Xbox Series X controller has a new D-Pad and will be easier to hold


Xbox senior designer Ryan Whitaker is offering more details on the next-gen Xbox Series X wireless controller.

While the new wireless controller will still look about the same as before, there are a few key differences. Speaking to Xbox Wire, Whitaker describes the main areas that the team wanted to deliver on: improved ergonomics for a wider range of people, better cross-device connectivity, easier sharing, and reduced latency.

But ultimately the idea is inclusivity.

“Being more inclusive is part of the design process from the very beginning. That’s true for everything we make at Xbox. Whether we’re redesigning our standard controller or inventing a completely new one, like the Adaptive Controller, we ask ourselves and gamers, “How can we make gaming a better experience for everyone?” By listening to gamers and observing how people of all backgrounds and abilities play, we continue to learn more and find areas we can improve.”

“One key area we’re improving is fitting a wider range of hand sizes, especially smaller hands. By accommodating hands similar to those of an average 8-year-old, we found we could improve accessibility and comfort for hundreds of millions more people without negatively affecting the experience for those with larger hands. We did that by rounding the bumpers, slightly reducing and rounding parts around the triggers, and carefully sculpting the grips.”

The new controllers will feature improvements to input latency and “shave off precious milliseconds at every step of gameplay,” and has gotten a freshly designed D-pad and share button, which you can have a look at below. Microsoft will also be supporting cross-compatibility between Xbox Series X and Xbox One consoles and controllers.

“The new D-pad is about boosting performance and accessibility for all the ways people play. And it’s one of my favorite parts of the new design,” Whitaker continues. “When looking at the wide range of game genres and personal playstyles today, the D-pad is used in a lot of different ways.

“That’s why our Elite controllers have swappable D-pads. For some games, having crisp cardinal directions (up, down, left, right) with well-defined edges is what gamers need, and the cross is great for that. Some gamers need to hit accurate diagonals or perform sweep actions, which is where the facetted dish is designed to excel. And, of course, based on personal playstyles, some people just prefer one over the other.”

Microsoft lifted the lid earlier this morning on the internal architecture of the Xbox Series X. You can take a look at our detailed breakdown right here. Today the company also revealed that the mysterious port on the back of the unit is indeed used for expandable storage. The port is capable of matching the speed of the console’s internal 1TB NVMe SSD.

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