New Xbox 360 Wireless controller featuring a transforming D-Pad


We’ve just made the Xbox 360 Wireless controller even better with a brand new version that includes a transforming D-pad.  The engineers have come up with an ingenious solution with a d-pad that can go from a plus to a disc with the twist of the wrist.


From this:

To this instantly:
dpad_up dpad_down


Here is a video that shows how it work:

In addition to the new d-pad, the matte silver controller also features concave analog sticks and gray A,B,X,Y buttons for added style. 


The controller will only be available with the new Play & Charge Kit that will launch on November 9th for US $64.99.


More photos on my flickr


If you are headed to PAX Prime this weekend in Seattle, drop by the recording of my LIVE Podcast on Sunday where I’ll have a few of these controllers to give away for free.


Edit: It’s now up on


Update: The Play & Charge Kit is now available for pre-order




  • Anonymous

    Knowing me, though, I’d be fiddling with the d-pad constantly.

    D-pad goes up, d-pad goes down. D-pad goes up, d-pad goes down. D-pad goes up, d-pad goes down.


  • joaguilar

    $65 is way overpriced, but that is the list price of the current controller+play and charge kit, but those can be found for ~$40 most of the time.
    It was time that they fixed the d-pad. Not only for fighting games – it is frustrating to try to quick-switch weapons in Fallout 3 assigned to the diagonals.

    For fighting games, I got a MadCatz FightPad, which works great. They are $23 in Amazon at the moment, which is a steal – mine was $40 when SFIV came out, and I think it was worth the price.
    FWIW, I still think the Xbox 360 controller is the best controller out there for everything else BUT fighting games.


  • skullivan

    @FloorOgre: Major said that the new controller has other new features so it’s possible that the wired/wireless capability you’re talking about is one of them.


  • Anonymous

    nice stuff Obviously I will Purchase :)


  • EvoSero

    $65 US is a lot for just a controller and charge kit. I mean you can get the current controller and a 4-pack of rechargeable AAs for less than that.

    I also don’t get changing the buttons from colored to grey. I’d say the vast majority of time I’m instructed to press any of the four buttons in a game I recognize it by color, not by the letter. Often the button icon on screen is too small anyway for the letter to be ideally legible, yet the color makes it instantly understood.

    With four buttons of grey scale – including two seemingly identical shades – I imagine it will prove to be a practical error even if it’s more aesthetically pleasing.


  • VitzZz

    People, the grey buttons are not that big of a deal. The in-game prompts will continue to be shown in color. Now how many regular players (the ones more likely to pick this up) have to actually look down to the controller whenever a button is displayed on screen? Not many. It will not interfere with the core gamer’s experience in the slightest.


  • Minuteman

    It’s great that the D-pad has been improved, but I really would rather have the ABXY buttons use the traditional colors. Those quicktime events that a lot of games use will be a lot harder when the color of the buttons don’t match what is being displayed on the screen. Also, I would rather not have to buy it along with the Play and Charge kit. My standard rechargeable NiCad batteries work just fine.


  • ChakramPrincess

    I like the look of the controller, except for the buttons. Please replace them with the usual coloured buttons.


  • Ai Kago

    Yeah, I recongnize the buttons by colour, so I wont be buying this.


  • CptBrassBalls

    Wow, 210 comments and only 2 from MN. Useless.


  • maxjive

    What I don’t get (except money) is why MS is still shipping crappy d-pads with their new systems? There have been 3 launches since the original (Arcade/Fixed RRoD, Elite, Slim) and you’ve known since launch day 1 that the D-Pad wasn’t great. It’s been 5 years now, really? You still don’t include it in the new system? Two Thumbs Down!


  • Aquaplex

    Great stuff. Pretty sure I’ll buy one of those!



    Hm,MS doesn’t get that no one likes spending nearly 3/4 of a hundred dollar bill every time they drop a new toy.
    Stuff like this makes me want to go back to PC gaming.




    You ARE dumb


  • Grumbledock

    Like they said, it is a controller for Gamers, hardcore people who do not need the happy colours to know what button they’re pressing.
    I’m sure they’ll release a version with “normal colours” as well as a stand alone one in a matter of months… ;)


  • TigerKneeCrush

    why dont they release this shit in the beginning!?


  • Wayens

    Looks cool, Major. Very sleek. Black lining, bumpers, and triggers are a nice touch. Though I do admit, buttons are color coded in almost all games I’ve seen. Can definitely be confusing for beginning Xbox players. The D-pad redesign *is* very cool. I can see it being much easier on the thumb there. Thanks! Let’s see it integrated in the standard controller in the future!


  • Mike17032

    Just seems like a really really bad idea to remove the colored buttons. I don’t really care how my controller looks.

