I figure this is the best place to put this thread.
Now before you all go attacking me with the whole "keyboard & mouse is superior" thing, keep in mind that im a more casual gamer, and usually dont care too much for hardcore gaming, so for me a controller is much better. lol.
I have been looking for a gaming controller, preferably one with a working home button, which ill explain in a minute. So far I've tried the xbox 360 & ps3 controller, which both have there issues for me. They don't work well enough for what I need.
I am in the process of building a custom HTPC gaming/multimedia center for my living room. I found a program called hyperspin, which has a fancy GUI for launching mainly emulators and games, but also allows you to customise it by launching pretty much any pc game from its frontend. I had this idea that I could use this program and make it so that Someone could come over to my house, turn on a controller, and by pushing the "home button" on said controller, launch this hyperspin, and choose a game and play. all without the need for a keyboard and mouse.
Problem is, The xbox 360 controller's guide button does pretty much nothing on a pc, and I've googled till my fingers bleed, but cannot find any way to customise this button. the closest I've found to allow it to do anything is microsofts disc that game with the controller, which only shows battery life and what player is connected.
Next was the playstation 3 dualshock controller, which is what im currently using, because I already have one with my PS3. Problem is, because Motioninjoy is sadly the best way to make it work with a PC, the developer has made it so that you have to go into the app every time you start the computer and set it to the input mode you want. Also, the bluetooth function is halfassed and I always have issues with it, constantly having to reinstall drivers, and still end up having to plug in through usb first. this totally defeats the purpose of wireless gaming. and if I'm going to have to use a wired controller, i might as well have just did a desktop setup.
these are the only two ive tried. I noticed logitech has a wireless controller, but from what ive read, people say if ANYTHING blocks the view, the controller cuts out. This is not good for, lets say a friend getting up to move to use the restroom or whatever, running in front and cutting the controller off.
So basically, Does anyone know of a wireless controller for PC with a working home button? IF i could find such a controller, that would be great, as it would be nice for me or someone to just bring up a game menu at the push of a button, and even exit with the same button if we wanted to quit.
Let's see if we can give this some direction. I don't consider myself a gamer but what I'm about to say might very well contradict this.
Firstly, I would never contradict anyone as to which is the best controller for any given game, only that I would prefer it to be on the PC. Of all the gaming platforms the PC is the most powerful and most flexible. Personally, I game with keyboard and mouse, xbox controller and racing wheel, depending on the game and what I have to hand at the time.
I've goto assume that what you call the home button, on the 360 controller, is the button with the xbox logo on it in the centre of the controller. I've got to say that this button does indeed work on the PC. It normally toggles the "Games for Windows Live" interface in games that support it (it does exactly the same as hitting the "Home" key on your keyboard", but only works in game. I'm sure it's done other things but cannot think of what just now.
EDIT:I've had a go at building a list of games which the home key works in, this is the list so far, it is by no means comprehensive.
Interestingly, Steam uses it to switch to, but not from, Big Picture. And it toggles the Steam overlay while ingame, if you've started the game from Big Picture.
As the xbox controller is a game controller it probably works through the directx api and you would need to build a plugin to get it to work.
I've looked into it, and most people online through forums and such, have stated that it works differently than the rest of the buttons on the controller, as if its "hard coded" or something. Yes I'm aware it works in some games, the problem is it doesnt work like a regular button as in one you can customize. I've used it in steam and its awesome for that, however, for me, steam is only halfway of what I want, so I was hoping to find a controller with a working home button that I could somehow set as a hotkey of sorts to launch any program I'd like, specifically the hyperspin program I mentioned so that I could launch it at the push of a button. I was hoping for this to eliminate mostly the need for a keyboard and mouse, as I have friends and family who aren't exactly computer literate, but if they wanted to play a game, just pick up the controller, press the button and voila, select a game to play.