Original Xbox Controller Prototypes Look Like Dreamcast Tears

Seamus Blackley, one of the key people involved in the creation of the original Xbox, has shared some concept images for Microsoft's debut control pad, which date all the way back in November 1999 (the Xbox wouldn't launch until 2001). Obviously the final design looked remarkably different; the "Duke" controller (below, left) was a massive, hulking thing, and its replacement, the S Pad (below, right), laid down the template that Microsoft's controllers still follow to this day.

Images: Evan Amos

These prototypes, though, were wild, a direct representation of how close Microsoft and Sega were at the time. Any one of them looks like an after-market Dreamcast controller, not something designed from the ground-up for a new company's first console.

Blackley shared four images in all (via Gamasutra), each depicting the same VMU (Visual Memory Unit) design that the Dreamcast used (and which Microsoft kinda ended up borrowing with the Xbox controller's memory card slot).


    They all look uncomfortable

      nothing could be more uncomfortable than the original xbox controller. It was big, cumbersome and twice the size of the current controller https://i.ytimg.com/vi/D59-bodcBlc/hqdefault.jpg

        Never actually found it uncomfortable to hold, but it's been a while since I held one

        I was 12 when the Xbox came out and I didn't really feel uncomfortable using it.

        That controller was part of the reason I didn't give Xbox a second chance until the 360s. I'd rather use an N64 controller, at least it wasn't oversized.

        Seriously why did they make it so big? Just so they could stake a flag in how American they were?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now