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Using Windows 8 Metro with a gamepad

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've been trying to look up on windows 8 with using with a gamepad, which I somehow notice no one is talking about. Most people bring up Metro using the touch interface (but Metro on windows 8 looks like the new xbox 360 interface), which I think metro could allow gamepad support identical to the 360, especially when booting up windows 8 sends you to the metro interace.

In fact your windows 8 account is linked to your xbox 360 account from the start, although I'm not sure if you can use some of the features (like Party Chat). Games for Windows Live allows you to use your live account, yet, even if you are a gold account member, you can't use features exclusive to gold, like party chat, which is really a shame, especially when the 360 still doesn't have skype support.

I'm really into home theater, and while I like gaming on my front projector with a mouse and keyboard, it's still pretty inconvenient and cumbersome, even if you want to use a gamepad, you still need it to use the menus and interface to use it. I'd like to boot my computer, start up steam through metro, and fire up Team Fortress 2 or Battlefield 3, all through a wireless 360 controller, as well as using a 360 headset to smack talk at people just like I can with a normal 360, only on a cinemascope screen at 60FPS maxed out. Maybe party chat with some xbox buddies while I travel through Skyrim on my laptop would be nice too.

Speaking of which, many the folks at Valve like Gabe Newell, do not like Windows 8, where Newell called it a "Catastrophe" complaining about the closed nature of Windows 8. Microsoft has planned to adopt the Apple policy of apps that they take about 20-30% from apps being sold on their store.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2012/0...embrace-linux/

I bring this up since Steam is a pretty big deal to me, and Valve is also planning on the "Steam Big Picture" interface intended for home theater gaming. I'm hoping that Steam Big picture will work well with Metro because not using it might be counter productive with Big Picture.

http://www.steampowered.com/steamwor...bigpicture.php
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 
*Bump*

I'm very surprised no one is interested in this. Considering the possibilities that Metro can allow such convenience and capability as a home theater device. Metro and Steam big picture could turn Windows 8 into the next Xbox if they did it right. No need to use the desktop interface to interact with the PC, only now you can get the power and versatility of a gaming computer, something a lot more powerful than the next gen gaming consoles, yet have a large collection out of the gate, only now you can use a game controller or television remote without using a mouse and keyboard to do so.
post #3 of 19
I just plugged in my wired 360 controller into a computer running the RTM of Windows 8, and it does nothing on the Start Screen. Pinball FX2 supports the 360 controller, but the OS itself does not.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I just plugged in my wired 360 controller into a computer running the RTM of Windows 8, and it does nothing on the Start Screen. Pinball FX2 supports the 360 controller, but the OS itself does not.

Thanks for posting and letting me know at least. smile.gif

That is a shame that Metro doesn't support gamepad at least, and I begin to question why are we forced to use Metro without any input device that can take advantage with it. Metro on the 360 isn't great, but it's much better suited than using an interface intended for a desktop. I think it's really counter-intuitive to limit Metro to a Mouse and Keyboard considering Metro was made with tablets in mind.
post #5 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor2010 View Post

Thanks for posting and letting me know at least. smile.gif
That is a shame that Metro doesn't support gamepad at least, and I begin to question why are we forced to use Metro without any input device that can take advantage with it. Metro on the 360 isn't great, but it's much better suited than using an interface intended for a desktop. I think it's really counter-intuitive to limit Metro to a Mouse and Keyboard considering Metro was made with tablets in mind.

We're not. the only time you're 'forced' to use it is at initial startup. once the menu loads, click the 'desktop' button at the bottom left and boom, no more Metro, normal desktop (albeit without a start button, but you still aren't 'forced' to use Metro 100% of the time, just that .05%)
post #6 of 19
I wonder if Kinect support comes in? That would fix most of the issues and get you into a place where the controller worked. I could be wrong.
post #7 of 19
Hey Trogdor. SharpDX is supported on Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, and you can use XInput to use a Gamepad.

http://sharpdx.org/about/features
post #8 of 19
If you want to control Windows 8 start screen with XBox controller go to www.xbstart.info and download the app. It adds Xbox One sounds as well
post #9 of 19
Might have to try that out. I just would be concerned that the guide button thing might interfere with Steam's use of it.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

Might have to try that out. I just would be concerned that the guide button thing might interfere with Steam's use of it.

