Why Next Gen Rumble Actually Matters On The Xbox One

Rumble is a thing we take for granted. We take it for granted that it exists. That it works the way it has always worked. It's familiar to the point where it almost feels like a dead feature. Rumble exists. We use it. Whatever. But Rumble on the Xbox One feels different to the point that it's disorientating. To the point where it actually feels meaningful again.

Instead of using two rotors, the Xbox One controller uses four, and it makes a very big difference. The analogy that works best for me is surround sound. Stereo sound is good. It works. But there's a limit to the sense of depth, to the sense of positioning that can be elicited from two speakers. When you have five or seven? You can add a real sense of place.

Two new rotors adds an extra dimension to rumble and, because it's new, because it feels fresh, its affect is exponentially better. It's difficult to explain, and it sounds like hyperbole, but it allows rumble to tell new stories. Before rumble was a heart beat. Hard or fast. A car accelerating. A bullet lodging itself into your body. Now rumble is the feeling of a helicopter engine starting, then the feeling of it moving into the distance. The feel of a car starting, then the wheels beginning to move. New sensations can be created, different concept can be made tangible.

When you read these words on this page you'll be cynical, but when you feel it you'll be convinced.


    There's a lot of positivity surrounding the Xbone controller. Hopefully they're going to be releasing the exact same model for PC when (if?) they get it out there.

    When you read these words on this page you’ll be cynical, but when you feel it you’ll be convinced.

    No, I totally get it, and I'm glad it's made such a huge difference. I'd forgotten all about the extra rotors in the new controller, so the fact it really adds something to the gaming experience is great.

    "Our controllers have next-gen rumble, and we'll give you a special achievement for buying a console day one". "Hey, where's everybody gone, please come back".

      Do you just like ... click on every xbox article you see just to dis it? I guess everybody needs a hobby.

        That's how much hate I have for Microsoft for doing what they did with the Xbone, and hey, it's not like I'm the only one doing it.

          Ah the console wars have begun anew. Welcome to the front line recruit, I gather this is your first console war, are you ready to defend your console of choice?

            Um no, I've been gaming for about 3 decades, I've always had as many different consoles I can afford as well, I had a PS1 and a N64, an Xbox and a PS2, an XBox 360, PS3 , Wii and 3DS. So I'm not a fanboy.

            If the features of the Xbone become standard across the industry in the next-next-gen (after Xbone, Ps4) I will not be buying any of them. This would be a good thing though, there are sooo many games in this gen alone that I haven't got around to playing/getting that it would keep me occupied for a good many years.

          'I'm not the only one doing it' is a really mature way to justify immature, petulant and annoying behaviour. Go you.

            Hey, I never said I was mature.

    I've said it before and will say it again - the force feedback triggers are XB1's best feature. To hear they've similarly improved rumble as well makes me really envious that these features aren't in the new Duakshock.

      " To hear they've similarly improved rumble as well makes me really envious that these features aren't in the new Duakshock."

      They will be, give it a year and Sony will release a quadshock controller.

        You should trademark that.

        I have my fingers crossed.

    The new controller is the only thing I like about the Xbone, cant wait to get one for my PC.

    Rumble is the reason I never picked up a Wavebird. Even now when going back to play the 64 I still prefer plugging in a rumble pak, though back in the day I don't think we used them after the first day or two that we got them. Was kinda disappointed in the Wii's rumble, the GCN controller feels so much better.

      though back in the day I don't think we used them after the first day or two that we got them.

      The Rumble Pack was a lot like twin stick controls on the Dual Shock. Developers couldn't dedicate the resources to making it significant because they'd loose sales if they put 'Rumble required' on the box, or even if it wasn't strictly required they were developing a feature only a fraction of the audience would appreciate.
      There were a few great ones, like Lylatt Wars, but most were like the stone in Zelda. Cool but gimmicky. Hardly worth keeping batteries in it. It wasn't until twin sticks and rumble were standard that we really saw developers exploring what they could do.

      Even now I feel rumble is one of gaming's most under-rated advances. Mark's stereo/surround comparison is pretty solid. Rumble is up there with sound and colour. It doesn't just make the game more realistic, it allows the game to communicate with the player in the same way sound and visuals do.

        Yep BUT still I remember that first time I used a rumble pack. Sorcery. Wonderful sorcery.

    good read.
    @stu completely agree with you there.

