Microsoft is no stranger to flashy, unique, and striking controller designs -- and they've been cranking out official controller variants since they entered the console market.
With their E3 announcement about custom controllers and the fact that they are now giving gamers the power to create our own controllers through their recently-launched Design Lab, it seems like the perfect time to count down the best 5 official controller variants that Microsoft has released for the Xbox One in the past few months.
The best part? All of these variants, even though some are limited editions, are still available on the Microsoft Store. So if you have $65 that has been burning a hole in your pocket, you're in luck!
For those of you who are tired of the standard Xbox One controller, but who also prefer a more minimalist look, Microsoft has released two "Shadow" controllers, available in a metallic copper tone and a deep ocean blue.
The controllers feature a smooth finish and dark gradients, as well as buttons that match the controller's color. They were released this March, but if you want to get your hands on one, you'll have to pop into Best Buy for the blue one, or into GameStop for the copper one, since Microsoft made them retailer exclusive.
If you don't feel like doing that, however, you can simply order either of them from Microsoft right here! The Dusk Shadow controller can be purchased here, and the Copper Shadow controller is available here.
Microsoft marketed Halo 5: Guardians with all their might, and that marketing push included setting their design team to work on these two beautiful controller designs.
The standard Halo 5: Guardians controller features a hyper-futuristic look in shades of steel and silver, with blue highlights cutting across the controller to add much-needed pops of color. It is also available in a Master Chief variant, one that trades the futuristic look for a more militaristic one, featuring shades of green and orange inspired by the gaming legend's iconic helmet.
Both controllers also offer additional perks in their laser-etched details and textured grips on the front of the controller. Whether or not you're a fan of the Halo games, these controllers are striking and beautiful enough to stand on their own.
This beautiful controller was designed with racing gamers in mind, and its beauty is not just skin deep. Yes, the racing stripe and color scheme are striking, and seem to match the Ford GT (Forza Motorsport 6's hero car), but the controller has some great features under the hood as well.
The rear of the controller features rubberized grips presumably designed to be reminiscent of a steering wheel, and the triggers on the controller are metallic as well. And if all that weren't enough, I mean, just look at it again. The sleek, matte finish and the low-key racing stripe design are inspired, and the little pop of color between the buttons really brings everything together. Oh, and by the way, it's only about $5 more expensive than a standard controller. What are you waiting for? Get one!
Microsoft really missed an opportunity with this controller-- they should have called it "The Goldfinger". Equipped with the same rubberized grips and metallic triggers as the Forza Motorsport 6 controller, but sporting a simultaneously more minimalist and lavish design, the Lunar White controller turned heads when it was released last fall.
The golden triggers and D-pad, as well as the golden icons on the menu and snap buttons give off a palpable air of elegance, something rare in the world of video game controller variants (or, at least, official ones). In addition, the way the button color icons pop out against the white controller background is vaguely reminiscent of the design of the original SNES controller. And that's never a bad thing. The Microsoft Store has these available for $65 as well.
For all of you who have held out on purchasing an Elite controller until one had a bloody, battle-weathered design and custom laser-etched claw marks through the snap button...well, your time has come.
Like all Elite Controllers, the recently-announced Gears Of War 4 Limited Edition Elite Controller comes with a plethora of swappable thumbsticks, D-pads, paddles, and triggers in addition to its striking design. And if that weren't enough, buying the controller also nets you exclusive in-game items and emblems. It's available for pre-order on the Microsoft Store for $199, so if you want one, start saving up now.
Have we missed any? What is your favorite controller variant, or do you prefer the standard controllers? Let us know in the comments! In the meantime, we're going to double-check between the couch cushions again to check for $20 bills. That Elite Controller isn't going to pay for itself!