Microsoft Reveals New 360 Controller With Transforming D-Pad

The Xbox 360 controller gets a little more fighter-friendly later this year, with a new version featuring a transforming d-pad and monochrome buttons hitting stores on November 9. So what's a transforming d-pad?

As Major Nelson demonstrates in the video below, users can change the new Xbox 360 controller's directional pad from a flat surface to an actual raised d-pad with a twist of the base. One second it's flat, the next it's beautifully raised, perfect for performing quarter-circles until the cows come home.

Plus it's got those lovely grey buttons, which should be extremely confusing to anyone that's memorised the normal controller's four colours instead of the letters, like me.

But hey, raised d-pad!

The new controller will be packaged exclusively with the new Play & Charge kits Microsoft is releasing on November 9. The package will retail for $US64.99.

New Xbox 360 Wireless controller featuring a transforming D-Pad [Major Nelson]


    So sleak... So shiny... Must.. Get one!

    Is that expensive? No colours ?

    there is absolutely no reason for people to buy this....

      Apart from the fact that my 360s dpad is so shite it takes three goes to get to system settings without it registering a spurious up or down movement. Can't imagine how bad it is in games.

      Seriously though, why not just have four separate buttons? Why the complexity?

    I don't see why they've made the face buttons grey. Many games, when teaching controls or showing available options, will show the button on screen and in its original colour. This change will just confuse.

      the colours are also helpful when you got such a poo tv that you can only see the colour of the button your supposed to press, not the letter.

    Wow, it only took them 5 years to listen to the feedback from the community. I think I'll just stick with my Mad Catz SFIV TE Fight Stick...

    hmmm, Feb for Europe (and therefore, Aus). I believe eBay will have something to say about that :D either way, if the d-pad is a good improvement, im keen for it.

    Why make everything grayscale for? It looks depressing.

    That d-pad still looks unusable for fighting games. Have their R&D team never used a d-pad before?

    They need to keep the raised "+" feel of the d-pad but make it raised only about half the height that it is in that video, and get rid of the "webbing" in between the four main directions so that we don't accidentally press it diagonally when we don't want to.

    Okay so it can be raised and pushed in... Does that fix the problem with the the down buttons being weirdly over sensitive to the right?

    Oh God...
    It's beautiful! Why can't their consoles look like this.

    Do want, but at the same time, do not want.

    I associate the colours of the ABXY with their colours... Until they release a controller that isn't so grey with this d-pad, I'm sticking with my two at the moment (Which are a bit worn and probably need replacing soon)

    I suppose you could always crack it open and replace the face button caps with those from an older controller if you want colour.

      I'd rather just crack open my existing controllers and replace the d-pads, if that was the case.

    Looks pretty great, but I love my electronics in black :/ I know my buttons off my heart so I don't need colour. I'm conflicted over the d-pad. It seems they have only allowed you to raise it, which wasn't the problem, but who knows if they have tweaked it underneath the plastic? Still even if its not good enough for fighters, the d-pad looks better for arcade games like Earthworm Jim.

    I think I'll stay more excited about the one Razer's bringing out.

    Wasn't half the point of making the face buttons different colours to make them more recognizable? You say to someone "Hit the blue button to do that" and now they're gonna look at the controller confused and ask you "What blue button?"

    I knew Microsoft would find a way to cock something up... New D-pad = Awesome!... but why remove the button colours? Jesus christ, WHY WOULD YOU EVEN DO THAT?!

    The D-Pad improvement is nice. It'll make it more useable (not sure how much difference it'll make to clickiness and the uncomfortably low position).

    Don't really agree with greyscale buttons. Even now, I still have to look at the controller to figure out yellow/blue. Also, in-game tutorials use the colour scheme which is going to confuse even more. Substance over style I say.

    if the colour is a problem, then you could always start playing on an old black and white TV :D

    PUSH GREY!!!





    I think i'll be giving it a miss though... as nice as ti looks, i too would prefer color buttons...

      Me too. I just want four separate buttons instead of the dpad, and why on earth would they remove the colours. Maybe we could fit them with coloured LEDs and light em up right.

    The problem was never the feel of the D-pad, it was the difference between the buttons and the board, which made directions not regester properly. I fixed the problem by doing this:

    It is as if they have someone on staff to purposely make things so close to right that it makes you cry. The grey buttons look a bit more stylish, but whenever there is someone new at the LAN party, everyone just yells 'Press Green' and they do.

    Just boggles the mind that they would do this. Hopefully the new DPAD is actually functional, on my controllers it varied from woeful to just bad, I have tried various fixes but ended up just removing the dpad altogether and fitting separate buttons which suits me.

    omg it doesnt even look even when its the disk. lol.

    and who wants a controller without the colours??

    In the old days you had to pay for colour...

    If violating warranties aren't a problem for you and you have the right torx bit, you could always pop open the new controller and an old one and swap the face buttons over.

    I guess I'm a minority here when I say I love the new look of it. Probably my experience with PC gaming and pressing many keys of the same colour from a keyboard allows me to adapt without confusion as to where the buttons are placed in a controller. I hardly need colour to help me guide my fingers to the right buttons myself.

    However, I will remain skeptical on the new D-pad design until I hear some actual feedback from the press on how it performs before I consider picking this up.

    Microsoft, why oh why would you take away the colours?! Absolute incompetence.

    Also, I agree with some of the other comments that the d-pad might not feel right (find a Saturn pad if you want a good example)

    ... but I will give it a try -if you bring back the colours and drop the price ($70?! -get real!)

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