The Tiny, Cool Details Of The New Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One controller looks a lot like the Xbox 360 controller, but the new pad actually sports some subtle but relevant differences. Let’s take a video tour, shall we?

The video above shows you the goods and also includes an attempt at a joke by me. Very regrettable, sorry. But…details! For those of you without the time or bandwidth to watch!

  • A clickier d-pad
  • Smaller control sticks with a tighter dead zone
  • Control sticks that take less effort to move (phew!)
  • A new “View” button in place of the back button… could pop up your inventory or map in an RPG or the leaderboards in an FPS
  • A new “Menu” button in place of the forward button… would go to a game’s menu.
  • “Triple-shot” face buttons that make them look snazzier and require less force to use (phew again!)
  • Vibration motors (“impulse triggers”) in the triggers (This is awesome. Find out more from our friends at Gizmodo.)
  • High-speed data port
  • Less-obtrusive battery compartment running AA batteries.


  • So the 2 buttons in the middle are Start and select, I like the way he talks about the features like they are new

    • Yeah, it would be like renaming the “B” button to “C” and claiming it as a new feature.
      I don’t care whether they change the names, but it’s not exactly a revelation.

    • I hated calling out “Press the back button” only for people to press “B”. If you said “Press Select” or “Press Start” people would press “A”… It makes sense they actually renamed the button to fit the standard use patterns.

  • The only good thing to come of today is the controller. I like it. The console however…

    • I can’t wait t connect this pad to my PC. The rumble triggers sound awesome.

      • I dunno. Sounds like the kind of thing you’d have to purchase an additional license for, then have it constantly phone home to make sure you’re still allowed to use it.

  • looks like just a better made 360 controller, which is always nice, but should have done more and added something for a brand new consoles controller

  • I’m just happy they stuck with AA batteries rather than an internal battery pack

    • Yeah AA+ love those things really shows that you are playing with an expensive toy

  • I think the controller looks pretty good, love the new triggers!

    My main problems with the 360 controller seem to be addressed here (besides the fact it still has asymmetrical analog sticks):
    – Better D-Pad (the 360’s was one of the worst I’ve come across), hopefully the huge concave shape won’t cause problems.
    – Battery slot on the back which eats into your fingers.

    Hope this controller replaces the “standard controller” for PC, because that’s what I’d get it for… Not this ‘fancy new set top box’ 😛

  • any word on this controller is backwards compatible with the 360 and thus pc’s?

        • If you look at the press shots, there’s a micro USB port on the front of the controller…
          it could just be for charging, but it may allow PC integration.

          • hmmm arent the batteries non-rechargeable? i didnt think the controller had a charger built in?

          • from whats been released, i thought it took AA batteries – which could be rechargable and recharged in their own external charger, but not in the controller.
            might be my mis-understanding though.

          • It’ll take AA batteries… but they haven’t mentioned anything about seperate battery packs, which is what I was referring to.

  • Seriously?!?! AA batteries?
    Who are they trying to appeal to? I thought this would be the one thing they would definitely upgrade. My PS3 controllers last around a week before they run flat, but the other one is charging so I can easily switch and its no big deal.
    What could be their reasoning behind sticking with ye olde AA batteries?

    • Because they no doubt also still have rechargeable battery packs for it as well and built in battery packs are not a good idea because if they go then the controller is dead. Also allows people to use their own rechargeables if they so choose for cost/battery life.

      • I’ve had a ps3 for 5 years and the original controller has never had a problem. This includes 10-20 hours of use per week (admittedly cycled between 3 controllers while others are charging). I feel that the argument of saving money is incorrect, because I haven’t had to spend any money on batteries for the entire 5 years.

        That being said, I’m pretty stoked about the rumbling in the Xbox One triggers

    • Because it’s a standard source of power that you can get anywhere, and easily swap out whenever you discover you’re out of juice?

      I only have one 360 controller. I’m the only one that ever uses the machine, so I don’t particularly feel like shelling out another ~$50+ for a “spare battery” just because the company decided to be dicks. True, it’s a similar case for the Wii U’s gamepad. But that thing would weigh a tonne with the standard batteries it would need to keep running for a decent amount of time, so it’s a bit of an exception. Especially since the power cable for it is so long no issues like people commonly mention of the PS3 controller.