    Spare a thought for those who need to turn rumble off or experience wrist pain. Will have to deal with it for a day or two to see just how great this is.

      As an ex-Judoka and box picker both my wrists are stuffed. I feels your pain @Aucix.

    Another simple innovation that should make a big difference to immersion in games.

    Microsoft already had a 90% perfect controller.

    Theybasically made up the 10% now. They fixed the 2 things you could legitimately complain about (D-pad and bumper size/positioning), and also added new features and tweaked smaller complaints.

    This controller will be godly.

    I absolutely love that these videos of serrels didnt go by without at least one Arnie impersonation

    PS4 is better on so many levels. Oh yeah and then it's cheaper as well?
    Can't wait for PS4. Xbox dead in the water.

      Maybe for you. There are plenty of people that will buy it and/or both. And continue to build and buy their own pcs. No need for hate. Its a freaking great time to be a gamer. If its not for you don't buy it.

      Yea you're right, it has 4rumble motors in the controller, comes with the camera sensor/control and has awesome reliable online play....oh wait....

        I'm waiting...? but your nonsense is leaving me hanging

    Can't wait to get one of these for my PC.
    I though still have not been sold on the idea of getting a Xbone though. Still years for MS to turn my opinion around though.

    Do you guys really care about Rumble that much?

    Even if the rumble is exciting, it's literally going to change nothing about how I play games, and the experience I get from games.

    Immersion comes from good game design like permadeath, survival meters and balanced challenge, not my controller shaking.

    "Oh no! But it shakes really well! You won't know until I try it!"

    And you won't know until you've completely forgotten about it, again.

      Do you turn rumble off on games?

        Nope. I don't even notice it, and if the Xbox One's rumble is so good that it does make me notice it, it won't matter after a week, and will return to be forgotten.

          The point is that you won't notice it better. Effective use of rumble makes the entire experience more immersive.

            Does it really? Your controller shaking makes it more immersive?

            I'll say what I said prior: immersion comes from good game design like permadeath, survival meters and balanced challenge, along with good writing and art going into the world building of the game, not my controller shaking. My controller shaking barely enhances a game if I even remember that it's there.

            So, my point is, no, next-gen rumble doesn't matter in the slightest. At all.

              You're so incredibly wrong it's actually not even worth discussing it anymore.

                Thank you for being unbelievably dismissive and condescending. I get that we're on the internet and all that, but at least show some sort of respect.

                Did you ever learn how to argue? If I'm so incredibly wrong, stop me in my tracks with a good counter-argument. Show me some god damn evidence that I'm wrong before you start being a fallacious tit.

                Edit: And if you'd like some clarity, I'm not suggesting we remove rumble completely, I'm just suggesting that "next gen rumbling omg it's so great and important" is silly. It's really not important at all, and my comments have been a response to the title "why next gen rumble actually matters on the Xbox One", to which I say that it doesn't matter in the slightest.

        I do.

    I think someone will find a way to form an unholy meld of the PS4 console and the Xbone controller to give us the perfect combination. That said, I don't think the DualShock 4 will be that much worse than the Xbone's.

    rumble is insignificant. next gen rumble is next gen insignificant.
    Seriously when has it ever added to any experience while playing you don't even notice

      When playing a racing simulation it can relay sensations, such as traction. This is invaluable. Case closed.

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      It gave tactile feedback in Tony Hawk, too - and scared the shit out of you in Eternal Darkness. Rumble has a lot of uses and personally, I'm all for improving the technology.

    I like how wholeheartedly ANTI MICROSOFT, HOLD THE LINE everyone is :p

    Ps4 is doing ps3.5 now. As in, it's gonna be awesome no doubt, but innovative? I wouldn't really say that from what I've seen.

    I'm at least keen that it's still something innovative and improving/ expanding on something I can genuinely say made a big difference when I first picked up a controller with rumble! I never had a 64 rumble pack. When I got my ps1 it was like OH SHIT! :p so hopefully if this is similar, I'm very excited!

      Ps4 is doing ps3.5 now. As in, it's gonna be awesome no doubt, but innovative? I wouldn't really say that from what I've seen.

      Wii U for life.

      Doesn't fuck you around like Xbox, still innovative.

    Heh, I turn rumble off. Was a nice gimmick on N64 but I got bored of it pretty quickly.

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