:05 AM - Posted by Joakim L (not verified)

If you have an old xbox360 controller you can still get the old wireless reciever for it. But I agree that it should've worked with at least Win7 aswell. However since Win10 is a free upgrade atm I Think we can't really complain.

http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Xbox-Wireless-Receiver-Windows/dp/B000HZ...

October 30, 2015 | 01:16 PM - Posted by Mnemonicman

Just walked into an EBGames store on Wednesday and picked one up. Works pretty well for emulators as long as you turn on the controller first.

October 30, 2015 | 01:25 PM - Posted by Geoff Peterson (not verified)

Does anyone know what is the effective range of the wireless controller? Is it comparable to the 360 wireless transmitter and controller?

October 30, 2015 | 04:34 PM - Posted by brisa117

I would test it for you but my apartment is super tiny : ( I may be able to test this weekend when I go to my brother-in-law's house. I'm assuming it's at least as good as the Xbox360 controllers, and I never got far enough away from the PC to use the controller and still be able to see my 47" TV.

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