“We built small slugs of different types of smells that could actually come out of a controller”
According to a recent VentureBeat article which featured the development of the next generation console, Xbox One’s controller development, the general manager of Xbox accessories, Sulfi Alam spoke of the many “hundreds” of different prototypes Microsoft went through, each of which with their own unique capabilities.
“We had a whole bunch of brainstorm sessions and built hundreds of models. We looked at concepts like adding displays to the controller. We looked at concepts like adding smell.”
“We built small slugs of different types of smells that could actually come out of a controller. Like, as you walked through a jungle, you’d smell the flora.”
Other controller prototypes featured elements such as a second screen, and speakers, both of which are seen in the Sony Dualshock 4, and the Wii U GamePad, but ultimately Microsoft decided not to go with those features.
“You’ve got a great TV with a better speaker than we could ever put in this controller,” says Microsoft senior industrial designer Quintin Morris.
“And it made more sense to [not make players look down at a display], keeping the user’s attention on the TV. We really want them to be immersed in the experience that’s happening in front of them. [With an extra screen] you’re burning battery life like there’s no tomorrow – not a great idea.”