D-Pad Modding

I have a love – dislike relationship with the Xbox 360 controller. I love it. I think it is (with one exception) the best game controller made to date. It is comfortable, everything is placed in the right place, the wireless is great, battery life is quite acceptable. But… the D-Pad on it is terrible. It doesn’t respond too much of the time and it doesn’t always respond accurately. Most of the time I can live with it, but, for the Arcade games MS is now pushing (Pac Man, etc.) it is completely unusable, IMO.
I came across The “Original” D-Pad Mod and decided to give it a try. I bought the sand papers, but, I didn’t have a Torx T08H driver (the same as a Torx T08 driver but with a “security” hole drilled out of the tip). I looked at all the nearby hardware shops and Home Depots but no luck. Lots of T08 drivers around, lots of T08 with security hole “bits”, but I needed a driver with a thin shaft that is at least an inch long to get to the screws within the controller. A local mom & pop hardware shop tried to order one for me but it didn’t come in so I decided to get one online. The best deal I found was on ebay. I won the buy it now auction on Thursday, it shipped on Friday, and I received the driver on Monday – living in NYC is great for receiving mail quickly.
I opened the controoler, sanded away, and put the controller back together. I admit the controller appears to be as nicely constructed on the inside as it is on the outside – it was easy to take apart (once you have the right tools) and easy to put back together. Good design.

Next I hear you asking… Did it help? Is the D-Pad wonderful now? (Does it still work?). I won’t be able to answer that until next week when I get my 360 back 🙁 Ho hum.

On a vaguely related note, I got two new card games for our weekly game playing group. We haven’t yet played Tag 6! but it looks like fun and I suspect we will play it next week. We did play Landlord! and really enjoyed it. While Tag 6! looks easy to pick up and play, Landlord! took a while for everybody to understand and get the hang of – I would recommend it though, we did have a really good time. We played through two games, both times with six players. The first time through took about two hours, the second time through took an hour (which is probably pretty close to normal).

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