I’m of the camp that this will be a very good year for next-gen gaming, and in particular, a year of triumph for Microsoft’s Xbox One. Buoyed by a recent uptick in console sales due to a generous price drop and a bundle offering the Halo Master Chief Collection, Microsoft gave an impressive demonstration of its plan to maintain momentum at today’s E3 press conference, where they showcased a number of exciting titles for the year ahead: Fallout 4, Tom Clancy’s Division, Dark Souls III, Forza Motorsport 6 and a slew of intriguing third party launches. Exciting software titles aside, Microsoft also announced an ambitious new wireless controller that’s fully customizable.
Xbox One’s Elite wireless controller
Few would disagree that Microsoft has mastered the feel and form of its controllers, and ever since its original release, the controller has endured only the slightest of changes, mostly revolving around size and a smoothing out of edges and corners. Today, Microsoft announced their new ‘Elite’ wireless controller that marks a significant overhaul of their original Xbox One controller.
The Elite wireless controller adds four additional bumper pads under the grips (which I’m assuming are designed for your middle and index fingers) and completely replaces the traditional D-pad with a new textured rolling pad that’s designed to add hair-trigger precision for shooters. Other improvements include thumb-stick sensitivity curves and the ability to set trigger min/max values.
But the biggest surprise of all comes with the announcement that the Elite wireless controller offers “limitless customization.” Supposedly, all of the aforementioned parts are swappable to suit a variety of hand sizes and button configuration needs.
I am also going to hazard a guess that the Elite wireless controller will be considered a mandatory purchase for any hardcore gamer, especially when it comes to Microsoft’s HoloLens/Xbox One integration. No doubt, all the extra buttons will come in handy when playing in an expanded augmented reality gaming world.