One of the great things about the Xbox is it’s abilities to play games in high definition modes. Not a lot of gamers get to experience this considering the high price of High definition TV’s. A lot of gamers also have to deal with sharing the TV with other people in the house and it can be hard to explain the virtues of getting to the next level in X-Men:Legends when someone else in your house wants to watch some crappy reality TV show. Thankfully, the X2VGA+ from Neoya helps kill two birds with one stone.
The X2VGA+ is a neat little adapter that allows you to play Xbox games on a computer monitor. You have the ability to play games in high definition (which is a real treat) and it frees up your TV for people in the house who are looking for some non-interactive entertainment. The X2VGA+ looks a lot like the Xbox Advanced AV Pack, and it plugs into your Xbox like another other cable connection.
Hooking up the X2VGA+ is easy, but you’ll need two additional cables to get it working correctly. The first is a male to male VGA cable and the second is a male to male audio connector. The first step is to plug the X2VGA+ into your Xbox. Then you connect the computer to the X2VGA+, and the X2VGA+ to the monitor. After you’ve got the video side hooked up, you just need to run the audio cables. This requires you to run the audio out from your computer to the X2VGA+ and then plug your speakers directly into the X2VGA+.
If you already have a KVM switch, you can connect it to the X2VGA+. If you don’t want to spend the extra dough on the audio cable, you can just plug a pair of headphones into the X2VGA+. If your computer speakers support optical inputs, the X2VGA+ has an optical out port. It doesn’t have an optical in though so you might have to swap cables around if you don’t have dual inputs on your speakers.
Once you have all of the cables connected it’s time to fire up your Xbox. After you fire up the Xbox, you need to push the “Screen Switch” button to switch over to the Xbox video stream. From the Xbox Dashboard, you will need to enter the Video mode and add support for the high definition modes (480P, 720, and 1080i). The Xbox Dashboard runs in a low resolution mode which may cause some issues on some monitors. To help you around this, Neoya has added a button to scroll the screen left to right in case you have issues. I didn’t have any issues but your mileage may vary.
Once you’ve got everything hooked up it’s just a matter of popping in a game disc and enjoying some high def action. It really is an amazing difference from playing on the TV (although going from a 36” TV to a 19” monitor is a bit of a drop off in size). Text is cleaner. The edges of objects are smoother…it’s almost a near religious experience. Switching back and forth between your computer and Xbox is just pushing a button.
There aren’t a lot of negatives for the X2VGA+ but there are some. The first is that if you have 5.1 speakers where the three wires for the different channels are tied together, you’re going to need another cable in order to use your computer speakers. This isn’t the fault of Neoya but more with the specific speaker vendor. The only other gripe I have is that a slightly longer cable might have been nice. This isn’t a big deal since it’s just my laziness that I’m trying to solve.
What I really like about the X2VGA+ is that not only does it allow you to play games in high def, for me it solved the dilemma of when the girlfriend wants to watch TV and I need to review an Xbox game, all I have to do is unplug the Xbox, take it upstairs and plug it into the computer. It’s exceedingly handy to be able to do this and the fact that you get to play games in high definition is just icing on the cake.
A great little device that allows you to view Xbox games on your computer monitor, allowing you to see all of your Xbox games in high definition glory.
Rating: 9.2 Excellent
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Hi, my name is Charles Husemann and I've been gaming for longer than I care to admit. For me it's always been about competing and a burning off stress. It started off simply enough with Choplifter and Lode Runner on the Apple //e, then it was the curse of Tank and Yars Revenge on the 2600. The addiction subsided somewhat until I went to college where dramatic decreases in my GPA could be traced to the release of X:Com and Doom. I have been a Microsoft Xbox MVP since 2009.