In today’s society, being practical is often overshadowed by the need to show-off and impress. The average consumer doesn’t need a $400 dollar smart phone in order to function successfully and yet many people buy them. This uber need to have THE BEST has trickled down into the gaming industry, so much so that gamers now won’t settle for anything deemed “subpar.” Prior to Microsoft’s announcement regarding the Xbox One the question that we asked was whether developers would fold under the pressure cooking beneath them and push out controllers that cause every fan boy and fan girl to drool? Or whether they would produce an upgraded practical version that addresses some key issues with current Xbox 360 controllers?
A lot of Xbox fans today will claim that the current Xbox 360 controller is near perfect. Contoured just right for the hand, with buttons in the perfect position to play almost any title naturally, these fans wondered if there was really anything that Microsoft could do to improve the controller without ruining a great design.
Well if you were worried you can set your mind at rest. Instead of opting for a new controller offering a multitude of bells and whistles such as the touch screen pad to be found on the PlayStation 4, the Xbox One controller will really be a subtle upgrade of what we’re used to.
The new Xbox One controller is a similar color and shape to the original. Perhaps the first thing you will notice when picking up this new controller is the slight difference to the ergonomic feel; the bulk of it is a bit larger to fit in a slightly more spaced out button arrangement, which makes the handles look a bit shorter than on previous models. You’ll find the whole surface to be a little smoother than its predecessor, with the shoulders slightly more rounded and the bottom a tad more angular. The battery compartment of the controller has also been moved slightly to allow more room for your fingers to grip at the bottom. The feel is different enough that it might seem slightly alien when first taking to your favorite games, but it won’t be long before you’re playing like a pro once more.
Although the outside of the controller is what you’ll first notice when examining the new controller, it’s the inside where most of the advertised 40 enhancements can be found. The sensors beneath the triggers have been reinvented to react more precisely to your press, and the d-pad’s distinct buttons will help make it easier to find the direction you’re looking for. What’s more, the triggers now come complete with rumble motors meaning you’ll be able to feel the controller’s vibration throughout your hand and up through your fingers. It’s supposed to help create enhanced realism, providing different feedback for different weapons and allowing you to feel every bump in the road as you take to a racing game.
The thumb-sticks on the controller are just a tiny bit smaller than on the Xbox 360 but feel nice to the touch and particularly easy to move around. We’re not entirely sure how it’s measured, but according to Microsoft it’s now 25% easier to move these particular controls, so that’ll be a bit less thumb strain after a mammoth CoD session! Enhanced audio should also help you to hear your gaming experience even better, with Microsoft boasting that audio clarity should exceed that of talking on a phone.
The Xbox One controller will still operate by battery, but this ultra-thin battery can be charged on the go as you play via a mini USB cable connected to the console. This means you won’t need to mess around with changing double A batteries any more or have to purchase expensive charging cables for your controllers.
Of course, you won’t just be controlling your Xbox One console with the classic controller pad, but also with the Kinect that comes as standard now. Microsoft’s has been particularly keen to highlight how easy it is to control this new console with nothing but your voice, and with the new HD camera included within the Kinect sensor it should be easier for your motion to be accurately detected. To date Kinect has still remained something of a gimmick in the Xbox 360, so it’ll be interesting to see if this new and improved technology can really change the way that we play games.
Update -- New Xbox One Controller Revealed -- May 22, 2013
Unlike at Sony’s announcement where all they had to show of the PlayStation 4 was the controller, Microsoft pulled out all the stops at their event, demonstrating a working console, Kinect and traditional controller. Journalists were able to try out the new controller for them to get a feel for the 40 advertised enhancements compared to its Xbox 360 predecessor.
Update: Xbox One Controller Not So Innovative After All? - April 09, 2013
Lets face it, we can put our money on the fact that Microsoft at the very least is considering doing something very innovative with there new Xbox One controller. A new screen? Some kind of motion control? Really we have no clue, but a very recent news piece was written from quite a reliable source that claims the Xbox One controller will actually be very similar to what we already have. This is not bad news at all, as many people consider the 360 controller to be near on perfect. I am sure that many people will be pleased to hear that Microsoft is not changing things purely for the sake of changing things.
Update: Innovative Controller For Xbox One? - November 25, 2012
An interesting interview was conducted recently about the Next Xbox. Xbox World editor Dan Dawkins was interviewed by CVG. The interview was really the same stuff we've all heard before without giving away to much information. However, there was one interesting rumor that he slipped out in regards to the controller. He said that the Next Xbox would have a innovative controller. Of course what this means is anyone's guess. Will it be motion controls as standard? Will it have a tablet like the Wii U? Will it use the new Smart Glass Tablet? We really have no clue, but it's still very interesting. I am sure that many gamers would take the current Xbox 360 controller design over something that is "innovative" any day.
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