August 31st 2010 4:01 pm PT

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



Archive By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • metallicorphan

    i actually like that controller(and i do need one as my Halo controller RB button is knackered),but i would like the colours back for the buttons,they can help me when some fast button combos happen

  • tj sumpthun

    It only costs Microsoft $5 to make the original 360 controller. I cant imagine this costs much more to make.

  • juan cabrera

    Well, I can’t say what I think about the new d-pad since I haven’t tried it yet, but the monochrome buttons are not good! When you’re going through a game and it usually tells you which button to press you are usually able to tell which button it is by color. Now, it’s going to be so is it gray or less gray? Or black? I can’t really tell!

  • DarciaSolas

    Why did they decide to change the colours of the A,B,X,Y buttons. It does fit well in with the design of the controllers but it fades into. Though I”ve got to says it’s awesome what they have done!

  • simon zephyr

    You mean something that should have been working well from the get-go, we must pay 65 extra for?


    Wow I just don’t see the justification for that price. First off the D-Pad hasn’t been raised, its simply been recessed. I mean don’t get me wrong its cool and all but just because you change the color of the controller and put a neat little swivel pad on it doesn’t justify the price. FAIL. Get a clue Microsoft were in a recession, and the only industry that’s making any kind of solid cash is the gaming industry. You can realy compare the gaming industry to the comics of Tue depression, they charged a nickel a pop, cheap? Not realy, by the standards of the time. Cmon Microsoft wise up.

  • WilliamRLBaker

    1.they should have done this years ago.

    2.Its not included with all future xbox 360’s.

    3.Its wireless only, why not wired controllers?

    4.A mechanical lowering, raising dpad means **** if the internals don’t work, the major problem with the 360 controller dpad wasn’t its dpad surface but the internals of said dpad, and how many electronic registers on the main board, as well as how the internals of the dpad didn’t touch the electronic registers correctly.

    5.64.99? what? come on even with a play and charge kit thats just getting silly.

    All together too little too late, we will have to see what they’ve done internally to the controller not what they’ve done to the perception that some how making a cross or a disc somehow makes it work better. Something tells me its gonna come out it uses the same old internals. If it does then to hell with that you have the exact same problems as you did before.

  • Ark Hunter

    I don’t think the feel of the pad was the issue. It was that it bumped into the sides and didn’t register all that well. Mono-grey buttons looks nice, but suck from a UI stand point. All games have GBYR buttons on screen to push. Get rid of the color and it’ll take more than a quick glance at the buttons to figure out which one is which (if you are new to 360) This is not a controller for a newb.

  • Heinrich

    I can’t believe they’re not putting this in the Halo Reach console. For those of us spending $50 on a console you should let us mail in the Reach controllers for these for the cost of shipping and handling. We’re spending $400 on a console and then you release a separate controller that matches the console and is an improvement a very short time later.

  • dive4ever

    Are you guys kidding me?
    The ONLY reason Microsoft (or any “for profit” company) exists is to maximize shareholder value. They are here to make as much money as they can. Yes, Bill Gates is worth Billions, BECAUSE HE IS MUCH SMARTER THAN THE REST OF US.

    But he gives away more each day to charity than anyone on this site makes in a year.
    If you don’t want to pay more for live, DON’T.
    If you don’t want to buy this new controller, DON’T
    If you ask me, the marketing guys at MS are geniuses; they know most will keep on paying because we enjoy the service.
    I am 40 with a degree and I play for a few hours at night after the kids are asleep because it helps me relax.
    Will I pay more for live? Yes.
    Will I buy this controller? No because I don’t need a new one.
    All of you need to answer these questions for yourselves and stop complaining because your empty threats about leaving are as likely to happen as my wife telling my boys they won’t be going to Disney this Christmas if they don’t keep their rooms clean.
    And lastly, your threats might seem better if there were not so many typos.

  • Igniter RC

    I can’t believe that we have waited over 5 freaking years to get a wireless controller with a D-pad that works and they pull this ignorance and force people to pay extra for batteries they don’t want or need. Thanks for continuing to screw with people with disabilities!!! You may not think carpel tunnel or arthritis is a disability, but it sure is when using the crappy d-pad of the current controller. If you can’t or WON’T sell a usable controller at a fair price, let Nyco or Mad Catz make wireless controllers!

  • Computerdude103

    Microsoft sure doesn’t know how to time their announcements… I get the distinct feeling they are try to bury the Xbox live price increase. It’s so upsetting, and worse yet, they really honestly do not care.

  • Arte Venture

    Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo sick! I can’t wait to pick one of these up. Those analog sticks will greatly assist in all kinds of games. Too bad they didn’t extend them just a hair.

  • LDNight

    There’s Xbox shoving more crap we don’t need for a higher price in are face. What the hell is rong with you people? I mean it looks cool and all… but do we realy need it to come with a charge and play. ($64.99) Here is my left arm. ($59.99 gold membership) Here is my right arm.
    CRAP! out of arms. Cant play.

  • Wahrnye

    “4. A mechanical lowering, raising dpad means **** if the internals don’t work, the major problem with the 360 controller dpad wasn’t its dpad surface but the internals of said dpad, and how many electronic registers on the main board, as well as how the internals of the dpad didn’t touch the electronic registers correctly.”

