Game consoles are for many people what the word “entertainment” in home entertainment networks means. There’s a good reason that people want to add high-speed wireless networking to their game consoles.
You can create a multiplayer gaming environment when you use a wireless bridge, which allows for more exciting action in game play. You also can move the controller where you need it.
The three main consoles in use today are the Sony PlayStation 2, the Microsoft Xbox, and the Nintendo GameCube. Of the three, only the Microsoft Xbox has made it easy for you to connect your console with built-in networking with an integrated Ethernet controller.
To use the Xbox as a wireless device, you need to purchase the $100 Xbox Wireless Adapter MN-740 from Microsoft. This is an 802.11g device that bridges to your Ethernet network, and it is reported that the MN-740 also is easily installed on a PS/2.
You’ll also find that the wireless adapter is setup to download software updates when they become available. Xbox lets you connect 16 consoles together. To add the wireless adapter to Xbox, do the following:
- Go to the Dashboard and select Update to download the latest software.
- Attach the wireless adapter to your Xbox.
- Insert your Xbox Live setup CD and configure your account.
The Xbox Wireless Adapter from Microsoft seems particularly easy to install and use by those who have commented on it. Other vendors also sell wireless bridges for the PS/2 and GameCube game consoles, including LinkSys, D-Link, and SMC. Most of the early devices used the 802.11b.
Here’s how you install a wireless network bridge on a PS/2:
- With the power supply disconnected, remove the expansion cover at the back.
- Remove the connection cover to reveal the connector for the network adapter.
- Insert the network adapter and gently tighten the screens.
- Plug your Ethernet cable into the connector that is under the Network connector label.
You can find complete instructions from Sony.
There aren’t as many reasons to network a GameCube, with very few games that support online multiplayer action. The installation of a networking function in the GameCube is given on the Nintendo Web site. A good starting place for reading about wireless game console networking is the article “Unwire Your Game Console”.