Xbox One's controller is what you've been dreaming for; more details emerge

Our friend Major Nelson posted some new details on the Xbox One’s controller redesign. The new controller, which was unveiled at the Xbox One Reveal Event, will feature a collection of new abilities and a new ergonomic design for gamers.

One of the completely new abilities added to the Xbox One controller is haptic feedback; implanted behind each of the controller’s four triggers are vibration motors. Major Nelson explains that the new vibration feature, known as Impulse Triggers, will allow players to perceive gaming in an entirely new way:

“This [Impulse Trigger] gives users a sense of in-game directionality and depth, creating rich, immersive experiences where gunshots, car crashes and explosions can come to life.”

Your favorite parts of the controller have also been redesigned for improved precision and comfort. The new thumb sticks are smaller and the edges have a “knurled texture”, which allows for easier gripping. In addition, the thumb sticks required 25% less force to move and a new electronic chip has been introduced to reduce thumb stick dead zone.

The controller also features a brand new D-pad shape and slightly lower A, B, X, and Y buttons. The new manufacturing processes for the buttons are three steps, which create an illusion that the letters are floating in 3D space.

In addition to the controller’s new ergonomics and features, the team has improved and revamped past features including headset audio quality and console connectivity.  The new Xbox One controller sends an Infrared signal to the console and Kinect allowing seamless pairing and location detection.

Playing Call of Duty with your mate and want to switch couches? The TV will swap split screen displays if you do so – you are always closer to the action.

New power features include a new "low power state" that conserves your battery when you aren’t using the controller. Unlike the previous Xbox 360 which would power off your controllers and force you to reconnect, the new devices will enter a low power mode and automatically turn on again once you pick them up.

We also can’t forget to mention that Microsoft has gotten rid of the old battery bump allowing for a more comfortable fit. You can now charge the controllers with a mini USB cable via your Xbox One console. Are you excited for this new masterpiece of a controller or is it all "meh" to you?

Source: Major Nelson's Blog



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Does is still take batteries or is it charge only?

linkxboy says:

Why would you want to use batteries? If it's using mini USB cables as mean of charging then that is great! Who doesn't have a mini USB cable nowadays? Those cables come in everything from cheap phones, smartphones, mp3s to many other devices (except apple products -__- ). I would love to be able to charge the 360 controllers like that...

twelvetudors says:

Mino USB and micro USB are different ports. I certainly hope it isn't mini USB cause nobody uses that anymore.

4Tiles says:

Out of the box the system uses AA batteries just like the old 360 controller, but I'm sure they will sell a rechargeable battery pack(s) as accessories. I prefer using AA batteries because when the controller dies I can instantly swap in new batteries. I also don't like having any wires hanging around in my living room.

Nataku4ca says:

i think the issue arrises when the rechargable battery inside dies, i hope there is an easy way to replace it

pookiewood says:

I think he was just asking. ;)

I get it, and I have plenty of micro USB cables. However, I have cheap AA rechargeables always charged up. When gaming on the couch I do not want to plug in my controller to continue playing. When it dies, I can swap my rechargeables and lay back down in comfort without being tethered.

Yes, you can use another charged up controller in its place, but what of you don't have an extra or a friend is playing as well, using your only other controllers?

Beezie84 says:

Completely agree.. I use the old charging stand and just swap out my battery pack when it gets low.

lancepr says:

Internal Battery Cavity –The compartment that houses AA batteries is built into the interior of the controller, providing more room at the bottom for your fingers to grip. Another convenient improvement is that the controller is both wireless and a wired– simply plug it into your console with a mini USB cable and the connection automatically switches to preserve battery life.

ryan_linz says:

So, when it's wired is it charging?

The  point I think he was trying to make was that the article is incorrect. They phone uses AA batteries and the USB cable is simply to turn it from Wireless to Wired, there is no charging involved at this point from what I know. Also Major said tthat the USB can only currently conduct power and not data, hopefully alluding that eventually the X1 controllers can be used as W8 controllers as well.