I am always wary of trying apps/downloads like that. Because I fear dread the bloat and malware that I might be exposing myself too. But with that said...Why in the world didn't Microsoft see this coming. And in fact do it themselves so as to "Blend" their ecosystem in creative ways? It is one of the main reasons I passed on their new console at launch. PC was the perfect venue to converge all of their peripheral devices...retail and Backward Compatibility execution/portal. A huge miss IMO.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrelbelly View Post

I am always wary of trying apps/downloads like that. Because I fear dread the bloat and malware that I might be exposing myself too. But with that said...Why in the world didn't Microsoft see this coming. And in fact do it themselves so as to "Blend" their ecosystem in creative ways? It is one of the main reasons I passed on their new console at launch. PC was the perfect venue to converge all of their peripheral devices...retail and Backward Compatibility execution/portal. A huge miss IMO.

Having looked at the page, I frankly rather wait for someone to try the software out, possibly see a video or review from a legitimate source. I haven't even upgraded to windows 8 yet, so even If I do try it now, I don't have access to the Metro UI. I really liked Steam Big Picture (although some severe stability problems post-release are a deal breaker), but I'm starting to feel fine about being pro-active.

Possible feedback for the coder creator if he's reading, I'm wondering if this software will work without interfacing with the M&KB, and if the software reactivates itself whenever you activate your PC. Also how does it interface with controllers emulating X-input (I use a PS3 controller with X-input wrapper, except I need to rerun the program to use bluetooth).

Also, holy cow on the viewing count on this post! Seems like people are interested in it.
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor2010 View Post

Having looked at the page, I frankly rather wait for someone to try the software out, possibly see a video or review from a legitimate source. I haven't even upgraded to windows 8 yet, so even If I do try it now, I don't have access to the Metro UI. I really liked Steam Big Picture (although some severe stability problems post-release are a deal breaker), but I'm starting to feel fine about being pro-active.

Possible feedback for the coder creator if he's reading, I'm wondering if this software will work without interfacing with the M&KB, and if the software reactivates itself whenever you activate your PC. Also how does it interface with controllers emulating X-input (I use a PS3 controller with X-input wrapper, except I need to rerun the program to use bluetooth).

Also, holy cow on the viewing count on this post! Seems like people are interested in it.

Man O' War! eek.gif You are not kidding on the view count. I hadn't paid any attention to that. You and oomek must have stirred everyone at Microsoft awake with that one...along with the xbstart link. oomek better run for cover. The MIB may be knocking on the door soon. cool.gif
post #13 of 19

Idk if this is what you are looking for but for the past 3 years I have been using the xbox 360 controller as pretty much my sole controller for my htpc on windows 7 and now 8. All you need is the excellent  program  xpadder (http://www.xpadder.com/). It allows you to send keyboard and mouse commands with the 360 controller. So you can use the stick to move the cursor and what ever buttons you want for mouse clicks. Right now I have the left stick to control the cursor l/r bumper for l/r mouse buttons. The direction pad controls the keyboard arrow keys (for easy menu navigation), a&b is enter and backspace, x&y page up and down ,right stick controls volume and Select brings up on screen keyboard and start brings up task manager (in case a program or game ever freezes). But what really makes the program shine is you can make different profiles for different apps and games and set it up to automatically switch to that profile when either the program is started or the program window is in front!!. I have a profiles setup for steam and all my games individually,chrome ,foxfire, xbmc etc etc. So now I have total control of my htpc with nothing but the 360 controller and I love it. I can go seamlessly from watching a movie, to surfing the web to playing a game with out ever having to put the controller down or get off the couch and hunt around for another remote or mouse! My only gripe with it is microsoft has no drivers for the chat pad to work with windows so I have to use the onscreen keyboard.If someone could make some drivers for the chatpad I would be forever great full then it would be the ultimate gamming htpc controller..

post #14 of 19

Idk if this is what you are looking for, but I have been using the 360 controller as my sole control for my htpc for over 3 years first on win 7 and now 8. All you need is the excellent program Xpadder. It allows you to control the mouse and send keyboard presses with the 360 controller. Right now I have the left stick for the cursor and l/r triggers for mouse buttons, Directional pad = keyboard arrows (for easy menu navigation), a= enter, b= backspace, x/y= page up/down,right stick = volume control , select = brings up on screen keyboard and start = task manager (in case a game or app ever freezes). So now i have total control of my htpc with only the 360. But what really makes this shine is xpadder allows you to set up different profiles for different apps and games then automatically switches to that profile whenever the program is started or the program window is in front!! I have a bunch of different profiles for steam,all my games, chrome ,firefox ,xbmc ,etc,etc. So now i can go seamlessly from watching a movie, to surfing the web, to playing a game  with out ever having to pick up another remote or get off the couch and hunt for the mouse and keyboard! My only gripe is microsoft has no drivers to make the chatpad work on windows so i have to se the on-screen keyboard :( If someone could make some drivers for the chat pad it would be the ultimate htpc/gamming controller. and I would be forever grateful. 

post #15 of 19
Listen, even though I feel offended a bit by your post I'll respond. I wrote this app mainly for myself and as an excercise in DLL calling from C#. If you are paranoid about spyware just don't use it, but don't spread the panic please. From my experience most spyware is beeing injected into a custom made installers by a third parties without any consent from the author. My app doesn't have any installer.

