Titan

I am, as you’re all well aware, deliriously excited for Street Fighter V. There’s a problem though. As far as consoles go, the game is exclusive to the PlayStation 4. My very expensive fight sticks from the last generation are for the Xbox 360.

I’ve been trying to find a way to use them on the PS4 without having to resort to dual-modding them by replacing or augmenting their PC boards. (The last time I tried to solder something I set my face on fire.) The Titan One, an external mod that plugs in to a USB port could very well be the solution to my particular problem, along with many others – because it lets you use just about any controller with any console. That’s what it says on the packaging, and that’s what it delivers, though there are a handful of caveats.

What’s in the box?

For starters, there isn’t one. The Titan One comes in a blister pack and the whole thing belies the tiny unit’s premium price. The unit itself seems to be cheaply made, sporting a matte plastic, USB input and output ports, a little LCD screen and another mini USB port. It comes with a little mini USB cable that plugs in to the unit and one’s PC. You’re definitely going to need a PC to get the most out of this thing, which I’ll explain later. You’ll also get an utterly useless Quick Guide set of instructions that hardly tells you what to do to get things working.

How it works

It’s not exactly plug and play, though you can use it in a limited capacity as a proxy for whichever controller you wish to plug in to your console of choice. Plug the Titan One in to your console, plug that console’s actual controller in to the Titan One and let it authenticate. Once it’s done that, you can unplug the controller, and plug your controller of choice in instead. Essentially, it’ll be emulating your console’s controller by pretending to be it. And it works. I plugged in my large, Hori-made Xbox 360 Marvel vs Capcom 3 Ultimate fightstick in, and was playing a few rounds of Mortal Kombat X on the PS4 in moments. The Xbox Button was magically mapped to the PlayStation button, and everything worked. Until it didn’t.

ScriptingGPCscripting
Look ma! Scripting!

The PlayStation 4, you see, utilises some weird authentication system that requires the DualShock 4 to authenticate with the console every 10 minutes or so, so it would disconnect after a few matches, requiring reconnection. In the latest firmware version of the Titan One, you can enable partial crossover, which means that the thing will automatically re-authenticate and reconnect every 10 minutes automatically. It takes just about a second, but will pause your gameplay while it happens, leaving you unable to do anything for that time. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s hardly ideal if you plan to play online matches of any fighting game. Thankfully, it’s a powerful unit; there are ways to get around that. Thanks to some pretty easy scripting, you can actually have it re-auth at the press of a button combination instead of waiting for the system to re-auth on its own, allowing you to force it between rounds.

To do that, and in fact use any of the Titan One’s more advanced features, you’re going to need to hook the Titan One up to your PC and use the G-tuner software you’ll have to download from the manufacturer’s website. It opens up a world of possibilities, with visual and GPC scripting that you could easily argue adds cheating; things like easy double jumps, quick-scoping or rapid fire. It’s not necessary, and is wholly superfluous but the power is certainly there. You can then send your scripts to the unit, and toggle through nine of them at the press of a button.

Usage

Other controllers, like Nintendo’s excellent Wii U Pro controller or even its bulky gamepad can be used on other systems like the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 or Xbox consoles, and I had a lot of fun just experimenting. Yes, the motion-controlled Wii remote works fine on the PS4, using the gyroscope to replace analogue movement. No I wouldn’t recommend it. Connecting those wireless sorts of controllers in to your systems requires a separate Bluetooth dongle which you’ll plug in to the Titan One and synch using the G-tuner software.

Said G-tuner software supports a handful of plugins, which you’ll need to use if you want to use the Titan One to its full potential. And that potential includes using a Mouse and Keyboard on consoles. It works – as does just about any controller you can think of. Want to use an old Steering Wheel on the Xbox One? It’ll work. Want to use an old PC flight controller on the PS4? That’ll work too – though it’s not as simple as you’d like.

For starters, using arcane controllers on new systems, or even using archaic ones like a Mouse and Keyboard requires that you have the Titan One unit plugged in to a PC or laptop, which then reroutes the input data from the mouse, keyboard or controller plugged in to your PC. So yes, you’ll need to have your PC right by your console if you want to use a mouse and keyboard, which very nearly defeats the point of the whole thing. If you were hoping to just plug a USB mouse or keyboard in, you’re out of luck.

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On top of that, you’ll have to use plugins to retune the set up for each game you want to play, depending on their respective button layouts. It all becomes quite a pain in practice, given that the software isn’t as user-friendly as it should be. Thankfully, once everything is set up, it’s done and it all works. There’s no noticeable lag that I’ve felt, and with a bit of tuning, aiming and moving about in console games with a mouse and keyboard feels and works well; far better than it does with other similar devices that promise the same thing. Still, games don’t quite feel right, though I feel that more tuning and fiddling with the cumbersome yet powerful software could yield better results.

What’s wrong with it?

If there are a niggles beyond the cheap exterior and required Bluetooth dongle, it’s that chat and audio headsets don’t work through the controllers, so you’ll need to make other provisions for chat. The software could also do with a bit of polish and the whole process of using and setting it up could be made much simpler, but it does what it sets out to do: let you use controllers that you shouldn’t otherwise on your system of choice. You can also only ever connect one controller to the Titan One, so you’ll need multiple units if you want to connect two more controllers.

You can get the Titan One locally from CC Entertainment, currently available for R899. 

Last Updated: June 29, 2015

Titan One
Summary
Still, I’m happy it exists, because it means I don’t need to buy new arcade fight sticks at the moment. The Titan One is a supremely powerful little device, though I feel that only a small percentage of users will actually make the most of it. If you want to use unsupported controllers and add cheat functions to them, this’ll let you do just that. Just remember that it’ll take a bit of head-scratching and reading forums to do it.
7

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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