[Review] XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter for PS3

Preferences: we all have them. Whether you like Coca-Cola over Pepsi, subtitled anime over dubbed, or dogs over cats. As gamers, some prefer to play shooters with a controller, while others prefer to use a keyboard and mouse. However you can’t use a keyboard and mouse (to play games) on a console… Or can you? The XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter for PS3 aims to change that. Still, the question remains: Does it hit its mark, or does it shoot itself in the foot?

Better known as XCM, Farmer has been in the business for roughly 10 years, making such products as converters, peripherals and cases. Their first popular and arguably their best-known product is the Xtender Case Mod for the original XBox. Most people now refer to their products as XCM (short for “Xtender Case Mod”) and not Farmer. So, they’ve went by the letters XCM ever since. I discovered the XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter for PS3 (Rateup) while trying to figure out some way to play games that have more complex control schemes, such as Demon’s Souls and Batman: Arkham Asylum.

When you get the Rateup, you get the adapter itself and the instruction manual. While I’ve seen some people say the manual leaves things to be desired, I find it to be clear and straight to the point. It explains the adapter in diagrams and how to set it up.

The Rateup boasts the ability to map any part of the controller to any key of the keyboard and mouse, including both analog sticks and the buttons underneath them (L3 and R3). It has 2 USB ports, 2 PS/2 ports and one PlayStation/PlayStation 2 port, so the keyboard and/or mouse you use can be USB or PS/2. The Rateup comes with a preset/default mapping for the keyboard and mouse, but you can also customize the mapping to your liking.

To set your keyboard up how you want it after you’ve plugged it in to the Rateup made sure it’s set to port 1 (by pressing F1 on the keyboard), reset your PS3 controller and plugging that in is: You press the “P” (program) button, press what button on the controller you’d wish to assign, and push the desired button on the keyboard or mouse. It saves your mappings to the adapter itself, but certain things are not saved, such as your right analog settings. You can use a PlayStation 2 controller, but unlike the keyboard/mouse, you can’t remap the buttons.

The Rateup also has built-in Turbo/Rapid-Fire — 8 instances, actually. One for each action button. This is very useful in action games like Dante’s Inferno, or God of War. In addition, it lets you adjust the sensitivity of your mouse with 2 dials, one for the X axis and one for the Y. XCM also says that the Rateup is compatible with 95% of different kinds of mice and keyboards, not every one.

While it says it is compatible with all PS3 games, I haven’t had a chance to try the Rateup on games that use motion controls so I cannot say whether or not it works with those games. However, XCM has made a similar product that they say “supports Playstation 3 Sixaxis [motion control] games.”

As a physically challenged gamer, some games are difficult for me to play, even using BenHeck’s Access Controller. While I don’t play First or Third-Person Shooters (“FPS” or ‘Shooter” respectively) like Call of Duty, I’ve tried the Rateup with my wired HP keyboard, playing several titles, including Trine, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and Soul Calibur 4. Although I had to re-program the Rateup for each game (because I play one-handed), it was a tremendous help in Trine and Batman: Arkham Asylum. I am now able to play more efficiently, having the ability to remap the control to the keyboard, giving me full access to it.

In Trine and Batman: Arkham Asylum, I can pull off moves that require the shoulder buttons to be pressed, without having to contort my hand to press 3 things all at once. For example, I can do the Wizard’s magic in Trine, and stealth takedowns in Batman. The fact that you have to press 3 things at once was the only thing that stopped me from actually putting time into those titles. However now that I can have full access now, I don’t foresee anything stopping me, unless there are hidden motion controls that I am not aware of. Soul Calibur 4, however, I’m having trouble getting used to, mostly because I’ve spent years and years playing fighting games on a controller, not a keyboard. I can do it but I have a little trouble.

There are a few drawbacks with the Rateup, including the fact that not every part of your mapping is saved and the somewhat redundant setup, but none of them are deal-breakers. I can’t say whether or not it works well for Shooters, but as an adapter that lets you use your keyboard as a controller, the Rateup works wonderful.

The XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter for PS3 retails for $98.99 USD on Extreme Mods. It may seem pricey, but we gamers spend around $150 on an arcade stick, so it’s rather cheap.

Extreme Mods is a website that sells console modification products and accessories, such as cases and cables. They have been featured by such media sources as Game Informer, GamePro, and X-Play. In addition, they are an official North American reseller of XCM/Farmer products. They sent us the XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter for PS3 for review and I’d like to thank them for doing so.

Andrew Monkelban

Andrew Monkelban is an avid gamer and writer, who has been featured in Second Skin, and on Wired's GameLife and The Escapist. He is also really into the Japanese entertainment scene. Even though he has Cerebral Palsy, he does not let it stop him from doing what he loves, although he's always on the look-out for technology that would help him with difficult tasks. He came to PopTen in the Summer of 2009, where he's now able to combine his passions.

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1 Response

  1. September 4, 2013

    […] Video Sunglasses, just to try them out. The video shows me playing the PS3 demo of Vanquish, using the XCM XFPS Rateup Adapter and a standard DualShock 3 to play. As you can see, it’s not perfect, but it came out very […]

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