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Gear Review: Mad Catz Xbox 360 NFL Faceplate

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When I first read about faceplates for the Xbox 360 I thought it was a pretty dumb idea. Who would want to spend $20 to customize the Xbox 360? I was wrong about faceplates for mobile phones, and totally off base about UMD movies. So we will see how these Xbox 360 faceplates fare. After a few days, though, I like having my favorite NFL team emblazoned across the front of my 360.

Looking at the current landscape of faceplates for the 360 I notice something: they do not scream “individuality.” (as Microsoft so enthusiastically puts it)

Enter Mat Catz, with their line of officially licensed NFL faceplates. Right now only nine teams are available, with more coming soon. If you happen to be a fan of the Raiders, like I am, you are in luck. Other teams available right now include: Stealers, Seahawks, Ravens, Eagles, Redskins, Patriots, Cowboys, and Giants.

Mad Catz also plans on releasing MLB and NBA faceplates. Which means I will need a White Sox and Cavs faceplate as well.

Side note: I have been a Sox fan since Bo Jackson played for Chicago, and a Cavs fan since Price and Ehlo called Richfield home – for those out there that really wanted to know.

Having a faceplate with my favorite team logo on it is my idea of individuality. And lets face it – not a lot of people are going to rush out to own a Raiders faceplate.

All these faceplates seem to be made the same. I do not see why they cost $20. That is, after all, a couple great games on the Xbox Live Arcade. If you are going to spend the money, you might as well find something unique.

Taking the white faceplate off takes a little more oomph then you think it should. On the right (or bottom) of the faceplate is a small tab you can use to yank the thing off. Snapping the new one on is cake.

What I really like is how the silver DVD tray door doesn’t look out of place – one of my main complaints about the Xbox 360’s aesthetics. The Mad Catz logo is not that big, on the upper right, and is only one color. It is not an eyesore since it is on the curve of the faceplate (this was my only major concern when I read the announcement in November).

You can even accessorize with a Dashboard theme and Gamer Picture to match! If you already spent the money on the NFL faceplate, another 210 Microsoft Points is not going to hurt.

If I get tired of my Raiders faceplate it is easy to remove and put the white one back on. That is something that can’t be said for the various skins/faceplates available for the Xbox and PS2.

How does the Mad Catz NFL faceplate get a higher score over the Microsoft Hot Rod one? There are only subjective opinions on a product like this. All of the faceplates I have seen have been created equal. They just have a different coat of paint.

However, I recommend this NFL faceplate over the others. It is far more personalized when you can pick your favorite team.

Yes, this is a novelty, but the novelty works.

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About Ken Edwards