The Gadget Helpline has just returned from a day at the Eurogamer Expo 2013 at Earls Court in London where we were able to get an up-close-and-personal look at the controllers for the future generation consoles coming our way in the latter part of the year. In this first ‘hands on’ we give you our early verdict of the Xbox One Wireless Controller.
The Xbox One Wireless Controller has received a few minor visual changes since its Xbox 360 predecessor. She’s just as curvy, with plenty to get to grips with. But despite her shape you’ll notice by handling her she might be a little lighter than expected and the function buttons, D-Pad and analogue sticks look much cleaner and more natural as a part of the whole than in the last iteration.
From a control point of view, everything is exactly where you would expect it as a veteran player and features are easy to get familiar with as a new Xbox player with the lettering on the function buttons bright and clear and the ever present Xbox logo button smack bang in the middle just above the new View and Menu buttons (replacing Start and Back), offering a bit more open space than we’re used to. The remodelled analogue sticks are also a little less bulky but have a redesigned gripping surface with a lightly serrated edge for improved accuracy, which we like.
On the top edge and back of the controller the shoulder and trigger buttons sit comfortably under the player’s grip and the triggers are primed and ready to deliver the new impulse feature into the hands of the player. This adds a greater sense of realism with vibration feedback when using weapons and any other rough and tumble experienced during gameplay.
The battery compartment on the Xbox One Controller now takes a more natural seat in the back of the hardware, sitting flush and is far less intrusive to the ergonomics of the handset. The controller can be hooked up to a headset via the expansion port (only new headsets that is) and this is also an available access point for future add-on goodies. The sensor on top is a new offering allowing for seamless syncing to the Xbox One console (the one we used was wired, so we were unable to test the promised 30 feet wireless range).
On our first brief dabble we enjoyed using the Xbox One Wireless Controller – it’s still sizeable and sturdy but overall offers a much more natural play. Perhaps compacting some of the features and buttons and keeping the size leaves a bit too much vacant space between features but we’re sure Microsoft knows what they’re doing with the subtle redesign and we look forward to giving the controller a thorough testing when the console is released on November 22nd.