Set your controller free: Microsoft's Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows begins shipping

Xbox Wireless Adapter and game controller
Credit: Microsoft

Microsoft has been working hard to bring together the worlds of Xbox and Windows gaming. When Windows 10 shipped it included baked-in drivers for the Xbox One gamepad. You just plugged a USB cable into the controller, plugged the other end into your Windows 10 system and it all just worked.

The only (minor) fly in the ointment was that cable; there was no way to connect to a Windows 10 system wirelessly. Now there is, as Microsoft has started shipping its Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows. The only catch is the price: it costs $25. Alternatively you can purchase a bundle that includes an Xbox One controller plus the adapter for $80. 

That's too much money, in my opinion. Granted you only need one adapter for up to 8 controllers and 2 stereo headsets, but how often do you gather a group of friends around a PC for some gaming? In general I question how badly needed a wireless PC game controller is since you're usually sitting right next to the system.

The one exception will be if you have a PC hooked up in your living room television. In that circumstance you do need a wireless solution and you very well might have friends over for some couch co-op. The adapter makes perfect sense in that scenario even at $25.

I still wouldn't recommend buying the bundle from Microsoft. Amazon sells the 'old' Xbox One controller for $44.95 at the time of this writing. Combine that with the $25 adapter  (not available until next week from Amazon) and you'll save $10 off the price of the Microsoft bundle. Granted you're getting the 'old' controller but I'm not convinced that's a big deal. I use the old controllers and they work just fine (the newer ones have a 3.5mm headphone jack on the controller and some slightly tweaked buttons).

I like the Xbox One controller; I'm using one on my PC now, having retired my old Wired Xbox 360 controller. But I think I'll keep my $25 in my pocket and just stick to using a USB cable for now. Sooner or later the adapter or the bundle will go on sale. I'm thinking somewhere around $15 is the price I'm looking for.

You can learn more about the Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows at Xbox Wire

ITWorld DealPost: The best in tech deals and discounts.
Shop Tech Products at Amazon