The Xbox controller is often considered the pinnacle of controller design, with it’s ergonomically placed thumb sticks, to its twitch press bumpers. Yet with the release of the DualSense, it does have a few features that even Uncle Phil would like to add in.
With advanced haptic feedback, and adaptive triggers, Sony have made a joypad that is worthy of mimicry. Yet the Xbox could do so much more.
Here are 5 things I want to see in an updated Xbox Series Controller.
Sure, it could be argued that incorporating rumble right into the controller itself is way more advanced than the Nintendo 64 Rumble Pack. But what a feeling that was. Going from no rumble, then smashing that pack into the back of the trident controller and finally feeling what it’s like to crash into a cliff from Peppy’s suggested barrel roll. Stupid Peppy.
HD Haptic feedback is great and all, but what if you don’t want it for every game? Turn it off in the settings, like a chump? No, just disconnect the rumble pack and you’re set.
Nothing beats that feeling of locking and loading anything, the satisfying click alone is enough to make the rumble pack better than any subsequent ‘HD Rumble’.
If Sega got one thing right in its long history in video games, it’s been strapping that milking machine to the blue hedgehog. But if they got two things right, it was the genius innovation of the Visual Memory Unit (VMU). A memory card that could be put right into the controller to play small games on the postage stamp sized screen.
The Dreamcast was the last of Sega’s consoles, ending an era, in no small part thanks to Sony’s PlayStation 2. So, what better way for Sega to be avenged than Xbox adopting the VMU in their controllers.
Sure, cloud streaming high end games on your phone is great Phil, but what if I just want to lug around my controller to play a glorified Tamagotchi. Exactly.
On the bus, bored of the infinite stream of information and connectivity your phone offers you. Pull our your Xbox with VMU controller and give mini Master Chief Tamagotchi a feed, or walk.
The DualSense boasts the immersion of feeling the individual rain drops as they fall. But do you really? Is it not just semi random bursts of vibration? Hardly feels like I’m drinking piña coladas and getting caught in the rain at all.
What can we do to really immerse you in that beautiful 4k ocean of the Sea of Thieves then? Wet Handles.
Hear me out, it’s even dual purpose. When you’re on dry land, the soft microfiber controller handles absorb any sweat produced during your tense ship to ship combat. Then you get knocked overboard into the sea, bam, the moisture is released. Hands are wet and you are truly immersed.
‘That’s disgusting?’ I hear you cry. Sure, but, well…. I don’t really have a counter to that except... Wet! Handles! Wet! Handles!... Check Mate.
Adaptive triggers frankly get in the way of multiplayer PVP shooting. I don’t want my gun to jam, neither do I wish to have biceps for index fingers after a long session of squeezing off realistic tension gun triggers.
But what could make those 1v1 Rust no scope etc etc matches even more immersive? Consequences for your deaths.
It’s easy to take stupid risks when playing team death match, as you know that when you die, a few seconds later you will respawn and be ready to go. With the only consequences being a loss of pride. What if we were to imbue your controller with the wrath of Zeus? That would make you pay attention rather than glancing at your phone.
Electrolysis, or even small needle pricks. Maybe both. Small, but still unethical, punishments for your poor performance. At last, a reason to git gud.
It’s one immersion those cowards at Sony wouldn’t dare to implement... we think.
Should have got gud.
Having already successfully covered the senses of pain, wetness, horrible shaking, and vision (Tamagotchi). Where else is left to go but smell.
Taking in the post-apocalyptic sights of State of Decay still feels a little detached. Yes, you can see a world that has fallen into, well, decay. But when all I can smell is the lovely cinnamon scents of the Yankee Candle burning in the corner, I’m taken right out.
There are already gamer candles out there, that can replicate the smells of an old library, wizards tower and more. But with the advancement of Xbox’s quick resume, I may be jumping from one game to the next more often than I care to light new candles.
This is where a scent dispersing controller makes sense. As far back as the 90s we had Smell-o-vision TV. With provided scratch and sniff cards that you would give a whiff of to identify the object on screen. Are you telling me that nearly 30 years later we couldn’t puff out a cloud of what ever we want at will?
I want to smell the salt in the air on the Sea of Thieves. The woods and smells of magic in Elder Scrolls 6. The decaying flesh from any number of Zombie games. The ozone gunpowder smell of the fields of war.
It’s time to one up Sony Phil, hit us in every sense we have.
That’s the 5 upgrades I want to see in an updated Xbox Series controller. I’m confident Phil Spencer will be taking notes.
What innovative controller upgrades do you think Xbox could throw into the mix? Let us know in the comments.
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