Microsoft drops tons of new info on its next-gen gamepad.
Microsoft have dropped a ton of new information on the Xbox Series X today, from its complete list of specs and demonstrations of some of its newer features to details about its backward compatibility and more, and something else that’s been given the spotlight is the console’s new controller. Over on Xbox Wire, the company published an interview detailing some of the biggest changes they’re making to the gamepad, while also showing it off in a round of new images (which you can ogle below).
One of the most notable changes in the Xbox Series X’s controller from the Xbox One is the d-pad, which now bears a cross design on top of a plate of sorts. Ryan Whitaker, Senior Designer at Xbox, says the d-pad is “about boosting performance and accessibility for all the ways people play.” The “crisp” directional buttons ensure players can input precise directional commands, while the facetted dish allows for sweep actions and diagonal directional inputs. It is, in Whitaker’s words, “a hybrid to deliver the best of both.”
Cross-compatibility across various devices – be it the Xbox Series X, the Xbox One, your PC, or mobile devices to play via xCloud – is also something Microsoft have focused on, and are giving assurances that the controller will have proper and smooth connectivity with all devices.
“The new controller needs to work equally well on Xbox One and pairing and moving between all these devices needs to be easy,” says Whitaker. “This level of compatibility and connectivity has become the norm for devices and accessories. Increasingly, the controller will be the common touch point to your Xbox games across devices. It’s the one consistent piece of hardware in all these interconnected experiences. So we designed it to work that way.”
Reducing latency is something else that Microsoft seem to have emphasized quite a bit with the new controller, thanks to something called Dynamic Latency Input, which, according to Whitaker, will “shave off precious milliseconds at every step of gameplay.”
“We’re introducing a system-wide set of improvements we call Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), which includes specific technology in the console and the HDMI connection to your TV,” he said. “And it all starts with the controller. Essentially, information is sent more frequently from the controller and matched with exact frames of your game on-screen. The result: we shave off precious milliseconds at every step of gameplay, and actions are even more instantaneous.”
Speaking on the new share button, which was actually revealed back in December, Whitaker said it will make it “easy to just grab a screenshot or record a video without needing on-screen menus”, before adding, “Then you can easily access and share content with your favorite social platforms or directly with friends.”
Microsoft have, in the past, also had special textures on parts of their controllers with special editions in the past, but they’re making that standard as they move into next-gen, with the new controller featuring “a tactile dot pattern on the triggers and bumpers, which provides grip to improve feel and performance during gameplay.”
A “similar yet more subtle pattern” will also be on the controller’s grips.
You can view some of the more aesthetic changes Whitaker describes in the images below.