      • I’m sorry, but the argument that short cords get in the way of a Sony controller is ridiculous. Plug it in and tuck it away when you’re not using it.
        It’s much better than needing AA batteries, and realizing you don’t have any.

        • …what? Tuck in? How can you tuck in a cord that’s too short to do anything with?

          The problem with the short PS3 cord is that in a large amount of cases, your console is where your TV is. So if you have to plug into the console, then you have to sit on top of your damn TV instead of back on the lounge where it’s actually comfortable.

          As for AAs, the rechargeable ones generally come in a pack of four, so while you have two in the controller you can have two ready on standby for when the others run out. Been working great for me ever since I got my Wii.

          • When it’s not being used. Playstation off, controller plugged in and “tucked away”.Never run low on me yet. And personal opinion side, not including a rechargeable battery with the controller, these days, looks cheap.

  • We have a D-pad here it is good for both the left and right directions – gee really thanks dude >_>

    What I don’t get is the Dual Shock 2,3 and 4 all have analogue face buttons on top of the awesome dpad. So in other words the face button are pressure sensitive. Why on earth did MS no implement this?

    • I cant really think of a situation where face buttons being pressure sensitive makes sense, they are action buttons with a short travel. Triggers are for finesse, buttons are for mashing.

    • Name some games that make use of the Proportional nature of the Dual Shock face buttons.

      I know there where a few, I remember playing them and getting a sore thumb from holding down one of the buttons so hard. Face Buttons don’t really need to be Proportional. Triggers are great for this because they have some depth to them.

      • Tony Hawk was astronomically better with an analog D-pad. Metal Gear Solid used the face buttons for firing and finer movement details like leaning and getting up on your toes.
        They’re the only two examples that I can think of, I’m sure there’s way more.

        • I’m a little confused why do you need a proportional D-Pad when you have a proportional stick? It sounds much harder to use a proportional D-Pad.

          Proportional fire button so you can shoot and extra shoot? The leaning and tip toes does sound cool. But couldn’t the same thing be done by using another button to modify the actions?

          They aren’t analogue controls anymore they are digital but they are digital proportional

          • It was there, when it was needed. Some games handled better with a d-pad and it added an extra control element.
            And as I recall, in MGS the actions are generally mapped to a single button, so using the pressure sensitive feature of the face buttons rather than introducing other buttons to modify them made more sense within the control scheme.
            My memories are murky.

      • Gran Turismo – acceleration and breaking.
        MGS with circle being to draw then pressed harder to fire and for leaning.

        Just two examples. My point is it is not a stupid feature.

        • With two Proportional triggers why do I need Proportional face buttons for accelerate and brake in a Racing Game.

          Now that leaves MGS, so one example.

          And on a side note I never said it was a stupid feature I said it was a feature I don’t see the point of. I’ve seen one good example and that’s it so far.

          • I did not say you said stupid but I can see how it reads.

            I use the triggers for accelerating and breaking too. They are just two examples of things that it is used for. If you use them is not the point, they have had uses in the past is the point. I have not played every game ever released nor do I need to have a bajillion examples to show it is justified.

            It is a feature one has that the other does not in there controllers. It is a good thing to have, don’t like it don’t use it.

            Here is another. The Xbox One has rumble triggers – I don’t see the point as it has rumble in the whole controller. Point is I don’t need to care for it to be relevant nor do you.

    • The original XBox controllers had pressure sensitive face buttons (I remember it was used in DoA Beach volleyball for soft vs. hard hits) but this was phased out with the 360 but AFAIK no explanation was given.

  • I’ve thought force feedback sticks and triggers were the next logical step in controller design for years. I wish they were in the Dualshock 4 design.
    But knowing Sony, they’ll shoehorn it in then refine it later. Sticks as well, please, if you’re listening.

  • Double A cells? seriously?
    I wanted two buttons underneath for the middle fingers one for sprint one for cover.
    The A button is way overused and you are forced to take your thumb off the stick.

    Please add this before it’s too late.

  • Wonder if they will charge your credit card if you tried to sync it to a second device…

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