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Xbox One Wireless Controller is the primary controller for the Microsoft Xbox One console, also commercialized for its use in Windows PCs. The controller maintains the overall layout found in the Xbox 360 controller, but with various tweaks to its design, such as a revised shape, redesigned analog sticks, shoulder buttons, and triggers, along with new rumble motors within the triggers to allow for directional haptic feedback.

Xbox One Wireless Controller
Microsoft-Xbox-One-controller.jpg
DeveloperMicrosoft
ManufacturerMicrosoft
TypeVideo game controller
GenerationEighth
Release date
  • NA: November 22, 2013
  • EU: November 22, 2013 (some countries, 2014 for others)
  • AU: November 22, 2013
  • BRA: December 1, 2013
  • JP: September 4, 2014
Lifespan2013—present
Input
  • Digital D-Pad
  • 2× Analog triggers (LT, RT)
  • 2× Analog sticks
  • 11× Digital buttons
    (Y, B, A, X, LB, RB, left stick click, right stick click, Menu, View, Xbox)
  • Wireless pairing button
Connectivity
Current firmware2.3.2385.0
3.1.1221.0 (third revision)
PredecessorXbox 360 Controller

It has had three revisions with several changes to the controller's design and functionality. Microsoft also markets the Elite Wireless Controller, a premium version geared towards professional gamers, including interchangeable parts and programmability features. In turn, each of the aforementioned variations has been offered in various color schemes, some featuring special designs tying into specific games.

Per a partnership between Microsoft and Oculus VR, the Xbox One controllers was initially included in the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset bundle, up until the launch of the Oculus Touch motion controllers.[1]

Contents

DesignEdit

Microsoft invested over $100 million into refining the controller design for the Xbox One; internal designers had created prototypes with various tweaks and refinements to the design over the Xbox 360 controller, along with those including unorthodox features such as embedded screens and speakers (which were rejected due to their effects on battery life, and redundancy to the main display and sound system), and the ability to emit odors.[2]

The Xbox One controller maintains the overall layout found in the Xbox 360's design, but with enhancements such as redesigned grips, a smoother build, the removal of the protruding battery compartment, and "Menu" and "View" buttons replacing "Start" and "Back". The controller also contains light emitters that allow it to be tracked and paired using Kinect sensor, and to detect when it is not being held to automatically enter a low-power state. The controller contains a micro USB port, enabling wired use of the controller with the console or on computers running Windows 7 or later with drivers, and firmware updates.[3][4][5][6] For communication, the controller uses a new proprietary protocol with a larger amount of bandwidth than the wireless protocol used by the Xbox 360 controller, reducing wireless latency and allowing higher quality headset audio.[4][5]

The analog sticks feature a new textured rim, while the D-pad was changed to use a more traditional 4-way design rather than the circular 8-way design of the 360. This change was made partially due to criticism by players of fighting games who, despite the use of "sweeps" across the D-pad in these games as motivation, felt that the Xbox 360's D-pad performed poorly in said fighting games. The updated 4-way design is also better suited for use as individual keys in games that use them for item selection.[7] The design of the face buttons was revised to improve their legibility, using a three-layer design consisting of a black background, colored letter, and a clear covering intended to make the letter appear to "hover" inside it. The buttons themselves are also spaced slightly closer together.[8]

The bumpers and trigger buttons were overhauled with a new curved shape to improve their ergonomics, as the user's fingers now naturally lie at an angle upon them unlike the straighter design on Xbox 360 controllers. The bumpers were also made flush with the triggers. The triggers themselves now have a smoother feel, and were made more accurate.[8] Each trigger features independent rumble motors called "Impulse Triggers", which allows developers to program directional vibration. One trigger can be made to vibrate when firing a gun, or both can work together to create feedback that indicates the direction of an incoming hit.[9]

LayoutEdit

A standard Xbox One controller features ten digital buttons, a syncing button, two analog triggers, two analog sticks and a digital D-pad. The right face of the controller features four digital actions buttons; a green "A" button, red "B" button, blue "X" button, and yellow "Y" button. The lower right houses the right analog stick, in lower left is a digital D-pad and on the left face is the left analog stick. Both analog sticks can also be "clicked in" to activate a digital button beneath. In the center of the controller face are digital "View", "Menu" and "Guide" buttons. The "Guide" button is labelled with the Xbox logo, and is used to turn on the console/controller and to access the Dashboard. Unlike the Xbox 360 controller, the Xbox One controller features a white backlit Xbox logo on its guide button and does not feature the "ring of light" that served as an indicator for the controller's assigned number (1 to 4). The left and right "shoulders" each feature a digital shoulder button, or "bumper", and an analog trigger.

