The new Xbox controller was introduced alongside a brand new console today at an event in a tent outside Microsoft HQ in Redmond, Washington. It looks very similar but has a redesigned directional pad, one of the big complaints with the earlier versions.
The history of the Xbox controller
The original Xbox launched with a controller that could most politely be described as gargantuan. though I had little problems with it, it was quickly bashed for being too tall and too thick for many smaller hands. What it did do, however, is set a template for the stick layout that still hasn’t changed to this day. D-pad on the left, sticks upper left and lower right, with start, select and Xbox gem in the center. The D-pad, unfortunately, was a sloppy mess which triggered randomly on whatever axis it felt like at the moment.
Shortly after the release of the original console, Microsoft responded to criticism with a slimmer, sleeker model of controller with an ‘S’ tacked on. Not much else changed, and the d-pad remained a train wreck.
The 360 controller brought about a few changes while maintaining the same overall stick and button placement. The addition of shoulder bumpers added a ‘PlayStation’ feel to the scheme, and allowed for more complex game interactions. Many big titles adopted the new buttons right away.
More to follow.