Microsoft’s current Xbox One controller may simply be an improved version of their Xbox 360 controller, but during development, the team decided to get a bit wild and tested a variety of possible options and enhancements for the accessory.
In an interview with Kotaku, Zulfi Alam, Microsoft’s head of Xbox accessories, told the news outlet that the company experimented with integrating smells into the controller. Players might be able to smell the forest as they run through it in Crysis or spell the burn of rubber from their sport car’s tires in Forza Motorsport 5. In the end, the prototypes didn’t work out and smells from the controller where left in the room long after they were desired to dissipate. Zulfi Alam explained:
“We went all out, but they didn’t work out in practice due to the overly immersive smells.”
The company also experimented with the integration of small screens and speakers into the controller, but they never worked out. The Xbox design team described the implementations as having high battery drain and being distracting from the overall experience. (I guess Nintendo didn’t feel the same way.)
The team attempted to integrate speakers into the controller and have the player hear the sound of a reloading cartridge, but it was once again ruled out as distracting. Alam explained how the addition pulled away from a prime gaming experience:
"The best speakers in the house are the ones associated with the TV and you essentially drown it all away, so it's not a useful investment.”
Like with most companies, Microsoft experimented with a collection of various ideas on their Xbox One controller and settled on the best. The new Xbox One controller may not have “Smell-O-Vision” or a built in touch screen, but it does contain over forty improvements that the company hopes you will enjoy.
I’m most excited for the new impulse trigger technology – anyone else have a favorite?