    Bingo. Don’t forget the first year engineering lesson of “the more mechanical parts included in a device, the more points of potential failure that device has”. This tech is actually nothing new. As a kid in the ’80s, I had toys (M*A*S*K, I believe) that had similar functions. Push in and twist, a spring releases, lowers one plastic piece while leaving the original piece in the same, now seemingly elevated, position. The first, biggest, point of failure is the mechanical linkage which supports the twist and the lowering process. If either point fails, the entire d-pad will fail.

    Congrats on registering a 0-point silver account to troll. This isn’t JUST about price. This is about the fact that many of us have begged for a better d-pad since THE ORIGINAL XBOX S controller was introduced in 2003. It had the same shoddy d-pad with the same problems, yet they carried the same flawed design into the next generation. The finally “listened” and fixed the issue but it’s been almost a full 7 years since the complaints began. And instead of applying the fix across the board, it’s only going to be available in one controller, in one specific bundle.

    And, last I checked, not too many people were complaining about Microsoft stock. Except, of course, for the failures in the Windows and Office divisions dragging down the company. If Microsoft thinks they can bilk their gaming division userbase to cover up their inadequacies in their Windows and Office divisions, they’re in for a rude awakening.

  • UKresistance

    Grey buttons look stupid, and improvements on the D-pad should have been done years ago.

  • ornery owl

    A very nice idea for the d-pad, but I do not like that the A,B,X,Y buttons are not the standard colors. Could be confusing possibly? Maybe not, I guess we will see.

  • DL CyberSkull

    Before I even think about getting this I am gonna take a real serious look at the Onza and that other controller that lights up real pretty.

  • VitzZz

    Boe2, the clunky d-pad can be annoying on shooters as well. I play mostly Gears of War and swapping weapons is sometimes messed up because of that. A more precise d-pad would be extremely convenient for this purpose.
    I notice it says “only be available with the NEW Play & Charge Kit”. Does this mean it’s different from current Play & Charge kits? Anyway, I really hope these become standard and start being packed in with the new 360 S.

  • TechReconR6

    About time but I do not need another play and charge kit. I guess I’ll be waiting.

  • VitzZz

    Oh and about the gray buttons, they don’t really bother me much. I’ve played enough so I never have to actually stop and look at the controller anymore. Like it’s been said though, it’s a very strange move considering the industry’s shift towards the casual market. Most core gamers wouldn’t be affected by the lack of colored buttons, but I can definitely see how it could frustrate newer players.

  • drscience9

    Most guys and gals who would buy such a controller are interested in only one thing, assuming they can afford it. That would be performance. What game can it help me develop a higher score on? If the Major had shown an example on youtube of an ordinary Joe using the old controller, and then the new one, and scoring more points or kills with the new one, that would have been the piece de resistance. Xim360 at least demos their controller, and its precision aiming feature. Maybe the contoured joystick on the new Microsoft controller really is an improvement. Not just the D-pad. As a typical sucker with a low gamerscore, I’ll try anything.

  • Caboose0

    So, why is this upgrade so late? Does it really take 5 years to develop a new d pad?

    I might pick it up, might not. Hopefully prices on controllers start dropping, it is seriously killing me to pick up more controllers.

  • XxLightkunxX

    Fantastic. Now the controller looks boring and grey as hell. Also, nobody uses a d-pad for fighting games, and if you do, you’re a scrub. Simple as that.

  • AussieXboxFreak

    Looks prett slick!! but is it coming to Aus??

    and i dont see the big issue with people complaining about the colour change… imo it looks better, more tame and ‘mature’ compared to the kiddie bright colours, but perhaps thats just a personal taste.

  • Ai Kago

    Lol at the price, there is a global recession on you know!

  • SkyyPlum

    I’ve never had a problem with the dpad, then again I was gaming on nes and snes throughout my youth so its like 2nd nature. I’ll pass on this control not because of price but I can’t stand the look of it. I’m loving the new Tron controller just wish it would come out wireless.

  • BuckoA51

    Gray buttons? That’s a horrible idea, seriously you instantly make using this controller a whole heap more difficult for a huge chunk of your users. Dumb with a capital D.

  • MattAmo777

    COOL! I like the buttons as long as they are only for this limited edition. Anyone know what the price will be in the UK?

  • Ai Kago

    OK, I was BIG question for the Microsoft experts! Why wasnt this packed with the new 360 you just launched?

  • Kroesis

    Ugh.. Chrome. I hate Chrome. Wish it was more of a gunmetal colour. If they’re going for a metallic look then they really should have had the ABXY buttons in metallic blue/yellow/red/green.

    Then again I don’t really have many games that use the D-Pad enough to justyify buying this controller. If I did (Looking at Mortal Kombat) and the reviews were favourable (i.e. the D-Pad actually works properly and feels like it should) I’d consider getting it if I needed to replace a broken controller.

