Reviewed: January 6, 2007
Imagine my delight when Santa dropped off a nice package of NFL gaming hardware this Christmas! Unfortunately Santa didnít see fit to get the Packers into the playoffs, but at least we have hope for next season.
MadCatz has the corner on pro sports accessories for the various game systems. They have official licenses for the NFL, MLB, and NBA. Theyíve had the NFL license for a few years and made a big splash last year with official NFL controllers and team faceplates for the 360. Unfortunately the faceplates were just a handful of teams and were not very easy to find.
I imagine at some point the MadCatz accounting department realized that making faceplates for all 32 NFL teams was going to be expensive Ė especially with maybe 10% of XBOX 360 owners actually buying a faceplate, and even smaller percentage being hardcore football fans. So here we are with NFL faceplate version 2.0.
The new faceplates are actually an innovative kit. The kit contains a standard XBOX 360 faceplate, a transparent polycarbonate (i.e. clear plastic) snap-on cover, and official insert graphics for all 32 NFL teams. When I first heard about this approach I wasnít too enthused. But having actually installed it on my system, I am thrilled with it.
Installation is a snap (pun intended). All you have to do is pop the plastic cover off the faceplate, place your team graphic in, and snap the faceplate back in place. You can either use the original faceplate or the extra one provided. It looks great and really showcases the 360 in my A/V rack.
Having all 32 NFL team graphics included also allows for a quick change should fortune not favor your favorite team. I was born in Wisconsin, so I have this extra chromosome that makes me like beer, brats and the Packers. However since I donít live in my beloved cheesehead country, and the Pack are looking forward to next season, I could (in theory) switch my faceplate graphics to the Colts for the playoffs. I would never do such a thing, but everyone likes to have options and this feature might be for you.
If you are an artsy person, you might find this kit to be a nice opportunity to display your work. You can use the NFL graphics as a template to make your own in Photoshop.
The only drawback to this kit is the graphics are made for vertical viewing. So if you have your 360 horizontal, get used to viewing the team logo sideways. It would have been nice to have a reversible insert with horizontal graphics on one side and vertical on the other. But maybe that will come with version 3.0.
If you stand in line to get the latest Madden game and enjoy wearing garments adorned with your favorite team logo, this is simply the next step in your evolution as a fan. Itís the perfect companion to the MadCatz NFL controllers for XBOX 360.