Brook Super Converters review: Cross-console controller insanity is here
Posted by Decimal io on
Want to use an Xbox controller with your PlayStation 4 or a PlayStation controller with your Xbox One? Rather than creating an all-in-one product like the Titan One, Taiwanese manufacturer Brook Design offers a whole line of Super Converters that allow specific systems' controllers to be used on another console. We tried out three different Super Converters: PlayStation 3 and 4-to-Xbox One, Xbox 360/One-to-PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 2-to-Xbox One. Find out how well they work in our detailed review with video!
Brook Super Converter lineup
Brook offers a variety of Super Converters at different price points ranging from $25-50. We tested the options in bold, which we've elaborated on below:
- Xbox 360 to Xbox One
- PlayStation 3 and 4 to Xbox One
- PlayStation 3 to Xbox One
- PlayStation 2 to Xbox One
- PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4
- Xbox One to PlayStation 4
- Xbox 360 to PlayStation 4
- Xbox 360 and One to PlayStation 4
- PlayStation 2 to PlayStation 3 and 4
- PlayStation 3 and 4 to PlayStation 3 and 4
PlayStation 3 and 4-to-Xbox One
The PS3/PS4-to-Xbox One Super Converter is a red USB device about the same size as a large flash drive or the Titan One. It connects to your Xbox One via a single USB port. To use a PlayStation 3 or 4 controller with the accessory, you'll plug it into the Super Converter's female port via USB cable. DualShock 3 controllers hook up with a mini-USB cable, and DualShock 4 supports micro-USB, so connecting to the Super Converter won't be a problem. As for
After connecting the controller to the Super Converter and plugging it into the Xbox One, the LED windows on both sides of the accessory will light up. The DualShock controller will then come on in wired mode, charging its battery while you use it.
Amazingly, the DualShock 3 and 4 can be used wirelessly with the Super Converter after the initial wired connection. Remove the USB cable from the controller, turn it back on, and it connects to the Super Converter via Bluetooth. All Brook Super Converters that accept PlayStation 3 and 4 controllers have built-in Bluetooth.
Whether you use a DualShock 3 or 4, the PlayStation buttons do just what you'd expect from the same-positioned button on Xbox One. L1 and R2 act as Left and Right Bumper, the PlayStation button acts as the Xbox One Home/Guide button, etc.
A few PlayStation controller functions don't do anything when used with the Super Converter on Xbox One. The DualShock 3 and 4's tilt functions are not supported on Xbox One, which makes sense. You can't use the DualShock 4's touchpad or touchpad button (pressing on the touch pad) either, but I believe Brook plans to allow users eventually to assign Xbox controller functions to the touchpad button.
A bit more disappointingly, headsets can't be used with any of the Super Converters. The DualShock 4 has a built-in headset jack, but it doesn't work on Xbox One through the converter. The technical wizardry required to make that happen would probably be impossible. For now, you'll have to use another Xbox One controller's headset for voice chat in online games.
As an added bonus, this converter allows the use of PlayStation controllers on Windows without the need for extra drivers or programs. If your system has the Xbox One controller driver installed, Windows will see the PlayStation controller/Super Converter combo as an Xbox One controller.
Using an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller with these Super Converters undoes the sync of those controllers with the original console, so you'll need to resync the controllers when you use them again with their native systems.
Xbox 360/One-to-PlayStation 4
The Xbox 360/One-to-PS4 Super Converter closely resembles the previous adapter, but it comes in green instead of red. As you'd imagine, it allows wired Xbox 360 controllers, Xbox One and the new Elite Controllers (connected via micro-USB cable), and some third-party controllers and sticks for those consoles to operate the PlayStation 4. Wireless Xbox 360 controllers won't work with Super Converters by default, but they will work if you connect a wireless Xbox 360 controller adapter for Windows to the Super Converter.
Some PlayStation 4 games require the use of the DualShock 4's goofy touchpad and/or its touchpad button. You won't be able to simulate touchpad functions with Xbox controllers, but the Super Converter has the touchpad button covered. Just press both analog sticks at once to "click in" the touchpad.
Elite Controllers have a couple of extra hardware functions not found on standard Xbox One controllers: trigger locks (preventing the trigger from fully depressing) and paddles (rear buttons that duplicate the function of other buttons). Both of these features are built into the controller and work with the 360/One-to-PS4 Super Converter.
PlayStation 2-to-Xbox One
The PS2-to-Xbox One Super Converter is much larger than its brethren because PlayStation 2 controllers have larger, non-USB connectors. This adapter has a switch to toggle between PlayStation 2 controllers or steering wheels, so it should convert at least some PS2 wheels for Xbox One play (though we don't have any PS2 wheels on hand for testing).