  • Anonymous

    I think this is a great idea and I can’t wait to give it a try. It’s obviously aimed at Street Fighter fans, so I wonder how the d-pad will compare to the one on the Mad Catz Fightpad. Still, the fact that this one is half Transformer gives it plenty of style points.

  • Dr4gOnsFuRy

    Don’t know what everyone is complaining about, I’m sure everyone knows where the buttons are and what each one is and how many times do you actually look down at your pad to see which colour your pressing? They are not holding a gun to your heads to buy this.

    @TBizzle4Shizzle you said “if my sister, little cousins, friend’s little siblings, etc., are playing Xbox with us and see a button on the screen, they will occasionally look down at their hands to see what is going on. Color is integral here. Nothing will match up from the screen to the player’s hands. If a green button pops up on screen, you expect to have a green colored button on your controller. Now there is a green A on the screen, and a colorless A on the controller.”
    Surely if they don’t know what the colours are in the first place and they see them on screen, they would HAVE to look at the controller anyway to see where it is, colour or not doesn’t make a difference because if someone who don’t know where each button should be then they WILL be looking down for the correct button whether it be a GREEN button or just an A button. If they know where each button is then there is no problem, so I don’t see a problem with this. You even said it yourself, they would be occasionally looking down.

  • chiruno99

    It does sound like a neat idea but I’d prefer if they were wired controllers. I know the majority of gamers have huge TVs and can sit far back enough to make a wire redundant, but I think the Wired pads are much better. They’re more accurate nd relible imo and I’ve never had broblem with them, except the wire becoming damged but that was through careless cleaning up by another. I don’t think the idea of a patented trnsforming D-pad is a great one, it looks good cosmeticall but the main issue was it’s accuracy and if this was addressed in the new design and completly fixed. I’d be glad to atleast see it in action before even thinknig of another play and charge kit.

    Alcohol helps me post better lol.

  • Bazajaytee

    Until it comes out in all black like the Xbox 360 S controller I won’t bother.

    Also guys, remember the $65 price tag is recommended. Its unlikely to sell for that in stores.

  • E P I K I Z I K

    who ever would pay $65 for a controller has issues…

  • SG dannysal

    I like it. The D-Pad had to be fixed – so thank you. Not that concerned about the button color scheme. I am, however, concerned about the price and the bundle. Yikes. I will buy it but not until the price drops and/or it comes without the play and charge kit.

  • Dirty8Kv2

    why does it take 3 months to get a 3 pin plug fitted to it? (Release it in the UK at the same time as the US please)


    Any comment that Kinect is launching with 3 Languages supported for voice commands?

    Mainland Europe shafted again

  • Grumbledock

    Really nice design, looks really stylish :)
    Who knew that 360-controllers could be chic?
    Way to go MS, I like these new designs. ;)

  • ArminatorX

    @Elektro Piku on page 2:
    They made it a twist mechanism because this way they probably get around Nintendo’s patent of a plus-shaped directional pad (which ran out in 2005 I think?).
    And they patented it for probably the same reason.

    I just hope, that the form of the pad-“underside” gets more flattened where they press on the board contacts.
    With the current pad it seems like the Disc is “balanced” on a round peg, and each direction presses on the contact with a point too slim to keep the pad in this intended direction.

    If I press to the right for example, it often happens, that with only slight unintentional movements, I also push the pad “up” slightly, so I get an unwanted up-right direction.

    Let’s hope the cross now also has a wider contact point, that requires a bit more force to be “slipped” in diagonal directions.

  • wolfzero01

    I don’t play any fighting games or games that make use of the d-pad so I’ve don’t have a problem with the current one. If this improves it then that’s a good thing. Its just too bad that its not being sold by itself as some people might not want to get the play & charge kit or already have it.

  • Av0cad0

    bad week for 360

  • Kinectamaniac

    Does everyone else wanna know something else that’s rather frakked? I bet almost any amount of money, that as soon as the suckers that are gonna buy this at 65 dollar do so, MS will then release that OTHER new controller that can be used wired or wirelessly…you all forgot about that one didn’t ya.

    And for those that don’t know about it, what makes that upcoming dual powered controller special is that when you attach the wire, your 360 controls are now going thru the wire. It’s not the same as a wireless controller with the play n charge kit, cause with the play n charge kit, when you plug in that cable, the controller is still communicating with the console wirelessly…that cord is simply for charging the battery pack.

    So bascially to sum it up…MS is releasing this new d pad controller to dump all of their play n charge kits before they release that other new controller that doesn’t use a play n charge kit to recharge the battery, and can be used wired or wirelessly.

    And why am I thinking that upcoming dual powered controller will also have the new d pad design?

  • Kinectamaniac

    Has Sony Marketing taken over business decisions at MS? Cause only Sony can make such stupid business decisions.

  • CochransLac

    $65 dollars ? wow just wow.

  • legoadam

    this looks great i wish it came in a bundle or something too but cant wait.

  • Miss All Sunday

    Its good that you’re developing new controllers but not sure why you got rid of the coloured buttons. That would really put me off buying this.

  • Anonymous

    Looks cool! I’d have to try one first before I bought one.

  • X Ray Hamburger

    Man I can’t wait for this to come out. Definitely a must buy for me.