NEWS - Monday, March 1, 2004

Pricey Wi-Fi For Xbox

If you’re ready to take your Xbox gaming console online, but you’re unwilling to string an ethernet cable from your home office to your living room, Microsoft’s new Xbox Wireless Adapter (MN-740) may be your ticket to play. To use the adapter to access Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming service, you need a wireless network, preferably hooked to a broadband Internet connection. The MN-740 is a 54-megabits-per-second 802.11g Wi-Fi adapter, so it’s also compatible with 11-mbps 802.11b networks. I tested the unit on my home 802.11b network, which uses a Linksys Wireless Access Point Router. The MN-740 located the network easily; the somewhat tedious task of entering my WEP security key via the game controller was the only inconvenience. Soon after completing the Xbox Live setup (you have to pay extra for access to the gaming service), I was deeply engrossed in Internet-based, multiperson play. I rarely experienced any lag during my CounterStrike game session, though other players’ voices (transmitted via headset) occasionally dropped out. That didn’t prevent them from cheerfully wiping the screen with my carcass.


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