Mad Catz, makers of controllers, racing wheels, and a slew of other peripherals for game consoles old and new has acquired a license to make peripherals for the upcoming Xbox 360. The signed agreement sheds light on Microsoft's 3rd party peripheral strategy which stipulates that companies may not produce wireless controllers. This could prove to be a huge hit for the 3rd party peripheral market since Microsoft's own Xbox 360 controllers are wireless. The agreement also prohibits the manufacture and distribution of licensed 3rd party light guns, memory units, hard drives, or cheat cards. In addition to wired controllers, manufacturers are allowed to design and distribute dance pads, steering wheels, arcade sticks, and flight sticks. Announcement of the deal also brought to light Microsoft's royalty program which only permits such peripherals to work with the Xbox 360.
How will the consumer market respond to these new tactics? When the original Xbox was released there was a massive backlash surrounding the size of the controller. The only choice for gamers until the advent of the Controller S was to try 3rd party alternatives. Now, under this new agreement it appears that users not satisfied with the original controller will have no other alternatives besides wired devices.
News source: TeamXbox