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Mad Catz and Microsoft to develop co-branded wireless Xbox 360 headsets

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Gamers have had only one Xbox 360 wireless headset option available to them since the console launched in late 2005, and it’s an official Microsoft product. This is because the Xbox 360 uses a proprietary wireless technology that the company has not been willing to share with third-party peripheral developers. It doesn’t look like Microsoft will be changing its stance anytime soon, but a newly announced partnership with Mad Catz is at least going to broaden the range of options available to gamers.

The companies have partnered to produce a line of licensed, co-branded wireless headsets for the Xbox 360, a press release revealed yesterday. Mad Catz stands among the top earners on the third-party peripheral market, with all manner of well-received controllers, headsets, charging stations and the like for the three currently competing gaming consoles, Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii. They’re released a number of quality Xbox 360 wired headphones under their Tritton line, the same logo that will also join Microsoft’s on the in-development wireless headphones.

The press release doesn’t detail any product specifications, though it does reveal that Mad Catz now has “the worldwide rights to manufacture, market and sell licensed, co-branded wired stereo headphones and exclusive rights to produce licensed, co-branded wireless stereo and Dolby 5.1 headphones.” Given the nature of the deal, it’s not the opening of the floodgates for third-party peripheral developers that some gamers might have hoped for. However, consumers like to have options and giving gamers more to choose from than just a single wireless Xbox 360 headset can only be a good thing.

No release date was revealed, but Mad Catz expects its new co-branded Tritton headsets to be available in time for the fall 2011 holiday season.