Combining the Xbox 360 Slim and the sadly discontinued HD DVD drive, you begin to realize how many accessories Microsoft has pushed out for the Xbox 360 over the years. On the 360 itself, there are (technically) four rear USB slots, and on the HD DVD drive, there are an additional two. Include the dual slots on the front of the console, and there’s a ton of USB potential. I’ve filled them all.
What could possibly be plugged in? On the back of the, there’s the special port for Kinect; that’s a given and a technicality. Below that comes the Scene-It receiver, a little dongle that works in tandem with those exclusive controllers. Follow that with the necessary cable for the HD DVD player, and then one more connects my Wii U GamePad (via Nyko’s “Charge Link” USB cable). I know, I know. It’s awful and tragic. Sadly, the Xbox 360 is the only current console outside of the standard Wii to push constant power from the USB slots, even when it’s off. If possible, I’d charge my PlayStation 3 controllers from this unit too.
On the front, there are two mini 16GB USB thumb drives for additional storage. Even with 320GB inside the HDD, it’s not always enough when you do what I do. There are not official (those are full size and would stick out too far), but they still count.
The HD DVD player plays host to the Xbox Live Vision Camera, that device Microsoft issued as a sort of test market for the Kinect, even if they’ll never directly admit to it. Let’s face it: Totemball was a precursor to everything the Kinect can currently do. But, you ask, why have them both connected (Kinect and Vision)? Simple. You never know when Totemball may come calling (never, actually), there’s a cool water effect it creates on the background of the Dash when you move, and video chat with friends is possible even if they don’t own a Kinect. As far I can tell, the Kinect doesn’t work in tandem with the camera.
Less exciting is the charge cable for my 360 Bluetooth headset, formerly the 360 Wireless headset. I can say with full experience, the standard, non-Bluetooth headset is the way to go. The Bluetooth piece is a noisy, poppy mess that barely picks up on speech. I’d switch back in a heartbeat if the headset also didn’t serve my PS3 needs.
I’m not sure if I’m missing anything in terms of Microsoft accessories. They’ve soaked me for everything, and yes, I could charge my 360 controllers with the USB attachments, but I have Quick Charge Kit for that. I feel like my 360 is a billboard with corded tentacles coming from the rear to latch onto my wallet whenever something new is released. As a consumer, I have failed to the marketing gods.
Featured image: Living with Nerd