PlayStation 2 controllers do not have a PlayStation/Home button, which could've been a problem since Xbox One needs such a button. Luckily, the Super Converter itself has a built-in button that acts as the Xbox Home/Guide button. Thus, all Xbox One buttons are accounted for.
Note that the PS2-to-Xbox One Super Converter is not firmware upgradable, unlike the other two accessories in this review. It does support a turbo function (more on that below), but not button remapping.
Turbo and Button Remapping
Both the PS3/PS4-to-Xbox One and 360/One-to-PS4 Super Converter support two advanced functions that can make games easier to play: button remapping and turbo. The turbo function takes one continuous button press and passes it on to the console as multiple repeated presses, which can be very useful in some games.
And though the Super Converters map each controller's button to the natural equivalent for the target console, users might still want to remap buttons. You can do that as well, without the need for a remapping app. Both the turbo and remapping commands require users to input a series of button combinations, with instructions to do so written out in the included manual.
Turbo-fire is technically a form of cheating, in tournaments anyway. Brook offers "Tournament" firmware for the PS3/PS4-to-Xbox One and 360/One-to-PS4 Super Converters (and all other Super Converters that support upgradable firmware) that disables the rapid-fire turbo feature. The color of the built-in LED will change as well, communicating that your controller or arcade stick is tournament-safe.
Firmware updates and compatibility
Most Brook Super Converters, including the PS3/PS4-to-Xbox One and 360/One-to-PS4 Super Converters support firmware updates via Windows PC applications (Mac is not currently supported). Updating the firmware helps maintain compatibility when system and controller firmware changes, as well as adding compatibility with new first- and third-party controllers and arcade sticks.
Any Super Converter that connects to the PlayStation 4 will require a firmware update out of the box thanks to new console system firmware that partially breaks compatibility with the Super Converters. You can use a non-updated converter with an updated PS4, but it will disconnect from the console after 8 minutes. Brook is on top of their game, though, and quickly releases a new firmware when a manufacturer update monkies with their adapters.
The process of installing a Super Converter's new firmware is relatively painless, requiring a short sequence of button presses displayed within the update application. But actually figuring out which firmware to install can be a pain, as the firmware list is poorly laid out and explained (see screenshot above). Brook needs to list precisely release date and version number for each firmware release. Also, some super converters have an "A" and "B" file – it seems that users should install both files in most cases.
Super Converters work with some third-party controllers but not others. For instance, the Razer Wildcat and Power A Fusion Pro Controller don't currently play nice with the 360/One-to-PS4 Converter – but the Power A Mini-Series Controller works like a charm.
You can find a list of known compatible controllers in the Brook thread at Shoryuken.com. Even though some third party controllers don't work right now, Brook can add support for new controllers via a firmware update. In fact, Brook tells us that it hopes to make the Wildcat and Fusion Pro compatible in the future.
Brook or Titan One?
Way back in 2014, we reviewed a product called the Titan One that allows gamers to use the controller from one console on another console. Brook Super Converters don't work with multiple consoles like the Titan One. If you have an Xbox One and a PlayStation 4 and want to use each system's controller with the other, you'll need two different Super Converters for that. And Brook (understandably) doesn't even offer Super Converters for use with the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, or Wii. Still, many gamers will just want to convert one system's controllers to another system, in which case a single Super Converter ends up cheaper than the $60-70 Titan One.
The Super Converters' biggest advantage is that they don't require a controller from the destination system to function. To use the Titan One on an Xbox One, you have to start by plugging in a genuine Xbox One controller before swapping to a different controller. That Xbox One controller can't be used as long as the Titan One is spoofing its ID.
In contrast, Brook's converters don't require an original controller at all. When you plug a Super Converter into a Xbox One, the console automatically detects it as an Xbox One controller. Not only is this more convenient, but it also opens up some fun multiplayer scenarios. I only own two PlayStation 4 controllers, but thanks to my two 360/One-to-PS4 Super converters, I can play four-player local games on the PS4.
Oh, and don't forget that Brook Super Converters that accept PlayStation controllers have built-in Bluetooth. With Titan One, you'd need an additional Bluetooth Adapter for wireless functionality.
The Brook Super Converters perform extremely well. When you use one with the controller from another console, it's like the controller was made for that console. There is no noticeable lag, and everything just feels right. If you have a controller or arcade stick that you'd like to use with another supported console (and especially if you own both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4), I highly recommend Brook's Super Converters.
Brook's products are still relatively new, so availability is currently an issue