    One of the things I liked about the 360 was that the buttons were so much easier to remember because of the color than the stupid XO tic tac toe nonsense of the PS3.

    And a LOT of games use the colors on screen (including the one I am playing right now).

    I wonder if it is possible to take apart an old controller and swap the buttons…


  • PXB XziBitioN

    expensive please make it cheaper
    or add and extra headset with it or even a chatpad
    but the headset if fine


  • Mikewarrior

    Here’s the problems I have with this decision…

    #1. Why did it take Microsoft so long to address this known problem with the horrible D-Pad control?

    #2. Is it purely cosmetic (D-Pad change only) or are the internals different… Does it now respond correctly?

    #3. If this controller does fix known problems, then why isn’t it included in all future 360 consoles sold?

    #4. Why the change in button colors when the 360 dash & it’s games represent a certain color scheme?

    #5. Major Nelson talks of a new Play & Charge Kit… Is the battery that it comes with far better than the junk old ones?

    #6. Why the controller color change to SILVER… What system does that go with????

    #7. Why add crap that many don’t need to increase the price… Does that make sense in a recession?


  • hybridfiend

    You kidding me? 65 bucks for a new d-pad? No Sale M$, Not even the Limited halo Reach Controllers cost that much. And this has nothing new except for the d-pad…First M$ hikes up the price for live, now they try to sell us a 65$ controller? Kind of a slap to the customers don’t you think?


  • Zacxx201

    I won’t be getting it. ( have no need for it and it’s to expensive ) It doesn’t seem like you guys have fixed the problem with the D-Pad at all though. I don’t mind the color change for the buttons. Everyone complaining about quick-time events and the button colors, do you people honestly look down at your control to see the colors? Haven’t you learned them by now? I can understand the new players having trouble but that’s why this isn’t bundled with the new Xbox-S.



    Why do you idiots keep saying it’s too expensive? It’s cheaper than the stand alone controller, when you factor in the charge kit.


  • LittleBlueAlien



  • Lazigeek

    I actually like the bright coloured buttons, but if you wanted to make the buttons a more subtle colour then why not make the buttons a light grey or whatever, but still keep the coloured letter under the clear plastic top?

    They’ll look more subtle but will still have colours associated with them… everybody wins.


  • AriesDog

    Unlike many, I have no problem that the controller is initially offered with the Play & Charge kit because I know it’ll eventually be released seperately. However, making the buttons grayscale instead of color is just wrong. The games themselves tell you which button to push based on color.


  • tozOL

    MS, I would seriously love to chat to your marketing department, in the last month alone, your extreme loyal customers have been hit with…
    New console:
    new controller:
    halo console:
    call of duty console:
    gold subs price increase:
    and then the just to funny for words pricing on Kinect..

    Answer me just one question, are you people living in the same place as the rest of us, there is a massive world economic problem, and yet you continuously seem to be just increasing or charging ridiculous prices for your products now, and worse still it shows no sign of stopping.

    We are currently in a time when everyone is tightening belts, I worry this fall, someone somewhere who has invested a lot of money is going to be extremely disappointed, and I thought I would never say it was going to be Microsoft, but I feel for the first time now Kinect is going to be a massive Failure, not on technology, but on price-point alone.

    You have to realize here, there are not just these things coming out as well, your competing with triple A titles across the board, and yet this fall all we see from MS is price increase….oh wait we see weekly arcade price reductions.

    Come on MS, it’s time to give your customers something back for there constant loyalty, because for the first time for me…the PS3 is becoming a far more easier choice of console, and I mean that on pricing again.
    And no I’m not a fan boy, i’m a UK podcast who for the very first time, is now playing My Ps3 far, more than the 360, and I may add, the move is pre ordered, the Kinect is way, way out of my budget.


  • Yukon Cornelius

    It’s as if Microsoft wants us to hate the current revision of Xbox 360, so when then 720 comes in 1-2 years, we’ll look upon it like it’s a savior to our woes of:
    * new console that doesn’t take faceplates, and still no user-replacable HDD
    * higher Xbox Live costs, when everyone knows costs should be going DOWN as a result of optimization and experience. Did moving up to 64kbps voice really drive up costs?
    * a gray controller with gray buttons, same crappy D-pad (only now it’s a “transformer”), and bundling a cheap USB’ish cable at the same price as if you bought controller & cable separately.
    * no MGS games on the horizon, save for Halo, Fable, Alan Wake, and Kinect bundleware.
    * no increased efforts or detection to get rid of cheating in the top 10 Live games.


  • dr oreos

    This and higher gold memberships = microsoft FAIL



    Wow thats an impressive Control, and i wish people would stop complaining about the price increase this means that live will increase in preformance and their should be far less lag


  • Kroesis

    @ThinkDIGGITYDAN I’ll believe it when I experience it.


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