Hardware revisionsEdit

2015 revisionEdit

On June 9, 2015, Microsoft unveiled a revised version of the standard controller, with model 1697. Its shoulder buttons were redesigned for improved responsiveness, a 3.5 mm headphone jack was added near the controller's expansion port, and support for wireless firmware updates was added.[10][11]

2016 revisionEdit

A third revision of the controller, model 1708, was introduced alongside the Xbox One S, an updated model of the Xbox One console, unveiled in June 2016. It features textured grips, and additionally supports Bluetooth, which allows it to be used wirelessly on Bluetooth-enabled PCs without the need for the proprietary Wireless Adapter.[12][13] Users can also custom-order this controller revision via the "Xbox Design Lab" service, with their choice of colors, and an optional inscription of their Xbox Live screen name for an additional fee.[14]

It has been made available in white, black, red, and blue colors, as well as other limited edition colors.[15]

Xbox One controller model summary
Model[a] Intro. Disc. 3.5 mm jack Bluetooth USB Thumbnail Notes
1537[b] 2013 2015   No   No Micro-B   Controllers packed with launch-day systems are marked "DAY ONE 2013" with chrome d-pad.[16]
1697 2015 2016   Yes   No   Standard 3.5 mm audio jack added to bottom of controller.[17] Capable of receiving firmware updates wirelessly from Xbox One console.[18]
1698 'Elite'   Yes   No[19]   Interchangeable thumbsticks and d-pad; detachable paddles on underside duplicating face buttons; rubberized grip; trigger locks.[20] Standard color scheme is black and silver, but the Elite controller was later available in a predominantly red special edition Gears of War 4-branded theme and a Robot White theme.
1708 2016   Yes   Yes   Introduced with Xbox One S.[12] Externally distinguished from earlier versions by texture & color of plastic surrounding Xbox home button, which now matches the rest of the controller body. Internally, Bluetooth wireless capability provides an alternative to the proprietary wireless dongle when used with Windows PCs.
'Elite 2' 2019   Yes   Yes USB-C Compared to the 1698 'Elite', 'Elite 2' adds a third trigger lock position, adjustable thumbstick tension, extended rubber grip (wrapping around to the front side), Bluetooth connectivity, and an internal rechargeable battery.[21]
Notes
  1. ^ The model number is printed on the sticker in the battery compartment
  2. ^ Part number 7MN-0001

Colors and stylesEdit

Besides standard colors, "special" and "limited edition" Xbox One controllers have also been sold by Microsoft with special color and design schemes, sometimes tying into specific games.[22]

Elite controllerEdit

 
Xbox Elite Wireless Controller

On June 15, 2015, during its E3 2015 press conference, Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One Elite Wireless Controller, a new controller which Xbox division head Phil Spencer described as being "an elite controller for the elite gamer". It features a steel construction with a soft-touch plastic exterior, along with interchangeable rear paddle buttons (with either short or long forms), analog stick tops (original Xbox one stick, a concaved version and a extended version for increased accuracy ), and directional pad designs (either the traditional four-way design, or a concave disc-like design), and "hair trigger locks" for the triggers that allow users to reduce the amount of distance they must be pressed to register a press. Through software, users can customise button and paddle mappings and adjust the sensitivity of the triggers and analog sticks. Two button profiles can be assigned to a switch on the controller for quick access. The Elite Controller was released on October 27, 2015.[23][24][25]

Cosmetic variantsEdit

A special Gears of War 4-themed limited edition variant of the Elite controller was unveiled during Microsoft's E3 2016 press conference. It features a rustic, dark red color scheme with a blood splatter effect and the series emblem on the rear of the controller, and a D-pad disc with weapon symbols corresponding to the in-game weapons bound to these controls.[26]

A White Special Edition of the controller was announced on August 29, 2018. Although a revised Elite controller was leaked early in 2018 incorporating functional changes, the White Special Edition was another cosmetic variant of the original Elite.[27]

Series 2Edit

Plans for a revised version of the Elite controller were leaked in January 2018, with a number of new features, including USB Type C connector, and other hardware improvements such as three-level Hair Trigger Locks, adjustable tension for the thumbsticks, revised rubber grips, three user-defined profile settings, and Bluetooth connectivity, which had been introduced with the revised Xbox One S controller in 2016.[27][28]

At E3 2019, Microsoft announced they would begin taking pre-orders for the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2; the controller would be available starting on November 4, 2019 at a suggested retail price of US$179.99.[29]

Support on other platformsEdit

Drivers were released in June 2014 to allow Xbox One controllers to be used over a USB connection on PCs running Windows 7 or later.[30] The Xbox One Wireless Adapter for Windows is a USB dongle that allows up to eight controllers to be used at once wirelessly. Upon its release in October 2015, it was supported only by Windows 10. Drivers for Windows 7 and 8.1 were released in December 2015.[31][32] The adapter was updated in August 2017 with a smaller form factor.[33]

Windows 10 features include button remapping for the Elite Controller, audio through the controller, and firmware updates. On Windows 7 or 8.1, drivers are required, and the aforementioned features are not available.[34]

Microsoft also supports Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controllers on Android, specifically listing support for Minecraft: Gear VR Edition on certain Samsung Galaxy devices.[35]

In June 2019, Apple announced support for Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controllers in iOS 13 and tvOS 13, and it is expected to become available in the fall of 2019.[36][37]

