Yes, the new Elite controller is coming to Australia. And if you were expecting it to cost more, well you're right about that as well.
Microsoft announced this morning that the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, which hits Australia on November 4, would retail for a princely $249.95. It comes four years after the launch of the original Elite controller, with the headline feature being an internal rechargable battery with approximately 40 hours of life per charge over USB-C.
Other improvements include the remapping of voice commands on Xbox to face buttons (like taking screenshots and recording gameplay), three custom profiles instead of 2, three hair trigger locks instead of two (at 1.8mm, 4mm and 7.9mm), and the ability to change the thumbstick resistance to match stock Xbox One pads, or Xbox 360 controllers.
The updated controller has a rubberised grips that wraps around the left and right sides of the controller, which should hopefully prevent the peeling off problem that some users had with the original Elite. The case comes with adjustable thumbsticks and paddles for the rear, like the original, and a carrying case. There's Bluetooth support as well, helping those wanting to use the Elite controller on the PC or potentially mobile — especially if you're going to try the Project xCloud streaming on your local network.
But is that rechargable battery, USB-C and the extra bells and whistles worth an extra $50? The Elite was the most expensive controller on the market when it launched, but it's since been replaced by a host of third-party peripherals from companies like Razer and SCUF. I always preferred the Elite, unless you were playing on the PS4. That said, the Elite controller was too heavy to use with a broken wrist.
A key question I have is whether the pad can pair with multiple devices over Bluetooth, an issue that some headphones have solved (and others haven't). And the stock Xbox One controller, particularly the Xbox One S revision, is still pretty good — and it's a third of the price. It works better with CEMU than the Switch Pro Controller too. But Microsoft have just over 4 months to sell people on the Elite 2 before it lands locally. I'll let you know what it's like when we get one in the office.