Get a closer look at the Xbox One's improved controller in this video
August 12, 2013
When a new game console launches, there's naturally a lot of focus on the features of the system itself, like graphics, raw horsepower, and motion control. But you can't forget about the part that's going to sit in your hand for hours on end: the controller. Microsoft doesn't want us to forget that either, as we can see in this 7-minute video detailing the "40+ improvements" to the Xbox One's controller.
As you'll see in the video embedded below, Microsoft's "Major Nelson" (Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb) chats with Xbox accessories manager Zulfi Alam about the changes to the Xbox One controller. We got the chance to play with it first-hand at E3, and we can vouch that it strikes a great balance between retaining the familiar feel of the Xbox 360 controller, while also significantly improving on it.
One of the most obvious changes is the more ergonomic feel to the new controller. It feels a bit more compact in hand, thanks in so small part to a battery compartment that doesn't protrude like it did on the 360 version. Like we said, the entire controller feels very familiar in hand, but also much more comfortable.
The Xbox One controller also improves on the previous model's rumble motors. It doubles the Xbox 360 controller's motors (four to two), adding smaller ones in the trigger buttons. This lets developers fine-tune the type of haptic feedback you get, differentiating between firing, say, a bazooka or a machine gun. It's feedback you can feel right in your trigger fingers.
Another interesting change that we didn't catch at E3 is that the new controller no longer has screws on the back. "Big whoop," you say? Well, apparently Microsoft's testers found that, after hours of hardcore gaming, those screws started to make their presence known on tired hands. The new model fixes that supposed problem.
We won't spoil the rest for you, but you can check out the video below that delves into a few other features, and also gives you a peek at what the controller's guts look like with the face removed.