AccessoriesEdit

Stereo headset adapterEdit

The Xbox One Stereo Headset Adapter allows the use of headsets with 3.5 millimeter headphone jacks with the original Xbox One controller, which does not include a 3.5 mm jack. An adapter for 2.5 mm headphone jacks is also included.[38]

ChatpadEdit

A keyboard chatpad attachment, similar to the Xbox 360 Messenger Kit, was unveiled at Gamescom on August 4, 2015.[39]

Play & Charge KitEdit

Similarly to the Xbox 360 version, the Play & Charge kit is the official rechargeable battery pack for Xbox One controllers.[40]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Explained: How the Oculus Rift streams PC and Xbox One games". CNET. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "The Xbox One controller: Projectors, smells (!), and other stuff that didn't make it in (part 1, exclusive)". VentureBeat. November 18, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Update your Xbox One Controller to use the Stereo Headset Adaptor". xbox.com. Microsoft. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "The Xbox One controller: A look at the new rumble, faster speed, smooth design, and everything else (part 4, exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Xbox One controller can be plugged in via USB to save power". Eurogamer. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  6. ^ Goldfarb, Andrew (May 24, 2013). "Microsoft Explains Xbox One Controller's New Buttons". IGN.com. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
  7. ^ "The Xbox One controller: What's new with the analog sticks and D-pad (part 2, exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  8. ^ a b "The Xbox One controller: What's new with the buttons and triggers (part 3, exclusive)". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  9. ^ Lowe, Scott. "Xbox One Controller Hands-on". May 21, 2013. Retrieved May 22, 2013.
  10. ^ "Xbox One doubles storage to a terabyte, gets jacked-up controller". CNET. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  11. ^ "Microsoft Launches Updated Xbox One, Controller, and PC Adapter". Anandtech. Retrieved June 12, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Dingman, Hayden. "Xbox One S controller review: New features and custom colors make for a great successor". PC World. IDG. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "Microsoft announces the Xbox One S, its smallest Xbox yet". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  14. ^ "Xbox Design Lab lets you build your own colorful Xbox One controller". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  15. ^ "Red Xbox One Controller Launching This Month". GameSpot. Retrieved May 8, 2017.
  16. ^ Fogel, Stefanie (August 8, 2013). "Xbox One 'Day One' edition comes with special controller, Achievement". VentureBeat. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  17. ^ Warren, Tom (May 28, 2015). "New Xbox One controller will have a standard headphone jack". The Verge. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  18. ^ Hryb, Larry. "New Xbox One 1TB Console Unveiled, Xbox One 500GB Console Reduced to $349" (Press release). Microsoft. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "How to connect an Xbox One Wireless Controller to PC". Microsoft. Retrieved July 30, 2018.
  20. ^ Dingman, Hayden (October 22, 2015). "Xbox One Elite Controller review: I'm finally replacing my wired 360 controller". PCWorld. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  21. ^ "Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2". Microsoft. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  22. ^ "List of all different Xbox One controller styles and colors". WindowsCentral.
  23. ^ "Microsoft unveils new $150 Xbox One Elite controller—and we've held it". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  24. ^ "Microsoft's Xbox One Elite Controller could be the ultimate console gamepad". The Verge. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  25. ^ Martin Robinson (June 16, 2015). "Microsoft Introduce the New Modular Xbox Elite Wireless Controller". Eurogamer. Retrieved June 21, 2015.
  26. ^ "Gears of Wars 4 is getting a ridiculously awesome Xbox Elite controller". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Microsoft unveils new Xbox Elite controller in robot white". The Verge. Retrieved August 30, 2018.
  28. ^ Warren, Tom (January 16, 2018). "New Xbox Elite controller revealed in leaked images". The Verge. Retrieved June 14, 2019.
  29. ^ Warren, Tom (June 9, 2019). "Microsoft's Xbox Elite 2 controller arrives on November 4th for $179.99". The Verge. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
  30. ^ "PC Drivers for the Xbox One Controller Now Available". MajorNelson (Larry Hryb). June 5, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  31. ^ "You No Longer Have to Be on Windows 10 to Use the Xbox One Wireless Adapter". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  32. ^ "The Xbox One wireless controller adapter is exclusive to Windows 10 for...reasons". PC World. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  33. ^ "Microsoft's new Xbox Wireless Adapter is no longer a massive USB stick". The Verge. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  34. ^ "Xbox One Wireless Controller differences on Windows operating systems". Xbox. Microsoft. Retrieved March 19, 2016.
  35. ^ "Xbox Wireless Controller Functionality Across Operating Systems". support.xbox.com. Retrieved October 6, 2017.
  36. ^ "tvOS 13 powers the most personal cinematic experience ever". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  37. ^ Rossignol, Joe. "iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV Gaining Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Controller Support". www.macrumors.com. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  38. ^ "Some caveats come with Xbox One headset adapter [update]". Engadget. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  39. ^ "Xbox One controllers get a chatpad this November". Polygon. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "Xbox One Wireless Controller, Play and Charge Kit and Chat Headset available for pre-order". Engadget. Retrieved June 9, 2016.