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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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Reader comments

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

106 Comments

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...

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.

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

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?

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  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 

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.

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

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.

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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. :)

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? 

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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!

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.

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 ^_~

"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

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.

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. :)

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

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!

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?
 
 

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

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.

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

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.