This is the clarification I was looking for. They said they removed the battery bump, not that they removed the swappable batteries.

The USB part makes sense, why not transmit the data wirelessly while taking power from the USB? It would leave more capacity on the USB for charging current. However, the question about the type of wireless remains. The Xbox 360 controllers used a proprietary wireless/bluetooth frequency/protocol. To hook up a wireless Xbox 360 controller to your PC it required the USB dongle. If the Xbox One controllers use a non proprietary wireless signal, then you should not need a proprietary dongle to connect to a PC.

I believe that the  new controllers are using WiFI-Direct as the wireless tech.  I also believe that Windows 8.1 will have WiFi-Direct integration 

Neusyn says:

It sounds like alot of people don't understand USB, in standard 2.0 it has 4 pins for type A which are 1: 5V Power, 2: Data -, 3: Data +, and 4: Ground. Micro-A (commonly used by everybody) has five pins but the additional line is for host/slave identification and it lies on pin 4 and ground is moved to pin 5. My point is data communication and charging power have no effect on each for they are different dedicated lines, and it's really what Microsoft makes the port capable of using (power only, data only, or both) which I can see no point in not allowing Data.

Drbeckman says:

I think WPCentral should focus more on Windows Phone and leave the Xbox One alone. There are other websites for this kind of stuff.

Nejcooo says:

i agree! also, as windows phone user, and windows 7 user i would appreciate filer, so i could hide news about windows 8

Disagree. The limited amount of Xbox and windows 8 coverage is a nice addition. I would bet 75% of readers agree with me. After all, they are all gradually converging into one ecosystem.

Lx23 says:

I agree with you

neo158 says:

I also agree, they are part of the same ecosystem so why shouldn't they be covered as well!!!

Nejcooo says:

well. they should rename then into windows central

Ian Too says:

I don't see why. That would mean more focus on Windows and Xbox at the expense of Windows Phone. I recon Daniel & Co have it about right. After all, how hard is it to skip articles which don't pique your interest?

Shatznr says:

I appreciate all the news in the Microsoft ecosystem.  They are sticking to the phone/game/mobile os side - not like WPCentral is covering SQL Server 2014 or Server 2012.

Paul Acevedo says:

Sorry man. We see the various Microsoft platform as interconnected. But at some point we will introduce a filter to limit what content you see.

ladydias says:

No one is forcing you to read articles about other Microsoft products and Michael is here specifically to cover these sorts of things. Considering how MS is trying to connect all of their devices/services I can't see a downside to these types of articles.

theefman says:

Dont read non-WP articles, problem solved. Plus they already mentioned a filter will be implemented for the site and the app in the future to remove non-WP posts so in the meantime, try my suggestion. :)

pookiewood says:

Nah.  I don't mind one bit. 

uselessrobot says:

I agree, this is Windows Phone central after all. Anything regarding the Xbox One or Windows 8/RT getting posted here should be directly related to Windows Phone. I can't count the times I've clicked on a story thinking it was about Windows Phone only to discover it was about Windows 8.

Hi uselesrobot, I understand your viewpoint and a filter will be coming shortly.

For now, it is usefull to note that we will tag all posts, so check that out before you click the link. :)

I think that WP central should perhaps go through a rebranding since it now covers a lot of various Microsoft related stuff, perhaps just Windows Central, or Microsoft Central? 

Stevied1991 says:

As someone who uses Xbox, W8, Surface RT, and Windows Phone 8, I enjoy the occasional article pertaining to those. I am really looking forward to the Xbox One, and shared this article with friends of mine who want to know more about the Xbox One Controller.

pr0phecy says:

I have absolutely nooo problem with Windows 8 related news! All my devices are Microsoft, so I welcome W8 news. Lovin' it!

Warren Dance says:

You should try reading the headline :)

dkp23 says:

Yes because reading internet blogs are serious business. 

People make me laugh when they don't use a simple solution to fix their problem. Like not clicking the article.