Why I bother sharing it on this forum? Because I've been here and on some other forums before while searching for that kind of app, and saw people asking for a clean and easy solution, so I made one.

Will it interfere with Steam BP ? I Don't know. I'm not a big fan of a Big Picture, it's to heavy for me, that's why I wanted to use a start screen as a game launcher. You can pin steam games to start using PinSteam app.

That's all from me? In case of any further questions you can mail me (i dont read that forum often) my email is at the bottom of my website.

Cheers
Radek D.
Edited by oomek - 1/11/14 at 5:26pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trogdor2010 View Post

Having looked at the page, I frankly rather wait for someone to try the software out, possibly see a video or review from a legitimate source. I haven't even upgraded to windows 8 yet, so even If I do try it now, I don't have access to the Metro UI. I really liked Steam Big Picture (although some severe stability problems post-release are a deal breaker), but I'm starting to feel fine about being pro-active.

Possible feedback for the coder creator if he's reading, I'm wondering if this software will work without interfacing with the M&KB, and if the software reactivates itself whenever you activate your PC. Also how does it interface with controllers emulating X-input (I use a PS3 controller with X-input wrapper, except I need to rerun the program to use bluetooth).

Also, holy cow on the viewing count on this post! Seems like people are interested in it.

If your PS3 gamepad is visible as a XBox controller by the system in theory it should work.

XBStart checks what app is in focus and activates only when Start Screen is showing. It emulates Keyboard's keystrokes.
It will even work with windows 7 start menu, but what's the point of it.

Some other person wrote that XPaddler provides that functionality. Not exactly, it doesn't utilize the guide button and makes no sounds. I know nothing about it's abilities in start screen detection.
Edited by oomek - 1/11/14 at 5:30pm
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oomek View Post

Listen, even though I feel offended a bit by your post I'll respond. I wrote this app mainly for myself and as an excercise in DLL calling from C#. If you are paranoid about spyware just don't use it, but don't spread the panic please. From my experience most spyware is beeing injected into a custom made installers by a third parties without any consent from the author. My app doesn't have any installer.

Why I bother sharing it on this forum? Because I've been here and on some other forums before while searching for that kind of app, and saw people asking for a clean and easy solution, so I made one.

Will it interfere with Steam BP ? I Don't know. I'm not a big fan of a Big Picture, it's to heavy for me, that's why I wanted to use a start screen as a game launcher. You can pin steam games to start using PinSteam app.

That's all from me? In case of any further questions you can mail me (i dont read that forum often) my email is at the bottom of my website.

Cheers
Radek D.

Sorry for the antagonizing comments from us on the forum oomek. I feel kinda bad now realizing you created the code. frown.gif Unfortunately I don't have Windows 8 installed so I can't really take advantage of the software. However, if you or anyone on the forum can give an example of the software from a video capture, I would appreciate it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by oomek View Post

If your PS3 gamepad is visible as a XBox controller by the system in theory it should work.

XBStart checks what app is in focus and activates only when Start Screen is showing. It emulates Keyboard's keystrokes.
It will even work with windows 7 start menu, but what's the point of it.

Some other person wrote that XPaddler provides that functionality. Not exactly, it doesn't utilize the guide button and makes no sounds. I know nothing about it's abilities in start screen detection.

Good to hear and thanks for answering my post! Just a small note (even though you mention mail), I wonder though if the software would deactivate/reactivate if say you use steam big picture, since I would use XBstart only when Metro is displayed.

On Xpadder, it isn't what I was looking for either, since we're basically asking something simpler and mainly involves the Metro UI, not the desktop UI.
post #18 of 19
I'm not sure why you are offended. Joined Jan 2014, 1st post is link to software with no source code. Anybody not cautious about posts like this are too gullible to be on the internet.
post #19 of 19
Hi, I've updated XBStart to version 1.1
Go to my website and grab one www.xbstart.info
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