Xbox 360 PC controller confusion cleared up

$44.95 wired "Windows" controller is same as the $39.99 wired 360 controller--but comes with PC drivers.

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Yesterday's press release announcing Microsoft's new game-specific laser mouse caused a spate of confusion regarding another one of the company's game controllers. At the bottom of the release was a small note about "the new Xbox 360 Controller for Windows, a wired gaming controller that works with Windows XP-based PCs and the new Xbox 360 system to deliver a consistent gaming entertainment experience across Microsoft's gaming platforms."

Why the confusion? Microsoft had made previous statements that the Xbox 360 controller would work for both PCs and the 360--did the announcement of a special "Xbox 360 controller for Windows" mean that was no longer the case? The fact that the Xbox 360 controller for Windows was a different SKU with a different price--$44.95--from the $39.99 wired Xbox 360 controller certainly made it seem that way.

Luckily, Microsoft was kind enough to clear up gamers' doubts by saying that the Xbox 360 controller for Windows is the same as the wired Xbox 360 controller--sort of. "The difference between the Windows SKU and the regular Xbox 360 controller is that the Windows SKU comes with a Windows XP driver," a rep told GameSpot. "Otherwise they are exactly the same device."

As for the price difference, the Microsoft rep claimed it was a case of "the difference between suggested retail and estimated street price," with the $39.99 price point being the latter and the $44.99 price point being the former.

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