Stevied1991 says:

No kidding, on the WPC app I sometimes see an article I don't have an interest in. I just scroll over it and move onto the next one.

Just because it doesn't pertain to me doesn't mean it won't be ground-breaking news for someone else.

Mon-El says:

No need for a rebrand, no need for filters but please continue with the broad Microsoft coverage. For example, I don't use or want instagram so i ignore those posts. I do not need filters, a rebrand or a separate site to enjoy the content I want to read. All involved at WPC are doing a fantastic job, keep up the good work.

volcane2004 says:

So far, this is what I am most excited about regarding the Xbox One.

onysi says:

Can we charge this on our PC? Hopefully there's wireless charging.

Isn't this Windows PHONE Central? I think it's weird with all this Windows 8 and Xbox news popping up.

twelvetudors says:

Who cares. Don't click on it if you don't want to read it.

I don't like this community - the whole WPCentral is just so cold and unfriendly.

Why because you're complaining about something stupid? Just don't click the freaking article.

mr toes says:

This community, like any other, is as nice to you as you are to them. If you go complaining about trivial matters, don't expect to be a favourite around here.

spaulagain says:

Then don't come here. We're perfectly nice, its just annoying when people complain about things that are good, and if they don't like it, they don't have to read it.
We don't like whiners.

sumedh says:

Get out of here.

lovebill says:

There are douchebags in every community mate. Not everyone is polite to others

DreadVenom says:

No to be mean but to all you moaning about the news covered by WPC, do you know one of the features that differentiates us from animals.... The ability to CHOOSE. Think about for a moment.

jfivieght says:

Will there be Xbox one controllers for the PC I wonder...

topleya says:

Almost certainly

It was said somewhere that currently the USB will only provide power to the controller and not data, giving the possibility that in the future it will provide data as well. This would allow the X1 controller to work for both.

Menzlo says:

Major Nelson said via twitter that the micro USB cable will turn off the wireless radios and transfer data through the wire when connected.

Storl says:

The X1 controller was used over USB on Windows PCs on the xbox reveal event, there will be no wired version of the Controller this time around as the wireless one works Wireless and wired, though a special version for Windows is probably still going to happen as you need a WiFi dongle for it to work wireless, though it should work on many laptops etc wireless without a dongle thanks to WiFi Direct.

Vulak'Aerr says:

It all ties together. I for one like seeing these updates.

Keep up the Xbox One news! I like seeing you guys report on all of the Microsoft family of products.

Sooooo excited about this! If we could only get pricing info....

pwachleman says:

XBox One gets more interesting with every article, love the flipping split screen, hate being on the wrong side of the screen!

DenniSundaY says:

Don't like the design that much for now, but maybe that will change. I also was skeptical about the Wii U gamepad but now I use it every day. But man, that is an advanced controller! The impulse triggers are awesome!

Tafsern says:

Looking nice! Can't wait :)

ladydias says:

This sounds really cool.

MorganRW says:

I actually liked the battery charging cradle that would keep batteries charged and allow for a swap when one died. Now if we have to plug them in, The controller is useless until it is plugged in and topped off. I really hope they still have an option like this. Plus cables are ugly and I dont want to look at it during charging and then having to put it away after each use. Wireless charging would be even better.

apocacrux says:

Wow, this actually sounds like a controller made by the gods.

hauz_20 says:

I sarcastically posted on Nelson's blog, "Unfortunately, you can't use the controller at a friend's house without first paying a small fee."

Jokes aside, that controller looks snazzy as hell.

Supposedly this is more ergonomic, but it looks like the "Fat" Xbox controller from the first-Gen which was awful in my hands. But looks can be deceiving ^_~

luimende says:

The question is, will it blend, no wait, will it sync with our winphones?

