In Depth Look at the New Xbox One Controller
For more than two years, over a hundred people at Microsoft have worked tirelessly to improve the video game controller. Today, in a seven minute long YouTube video, Microsoft has stated that they have made “over 40 improvements” to the Xbox One controller. Zulfi Alam, general manager of Xbox accessories group, had this to say,
“We wanted to make sure that it is incredibly comfortable controller. We had hundreds of models, hundreds of user-research studies, and hundreds of gaming to make sure people feel comfortable with it. The changes that we came up with — some are small and some are large.”
Alam also talked to Microsoft’s Major Nelson about every design decision in the new controller. One major change is that the controller has the capability to work as either wired or wireless. And on top of that the battery pack (which still uses AA batteries) is now integrated with the controller itself.
Now there’s no protruding piece of plastic on the back of the controllers. Alam said,
"Rechargeable batteries have—this is physics—X number of cycles. After those cycles, the controller has to be replaced. So we decided that we wanted to give our customers an option. If they wanted to have a rechargeable controller we give them a battery pack they can integrate inside."
Gamers’ complaints were also taken into account. Dead zones on the thumbsticks have been reduced and holes for the controller’s screws have been covered up – an issue for long-session gamers. The D-pad has also seen improvement, after concerns about its inaccuracies. The new design is a clean “plus-sign” that’s raised further off the surface.
Alam’s team also tested for gamer rage. The controller was rigorously tested to make sure that if the controller is dropped, or thrown, it won't shatter and break.
Alam and his team worked hard to make sure every detail was taken into account. For a more detailed look at the improvements, be sure to watch the video above. And feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think of the changes.