Microsoft confirm new 360 controller

Microsoft's new and allegedly improved Xbox 360 controller

Microsoft may claim to have its heart set on a controller-free future but it has not stopped researching the “old-fashioned” input system just yet. The company’s own Major Nelson has confirmed that a new Xbox 360 controller is on the way, with the accessory gaining a new D-pad and a sleeker look.

The console’s controller has long faced criticism for its D-pad and the re-design attempts to address that, with a twist now giving a bit more depth to the up, down, left and right buttons.

Other than that the analogue sticks have been made a bit more concave, the X, Y,  A & B buttons have been made black, white and grey (which could prove confusing for games that use the old colours on-screen when directing users) and the body itself has been given a nice silver matte sheen.

Before the twist.... and after.

It is due to hit US shops in early November for $65 and will only be bundled with the play and charge kit. According to Nelson it will replace the old wireless controller so expect this to become the de facto 360 controller fairly sharpish.

When it makes its way to Irish shores is currently unknown but given the company’s apparent love of global accessory roll-outs there is nothing to stop it getting here before Christmas.

Microsoft is not a complete stranger to controller re-designs in the middle of a console’s life cycle. A far more significant overhaul of the original Xbox’s controller was made after the first proved to be unpopular with users, largely due to its significant size.

At that time the smaller Controller S, which was originally designed for the Japanese market only, was rolled out internationally. This quickly became the standard controller and is the basis of the one still used with the 360 today.

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