Play like EVO Champ Luffy with a PS2 to xbox 360 converter

In 2014, the Evolution Fighting Series saw the most unlikely of Ultra Street Fighter 4 champions – for the first time ever, a player not based in Asia (or Japan, in particular), had beaten the best players in the world. And even more interesting is that he did it with some sort of PS2 to Xbox 360 converter.

Wait.. the guy won with this controller? Isn't this outdated?

Wait.. the guy won with this controller? Isn’t this outdated?

Now the reason why this choice of equipment piqued a lot of interest was rooted in the fact that while everyone else had either top-line fightsticks or controllers, this guy opted to use a controller from a different era (and console for that matter). And the guy was winning in both dominating fashion and unfathomable comebacks was amazing to watch!

quarter view of the ps2 to xbox360 converter

So this contraption was his key to victory?

Nonetheless, the success that Olivier “Luffy” Hay had garnered in over the years can be testament to both the amount of time spent practicing and competing in Europe’s fighting game scene (with strong players like Valmaster, Ryan Hart and Alioune), and absolute comfort and familiarity in his choice of input method.

So if you, too, wish to go the same route as Luffy for reasons as trying to stay competitive in fighting games (or all games for that matter), while at the same time wish to do so with an inexpensive approach, then hopefully the setup that I am about to share here will guide you in doing so.

The equipment you will be needing:

quarter view of the ps1 controller

This is one of the most beloved controllers ever created!

A Sony PlayStation Controller

Obviously the first piece of this setup would have to be the controller. And while there have been several controller iterations already that either came bundled or released per version of the PlayStation, controller purists have often said that the controller that came as stock with the first PlayStation is the most supreme one.

This version of the PlayStation controller has one of the best input response translated in-game from all its other versions, and it’s further enhanced by all the buttons having an equal amount of pressing resistance and length of the button’s travel time – what this means is that the buttons do not feel sunken at all and goes from fully-pressed to unpressed pretty quickly – a definite luxury to have especially in gaming situations where an action’s feedback needs to happen very quickly.

front view of the ps2 dual shock controller

While deemed useful for most other games as the standard movement input, analog sticks aren’t as accurate as a d-pad when it comes to fighting games.

Another thing that makes this controller a suitable choice for fighting games is the fact that it does not give emphasis to the use of the DualShock analog sticks that were seen in later versions of the controller.

Fighting games have a tendency to rely on exact directional inputs in order to pull of moves in-game – which is something that the analog stick may not offer well enough.

Furthermore, having these analog sticks can actually lessen the amount of freedom a gamer’s thumbs may need. I’ve said time and again how people’s thumbs differ significantly from others, so the amount of space that people need on a controller will vary, so having analog sticks out of the way will not constrict your thumbs when you play.

And now the converter!

quarter view of the ps2 to xbox360 converter

This converter’s lightweight, simple to set up, and affordable, too.

A recommended product would be this PS2 to Xbox 360 Controller Adapter Conversion Cable. 

This part of the setup may be a bit more complicated as there are plenty of solutions out there that suit this need. Some of these even go over and beyond the configuration needed (PS/PS2 to Xbox 360) and would even offer compatibility for the PS3 and PC platforms.

These do sound great, however one thing that should be kept in mind in this configuration is that some of these products require you an Xbox 360 wired controller to do a passthrough before fulfilling the conversion. This means that you need to connect an Xbox 360 controller to your console first, disconnect it, then connect your converted PS2 controller.

Yep, that kinda defeats the purpose of having a converter.

I couldn’t agree more – and while it makes sense for the passthrough to establish a clean bridge between protocols, this configuration is meant to be more practical in that setup time and equipment needed is at minimal.

front view of the ps2 to xbox360 converterWith this PS2 to Xbox 360 Controller Adapter Conversion Cable, you do not need to use a passthrough method – you simply connect your PS2 controller, plug the converter’s USB cable into the 360, and turn it on by either pressing the guide button on the converter or pressing the left analog stick.

After this, the console will recognize your PS2 controller, and you’re all set! The best part about this setup is that there is minimal to no visible lag while playing, it’s as if you were using a native 360 controller!

This is fantastic and all, but I need to remind you that..

Just because you will now be using a setup that is similar to a high-profile professional gamer (and former EVO champion at that), it does not mean that you will be garnering the same success as someone like Luffy.

This configuration is just a means to play games, or fighting games in particular, using the more coveted and adored game controllers ever created in the past 20 years. It is still up to you to put in the time and effort to learn and get good at fighting games.

What this also does is give you the peace of mind that you will be playing (and competing) in video games with a controller that you are most comfortable with. This comfort will eventually lead to understanding your controller’s input methods, and evidently garner the performance you desire.

Finally, for some added inspiration, here’s Luffy’s epic finals matchup with another amazing player named Bonchan in last year’s EVO (credits to IGN for this link):

Happy gaming!


Would you be interested in this kind of controller setup? Do you know of any product that can do a similar or better job? Or are you looking for something that would translate to future consoles? Let me know in the comments section!

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  • Andrew says:

    Great post. Clear and easy to read. Makes sense to use the controller without analog sticks. Quite interesting information that most of us wouldn’t even think about.

    • Raphy says:

      There is a whole lot of merit to use the non-Dual Shock version of the PlayStation Controller as the lack of analog sticks gives the most optimal movement for a gamer’s thumbs. Not only that, the d-pad on the controller has the best feedback/response from any iteration of the Sony PlayStation.

      I’ve had good memories with that controller myself – I got really good playing Tekken on that controller, as well as other fighting games. The precision in directional inputs are far more accurate on this one compared to analog sticks!

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