Over the weekend, I heard the rumbling that Xbox has decided that any unofficial controllers and adapters would be blocked on the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in the upcoming weeks. At first, I thought this was a hoax, especially given that Xbox is a brand people love to hate. Except, it wasn’t. When I attempted to use my Qanba Pearl, a fantastic controller for the PS4/PS5 and PC, and with the Brooks Wingman XB adapter, I, too, saw this dreaded message.
“A connected accessory is not authorized. Using unauthorized accessories compromises your gaming experience. For this reason, the unauthorized accessory will be blocked from use on 11/12/2023.” “For help returning it, check with the store it came from or contact the manufacturer. To see authorized accessories, go to www.xbox.com/accessories. (0x82d60002).”
What is this nonsense, Xbox?
Needless to say, I’m both frustrated and confused as to why Xbox would do this. From a business and financial standpoint, yes, this does make sense. You’ll make much more money by forcing customers to purchase official Xbox controllers, and, thus, you’ll make more money as well. But this is also the kind of decision that is a company shooting itself in the foot, especially regarding its consumers.
Let’s be honest. Most arcade fight sticks are made with the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 in mind, and the only way to use those on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S is by using an adapter. Hell, PDP makes one of the better fight sticks available with the Victrix Pro FS, and guess what? It’s not even available for Xbox. Imagine if you had just purchased either the Victrix Pro FS or the Razer Kitsune, which happens to be two of the better controllers available but only for the PlayStation and PC, and expecting them to work with a Brook adapter. Only to find out that, thanks to Xbox and if nothing changes, they won’t be able to once November 13, 2023, arrives. I’d be pissed, that’s for sure.
I see this being a major concern for the fighting game scene. Xbox already has one foot in the grave when it comes to the FGC, as there are no fighting games exclusive to the platform outside of Killer Instinct. If Xbox doesn’t reverse course with this change, this will ensure that no one will want to play fighting games on the Xbox Series X|S, and that’s a bad move. There are people who have used the same controller since the Xbox 360 era, and rely on adapters to keep those sticks valid. Those people can’t take those sticks back to the store, Xbox. And many of them have modified those sticks. Some can’t afford new arcade sticks, and if they have one that’s been working for years with the use of an adapter, why change things up?
But it’s not just for fighting games, as others use those for SHUMPs, brawlers, and 2D platformers. Playing Ikaruga and Raiden 5 with an arcade stick is a much better experience than using a gamepad. Others just liked using other controllers for different consoles and loved the freedom it afforded. Steering wheel adapters, most made by Brooks, will also be rendered useless, as well as niche controllers that have been a thing for years. Now, that seems to be going out the window for no valid reason.
Additionally, I do want to call out these clowns who are happy and say that adapters are enabling cheaters in Call of Duty. Not everyone plays that damned game, and I couldn’t care less about a single game that SHOULD have keyboard and mouse support on consoles. Players should be able to play with whatever control scheme they want. I’m beyond tired of people thinking only of themselves and thinking they are the only gaming community that matters when they don’t.
Sadly, when it comes to the XIM devices, it seems that they won’t be affected at all. I was doing some research about this and found this interesting tidbit.
The XIM requires an OEM Xbox controller to work with the XONE/Series. The Xbox detects the XIM as an authentic controller, meaning the upcoming unlicensed accessory block to stop the cheaters will not work. It’s more likely going to block your boomer Dad’s racing wheel setup and smaller 3rd parties that don’t pay the license fee.
The XIM requires an OEM Xbox controller to work with the XONE/Series. The Xbox detects the XIM as an authentic controller, meaning the upcoming unlicensed accessory block to stop the cheaters will not work. It's more likely going to block your boomer Dad's racing wheel setup and… pic.twitter.com/wIXG3kgx7f
— Hikiko (@HikikomoriMedia) October 30, 2023
Basically, this means that cheating devices that everyone was complaining about won’t be affected. This leads me to believe this is all about money, with Microsoft/Xbox wanting the creators of these “unofficial” devices to pay them.
I also noticed that Brooks Gaming, the manufacturer of the Brooks adapters, is aware of the situation and has assured its users that it will look into the issue.
Xbox console-related product Issue Update pic.twitter.com/QK0N41LmHW
— Brook Gaming (@brookgamingfans) October 20, 2023
I’m sure that if people knew that Xbox would eventually block any of these unofficial controllers or adapters, they wouldn’t have purchased them in the first place. I still can’t wrap my head around why this is happening, and I can only hope that Xbox either decides to work with these “unofficial” companies to get a compromise in place or scrap this plan entirely. Even still, none of this will block the cheaters, the very thing that most people were crying about in the first place.
In just two weeks, Xbox will deal a fatal blow to the Xbox fighting game community, disabled gamers, racing and flight sim community on the Xbox Series X|S. To say that this sucks would be an understatement.
Meanwhile, Microsoft/Xbox has yet to release an official statement on this, and given the backlash, it will be interesting to see what they say about this all.