Accessories from Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo know no bounds (for the most part)
If you own multiple consoles, you know how expensive it can be whenever you want to buy accessories for each device. Controllers and arcade sticks aren’t inexpensive items, to say the least, and having to stock up on accessories for more than one device can get costly quickly. There’s also the situation where you and your friends might own different consoles and you feel more comfortable playing with a controller you spend more time on but have to commit to using something less familiar.
Specialty accessory manufacturer, Brook, offers a variety of products to remedy this situation, building devices that allow players to use their favorite accessories across consoles and even across generations. Brook’s latest converter, the Wingman XB, bridges PlayStation 3/4, Xbox 360/One (S, X), and Nintendo Switch controllers and arcade sticks to be compatible with Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. While it is always possible to mod an arcade stick to work on more devices using one of Brook’s boards, the Wingman XB takes all of the work and knowhow out of the equation, making it easy for almost any device work on your current Xbox One console.
The Wingman XB is incredibly simple to use and I was thoroughly impressed by how seamless the connection was whenever using my numerous controllers on my Xbox One. Everything felt 1:1 with no discernable lag whatsoever, which is important enough on its own, but entirely necessary for fighting games where a fraction of a second can make all of the difference. This also makes the Wingman XB and other converters legal to use in tournaments. While the overall functionality of each controller connected is retained, the headphone jacks don’t make the transition, unfortunately rendering voice chat impossible with converted controllers.
While I personally prefer the Xbox-style controller, it is incredible to see my DualShock 4 work flawlessly in both wired and wireless modes on my Xbox. My PlayStation 4 arcade stick to Xbox One arcade stick ratio definitely falls more in favor with the PlayStation side, however, so it is fantastic to be able to use sticks I have on both devices on my Xbox One without needing to drop $199+ on another stick with the same build. You can only connect one controller at a time though, which is unfortunate considering Xbox One controller adapters for PC are able to connect up to 8 controllers at once.
While most fighting games that are playable on the Xbox 360 are currently backward compatible on the Xbox One, there are a few titles that were left behind like Dead or Alive 4. The Wingman XB gives players who still play older titles on their Xbox 360 the capability of using newer accessories on their classic console. This makes playing games feel much more satisfying thanks to the improvements found in more modern controllers like the Xbox One controller having a significantly better d-pad. I had the same experience connecting devices on the Xbox 360 as the Xbox One so the converter works as advertised.
The Wingman XB has more functionality than just being able to connect your controllers from other consoles though. You can also utilize the Turbo and Remap features to enhance any of your compatible devices. You would normally need to have these functions built into your controllers or arcade sticks but thanks to the Wingman XB, you can access them on anything with just a few hotkey commands.
This process isn’t necessarily difficult but it can be a little complicated to keep track of changes you’ve made. To turn on the Turbo function, you press View and the Xbox Guide button simultaneously, and to activate Remap mode you press Menu and the Xbox Guide button. The LED will flash red either way which can be a bit confusing if you forget which hotkey activates which mode. A third LED color would have made the process a bit easier to remember at least. After you enter your desired mode, you can select whichever buttons you want to be affected by the aforementioned modes. You can quickly wipe whatever settings you made by entering either mode and pressing View and Menu at the same time. An application for either your computer or mobile device would make this process much more seamless and would allow you to visualize which buttons are being affected and in what ways.
While I haven’t damaged any of my USB ports, you will definitely want to be careful whenever plugging in the Wingman XB. I would recommend plugging your accessory into the Wingman XB first, then plugging them in together to your console as opposed to plugging the Wingman XB into your console, and then your accessory because of the stability of the USB ports. Due to the length of the converter and the additional heft added from wired accessories, it can feel like the combined weight is causing the converter to bend in the USB port. While your devices will more than likely be perfectly fine when used, it wouldn’t hurt to be careful. The device also isn’t licensed by Xbox or any other console manufacturer, so you are using it at your own risk with the potential of the device’s function being patched out by updates. It is possible that Brook will continue to update the device to combat these changes, but it is something to be aware of.
I also wasn’t able to get all of the controllers I have to work with the Wingman XB. After multiple attempts, I was never able to use the HORI Wireless HORIPAD for Nintendo Switch to communicate with my Xbox in wired or wireless communication. I was able to connect my SCUF Vantage controller through a wired connection but had no luck connecting it wirelessly. This might be due to the fact that the controller’s wired and wireless modes act independently whereas most controllers bridge the two. After experimenting a bit more, I went to the Wingman XB product page and found a compatibility chart that lists what devices should work without issue. There is a large number of devices that do work without a hitch, you can even use your Guitar Hero controllers if you wanted to, so odds are you will find more devices that work than ones that do not.
When asked if the Wingman XB will work on the new Xbox Series X/S, our Brook representative stated that it should work in theory, but could not confirm compatibility until the consoles release on November 10. Xbox has stated that “any officially licensed Xbox One accessory that connects to your console wired or wirelessly via USB will work on Xbox Series X[/S],” and while Brook products aren’t licensed, they do replicate devices from alternate consoles very well. We will be sure to update this review once the Xbox Series X/S release with new information regarding the Wingman XB’s compatibility.
I am thoroughly impressed with how well the Brook Wingman XB converts such a large number of controllers from other consoles to use on Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC. There isn’t any noticeable lag either so you are essentially receiving a native 1:1 experience. While I wasn’t able to connect all of my controllers, all of the arcade sticks I have connected successfully which provides the biggest value in my opinion and the number of controllers supported outweigh the ones that are not.
Being able to use a variety of devices from different consoles would have been more than enough to warrant a purchase, but the added benefit of granting Turbo and Remap functions to controllers built without them is the icing on the cake. That being said, while these functions are easy enough to set up, the process could have been made easier. The user experience could be improved with an additional LED color to differentiate the Turbo and Remap modes, a companion app to keep track of remapped buttons and turbo assignments, and the ability to connect more than one controller at a time.
At the cost of one converter, I have essentially made all of my devices compatible with one machine, which provides an incredible amount of value on its own. I am hopeful that the Wingman XB continues to be supported on the upcoming Xbox Series X/S, which would boost its value and supported devices even further. If it does end up being compatible with an update, it would be nice to get share button functionality added in since there will be a native capture button added to the updated Xbox controllers.
Thinking about picking up the Brook Wingman XB for yourself? You can find one on Brook’s official Amazon store page here!
- Seamless connectivity between a broad list of devices.
- Tournament legal.
- Adds Turbo and Remap feature to any compatible controller.
- A great alternative to modding your arcade sticks.
- Works with both wired and wireless connections.
- Not compatible with EVERY device.
- Not licensed.
- Could require firmware updates if it gets patched out through console updates.
- Headphone jacks lose their function.
- Can only connect one device at a time.
Brook provided Shoryuken with the Brook Wingman XB for the purpose of this review. Personal devices tested include; (Xbox One) HORI RAP N, Xbox One Wireless Controller. (PS4) HORI RAP N, Qanba Obsidian, Razer Panthera, PowerA FUSION Wired FightPad, SCUF Vantage. (Nintendo Switch) HORI RAP, HORI Wireless HORIPAD.