Source - MadCatz and InterAct press releases
InterAct and MadCatz pumped out a couple of press releases between them to cover the topic of third party peripherals for the Xbox yesterday. Both companies are now officially licensed to use the Xbox name and logo in the manufacturer, distribution and marketing of peripheral devices. MadCatz will be providing a new controller, a memory unit, a racing wheel and their Panther joystick device, which has been acclaimed critically by many hardcore PC gamers. The Panther is described as the "Ultimate first person action combat controller", and features a trackball, joystick and a comfy interface. MadCatz recently launched the Panther for PS2, along with a similar range of peripherals to those that they have signed with Microsoft to produce. The controller mentioned in the press release may refer to the 900MHz Wireless controller, which MadCatz produce for PS2 currently and describe as "the best controller ever made". Using wireless RF as opposed to notoriously unreliable intra-red technology, the controller could finally turn the gaming controller into the "TV remote" of the future. C.O.O. Darren Richardson commented that "it is critical that peripheral companies work closely with the first party game system manufacturers to ensure compatibility and consumer satisfaction", a fact that anyone who has experienced shoddy peripheral devices over the years will agree with. The InterAct deal is a very similar one. According to the press release, the company will support the needs of gamers with everything from basic gamepads and controllers to arcade sticks and racing wheels when the Xbox is launched. Scott Loomis, the Xbox's 3rd Party Peripheral Program Manager claimed that Microsoft wants to "ensure that a full line of compatible accessories are available to enhance the Xbox user experience". InterAct is a subsidiary of the Recoton Corporation, which unlike MadCatz specializes in consumer electronics for every walk of life. They also own the GameShark products and more trademarks than you can shake a particularly large stick at.