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Controller Evolved

 

At a Glance
  • Improved ergonomic design.
  • Upgrades in function.
  • Your Xbox 360 Guide button.

We began with the famous Duke, moved on to the refined Controller S, and now we handle the sublime Xbox 360™ controller with satisfaction and care. It epitomizes the next generation of gaming with familiarity and function, and the evolution of both.

To first pick up the Xbox 360 controller is to smile in recognition, but within moments you'll notice changes in its weight and form. It doesn't settle into your grip, it floats there easily. It doesn't just feel ergonomic, but conforms to every curve and crevice of your hand. In essence, within a few moments of gameplay, you forget the controller is even there. You don't feel it and you're not aware of it—it's simply an extension of your gaming will.

It even looks soft.

It even looks soft.

The Xbox 360 controller boasts a number of significant upgrades in function beyond just weight and feel. Here are the highlights:

  • Black and white: They began in the top right-hand corner of the Duke, then moved to the bottom right on the Controller S. Now the black and white buttons have been scrubbed from the face and moved to the top-front of the controller. They live above the left and right triggers for ease of use. It's an elegant and intuitive move that simply feels right.
  • No more puck: Notice that the Xbox 360 controller contains no obtrusive slots for sliding in memory cards or the Xbox® Communicator headset's "puck." The memory units now attach to the console itself, while the headset plugs directly into a port on the controller. It makes more sense and means there's one less thing to accidentally lose. Be gone, puck!
  • Rumble: The rumble feature include two separate vibration feedback motors, and you can set it to on or off as you see fit.

Clean and sexy

Clean and sexy.

  • Extra slack: Eight feet of cord did the job, but the Xbox 360 wired controller gives you another foot of slack to play with. Of course, for true freedom, give the Xbox 360 wireless controller a go.
The Xbox Guide Button

In the middle of the Xbox 360 controller is the Xbox Guide button. A quick touch turns your Xbox 360 console on and off from afar. The button also lets you navigate through the full range of Xbox 360's features. Call up your friends list and issue challenges, rearrange music playlists, access movies, peruse the Xbox LIVE Marketplace, and more. It's all available at the touch of a single button.

Around the Xbox Guide button a ring of light pulses with even more possibilities. Divided into four quadrants, the ring at its most basic functionality identifies the player, an essential function in the world of wireless controllers. Beyond that, the quadrants are fully programmable for in-game functions depending on the game you're playing. From hitpoints to power meters, the options are endless, and we can't wait to see what developers come up with.

The Xbox 360 controller is a big part of a console that demands revolution. It possesses an exceptional range of upgraded features and vastly improved design, while still maintaining the familiarity needed for instant ease of use.

Article by Alex McLain

©2008 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved