Surface + 360 Controller + HDMI out


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Mar 21, 2012
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During the Surface 2 unveiling, seeing Halo played on a projector with an XBox 360 controller got me thinking.

(BACK STORY) I currently have a first gen Surface RT and an XBox 360. My understanding is I can some how connect a wireless XBox 360 controller to it for games (same with my PC, but I rarely play games on it and have USB Logitech controllers already if I want something). I don't have an mini-HDMI-HDMI wire for connecting the Surface to the TV. I'm looking to move my XBox 360 to my desktop monitor so I can use the Time Warner app while my wife is watching something else in the other room. I also find that the amount of time I have for games has dropped a bit since I first got my XBox 360 and now play more XBox Live Windows 8 games on my computer and on the Surface. I think it would be fun to have my Surface set up as a gaming system with our TV. I would only invest in the adapters and cables if it is actually worthwhile. The other part is that I would need another DVD player as the XBox is the only non-computer DVD player we have at this point.

I have seen 3rd party adapters for wireless 360 controller -> USB, but nothing official from Microsoft. Do they exist? Is there a particularly quality 3rd party adapter? Is there a list of XBox Live games that are compatible with a controller or is it really just Halo at this point? I don't own Halo and have found the demo to be the same as other Windows 8 games I already have gotten bored playing. Does anyone have any feedback if they have tried this same set up?


Christian Kallevig

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Jul 20, 2013
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There are a few compatible games on the Windows Store from what I understand, although Halo is the only one I own. Also, you could always get a wired 360 controller, although I suppose that defeats the point somewhat. Also, an official adapter does indeed exist ( )

Now, I'm honestly not sure about the practicality of using your Surface as a gaming console. For one thing, you cannot use the controller to navigate menus, so you're going to need a bluetooth mouse, or at least a regular wireless one and a USB hub. Secondly, I don't know how many games of decent quality support the 360 controller right now. I know there are at least a few, but I dunno if it justifies sinking money into that setup, especially when there are tons of great lightweight games on Xbox Live Arcade.

Also you could easily hook up a full PC and get access to a wealth of wonderful games that are cheap and not overly time consumimg.

In short, it is completely feasible, but maybe not practical. But if you really want to play Halo: Spartan Assault and whatever else on the big screen then go for it.
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Feb 18, 2011
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I have a Samsung Slate 7, the specs are the same as the Surface Pro but, last years Intel i5 so it's a hair (bearly noticeable) slower than the Surface Pro. I tried the gaming thing on it. I have a Microsoft USB adapter to use a 360 controler (MS does make an officical one). The only problem is no directx 9, 10 or 11... so modern games would not run and if they did it would be a slideshow. I was able to run Modern Warfare 2 and Halo 2 should be able to run fine on it. Nothing too much newer than that tho.

As for a RT device, the Microsoft 360 adapter/controler could work, if Microsoft created a driver that would work on RT... If the HDMI out works with the desktop, it should work in games. I would not count on Microsoft creating a driver for RT as, it's not a hot device by any means...


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Apr 18, 2012
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there are alot of games that support controller and touch and mouse and keyboard, like the snes emulator, it supports the 3 things, of course some games are not controller optimized since they are more for touch and then mouse.

But alot of games should work there. example of someone using wireless Xbox controller and on tv. one thing you could see in this video, its while he can use the Xbox controller in halo, he also uses the surface as a controller while looking at the tv.
Why I love my Microsoft Surface RT - YouTube
Microsoft Surface RT - The ultimate Gaming Tablet PC - YouTube

there is no list I know, official list. since they can vary from touch game/mouse game to a all in one games that can support anything.
you can also look in Win8 Store by "Xbox controller" and it might find them, or most of them? but usually if a game supports it it will say it features.
but I found alot of games, free and paid.

of course navigating would be the problem since you would need touch or mouse and keyboard, and since RT isnt as open as x86 you cant install things to avoid that. but it might work, and it looks nice on a tv as its seen in the videos i linked. so I dont know if it is worth or not for you, BUT having the cables wont hurt anyone, its always nice to have a way to plug your RT in your tv anyway and be able to play games that way.

hmm also i was thinking you could also jailbrake your RT and try to see if Emulators like MAME or FBA work with you, there are other nice ports and all like you can play on RT Theme Hospital and games like that. so while I dont think controller is supported in those ports (i heard MAME kinda supports it but not sure) you can still play other kind of games in your surface if you wish so, not win8 ones only, and of course you dont have to go to your pc to do so.

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