"We also can’t forget to mention that Microsoft has gotten rid of the old battery bump allowing for a more comfortable fit. You can now charge the controllers with a mini USB cable via your Xbox One console."
I don't think the controllers contain internal batteries, the bump may be gone but the controllers are still using AA batteries according to Major Nelson's blog:
"Internal Battery Cavity –The compartment that houses AA batteries is built into the interior of the controller, providing more room at the bottom for your fingers to grip. Another convenient improvement is that the controller is both wireless and a wired– simply plug it into your console with a mini USB cable and the connection automatically switches to preserve battery life."
  The USB cable will not charge the batteries it seems, instead it is meant to switch the controller from being wireless to wired, no longer using the batteries.
Also, Mini-USB? I haven't used one of those in a long time, wonder why they didn't go with Micro-USB which seems to be a standard in mobile devices, and that most everyone has a few of lying around.

EDIT: Seems Major made a type, it is indeed a micro-USB cable, not mini

RetroMan71 says:

Can you watch TV on it?

mrcraggle says:

I was kind of hoping for more. I've read/heard about some early reactions and while they were favorable, I don't get where the 40 new innovations are. I guess where MS did a good job with the 360 controller, it's much harder to improve. The ps3 controller on the other hand while decent, needed to go further with it's improvements that we've seen with the ps4.

tgr42 says:

1) FWIW "dreaming for" has an odd flavor.  The normal phrase is "dreaming of".
2) Wow those letters on the buttons REALLY stand out.  And, looking at that photo, I couldn't help but think "these guys oughta make the buttons spell the name of the console like OUYA did".  So what if there would be two X buttons. :)

swizzlerz says:

They should have wireless charging like the 920!!!!

wpmarcel says:

What kind of motion-sensors are included in the new controller? 

Shadow 024 says:

None. That is what the Kinect is for.

Very gorgeous design. GameTrailers TV have some behind the scenes footage of the New Controller with interviews with e from MajorNelson.

Onerunjunior says:

Please make a PC version, please make a PC version, please make a PC version, please make a PC version, please make a PC version, please make a PC version!

madisonjar says:

one problem I see is that for people who use there systems in a home theater like me might have issues, especially if they use a audio visiual cabinet to the rear or beside them.  The infra red I dont believe would make it to the console so how would it connect then?  would it just conitnually switch split screens because it couldnt get a read on where you were?

LaNiQuE says:

Finally USB charging my brother attempted to debate me on this issue when I tell him how stupid it is that I need batteries for my Xbox controller vs my ps3 controller ... Also I feel those people who think the rechargeable batteries inside not holding a charge after years rarely happens

there is no USB charging, the article is mistaken. Major's post even states it takes AA batteries, the cable is only to turn it into a wired controller

Graven Pshya says:

I like the fact it'll swap screen sides if you decide to move. Awesome!

luniboy26 says:

Did they switch to a 3.5mm headphone jack?

cybermoose89 says:

Shut up and take my money!

odoggyfresh says:

sounds good to me!

erasure25 says:

Surface RT compatible?? (wired version or Bluetooth)

dfmos says:

WpCentral has now become my one-stop-shop for all my Windows Phone/Xbox news!
Well done Michael Archambault,
I can finally go back to reading the comments for intertesting insight about the article instead of all the Sony BS Fanboy Crap that ruins every article on most Game websites right now.

Fanboy news? Go watch IGNS Xbox one vs PS4 And you'll know

Omg! Awesomeness in its pure state. Xbox for life!

ruddevil says:

Does this work with the existing 360 wireless receiver for PC?

venetasoft says:

Wireless charging pack ;) ?

WP95 says:

This controller looks like its on a whole other level compared to the ps4 controller. a touchpad???? wtf?

Localhorst86 says:

So far, the controller seems to be the only thing they got 100% right.
Nice + shaped dpad? Check.
Charge the Controller via USB cable? Check?
Swapable AA batteries in case you can't recharge (distance to xbox, no power outlet close to where you sit)? Check?
Sending data down the wire? Check. This will hopefully allow the controller to be used on a PC as well without requiring another WiFi or Receiver Dongle like the 360 controller.

Ps4 controller winning so far lol

nablor says:

When it behaves like a mouse and keyboard then my dreams will be answered.