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 Xbox.com

 

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

 

 

Comments

  • uzivatel

    The lack of colour buttons kills this for me.
    I hope controllers shipped with consoles are keeping the colour buttons – I hate it when games do not use colour button symbols (its more difficult to navigate), which would become norm once the controller has no corresponding colours.
    Then again this is probably aimed at fighting game enthusiasts and fighting games already use their own buttons.

    Like

  • peteer01

    Major Nelson, is there any chance you can help spread the word that there are those of us out there with big hands who’ve been waiting/hoping for a bigger controller?

    I’ve already bought my son a MadKatz minicon, because he’s just a toddler. My wife games on a standard 360 controller, which she loves. I also game on a 360 controller, but it feels a bit like we’ve got a controller that’s just right for baby bear, just right for mama bear, and a bit too small for my hands.

    Personally, I thought the size of the original Xbox controller was good, and I’d love to see 360 controllers available in sizes S, M and L. (I mean, it makes sense that young children, teens, women and men all game on the 360, so a range of sizes would make sense for all those different sized hands!)

    I hope this comment gets through to you, and if there’s any chance of (or any news of) a larger controller being made available, please let us know! (Personally, I’d love a large, wired 360 controller using the same design as the current one, maybe 10% bigger in all dimension.)

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  • maxjive

    I’m confused, why do I have to twist and pop-up the D-pad? Can’t it just be normal (fixed) to begin with?

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  • The Real Napsta

    Wired version please.

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  • Major Nelson

    The color change is for this controller only. We’re not removing the color from the buttons on other controllers.

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  • Lucifonz

    Looks nice but I think you should leave the coloured face buttons in. Many games even colour code the prompts on screen to go with them.

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  • CompactDstrxion

    The d-pad is still going to hit the sides, you needed to widen the housing it sits in. And it’s poorly positioned. Anyone considering this for fighting games should get a MadCatz Fightpad instead, you can actually buy one of those on their own and don’t cost anywhere near what this will.

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  • Wiizpig

    @TBizzle4Shizzle
    “In short, I have no idea what’s been going through Microsoft’s collective head this year.”

    You can add XBLA games prices and “1200 is the new 800” to that list. (see Comic Jumper and the whole Summer of Arcade)
    Oh, and the new Xbox Live Gold price in the US and other countries.

    And still, we read fanboys who will defend anything made by MS.

    Like

  • STONED1999

    ok, which idiot decided to drop the color coded buttons. So many games actually refer to the color in so many places, and I always instruct my wife to press the blue button, etc…

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  • Wahrnye

    Typical Microsoft M.O., fix something users have been complaining about for years, but only make it available in one format as an extra add-on and try to pass it off as a value.

    I can’t wait until I start reading forum posts about this “revolutionary” d-pad when it starts to twist off and break.

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  • Sogeman

    It’s a + ok, but if it’s still as wobbly like the other one that doesn’t change anything.

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  • TBizzle4Shizzle

    @Major
    I think we get that this is a special controller and will be the only one to feature the colorless buttons, but what honestly was the rationale for it? Did you guys have playtesters who gave feedback something to the effect of, “You know what would make this even better and easier to play? Making the buttons different colors from what they are on the screen. The green A, the blue X, the yellow Y, and red B are all too easy to remember. I think I would have more fun if you made them grayscale instead so that what the game is telling me to push is different than what’s in my hands.”

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  • trickybuz93

    Pretty cool but not digging the color schemes of the buttons and bumpers.
    I liked that they were different colors, made it easier for little kids to play or understand.
    And the bumper’s colors look horrible.

    But I may buy it😛

    Like

  • PRIMETIME3

    wow, Microsoft just triee to nickel and dime their fans. They release the same controller w/ improved D-pad? IMO its a total waste.
    Microsoft is getting plain ol GREEDY now.

    Like

  • Boe2

    wait, what? Major Nelson is NOT a fictional person?

    I learn something new every day..

    Like

  • Boe2

    Anyway, I already got a custom controller for my fighting game and SHMUP needs🙂

    Like

  • ZombieTron

    This kinda seems like NASA spending however much money to develop a pen that works in space, when Russian cosmonauts just used pencils!

    Why not just release a pad with a traditional D-Pad that actually works? Surely if you want a raised cross on your D-Pad, you would want it raised all the time… so why develop one that changes with a twist?? More moveable parts means more likely to break!

    I agree with what everyone has said about the colour buttons too… I think metallic colours would have looked awesome with the silver pad (which does look good, except for the buttons).

    Like

  • BovrilCrab

    non coloured buttons is bad idea, because nearly all interfaces in games use the colours to say what button does what, they should have kept the text coloured or something.

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  • IceStorm III

    Will the controller be in the Microsoft booth at PAX for people to try out?

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  • TBizzle4Shizzle

    @PRIMETIME3
    I don’t see the problem with releasing a new controller. I mean, what is a company supposed to do? Recall all controllers and ship out ones with improved D-pads for free even though the old style still works? No. Consumers have to go to the store and by them if they want the upgrade. Sony did the same thing when they came out with DualShock3 controllers. Sure, everyone who had the original PS3 controllers were kinda screwed, but if you want the newer features, you go and buy one. But the issue here is not just that they are adding a new D-pad. If they changed the D-pad and that was it, no color scheme change, not having it limited to coming with a Play and Charge kit, it would be awesome. People would be happy. But all of this other redesign is upsetting.

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  • twisted poke

    Sigh. As it’s been said before, why was this not included with the redesigned 360? If that’s not stupid enough, I have to buy a play and charge kit which I don’t need to get one. Just another disappointment. I’m a one console per generation guy and will stick with the 360 this gen. (too much invested already) Next generation I will definitely think hard and long about the competition’s offering due to MS’s shenanigan’s. A couple of years ago the thought of not buying a next gen xbox would have never crossed my mind.

    Also, as far as getting our questions answered, I’m not gonna hold my breath. You’ve promised before and hardly ever deliver. I understand though. I’m sure the big dog’s in the company don’t want the talking head PR guy discussing the controversial issues.

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  • ruiner02970

    Actually what you “heard from the community” is that the current D-Pad DOESN’T WORK! I’m hoping this is more than just a “design style update” and instead a full-on rebuild for accuracy and reliability.
    Why you got rid of the button colors…that does not make any sense to me.

    Like

  • bulat99

    Looks good

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  • HugoStiglitzJr

    Just why couldn’t this have been included with the New 360? I spend tons of money on XBOX already, how much money does Microsoft need to make? It doesn’t make sense not to do that.

    Like

  • TBizzle4Shizzle

    I’m sorry that I’m just constantly posting here, but the grayscale choice still baffles me. Think about it in terms of the guitar controllers for Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Those games rely so much on the player matching colors, and that’s how the player learns. At this point, I could probably play a guitar with 5 grayscale buttons no problem at all, but if that were the case when the guitar / band game genre was still new, I probably would have stopped playing. How are you supposed to press the green button if there is no green? People look down at their hands to see what is going on more often than you realize, especially younger or more casual players. I’m still trying to wrap my head around why this design choice was made.
    .
    And as others have already said, it looks like the D-pad really hasn’t improved from what the actual problem is. No matter how high the buttons are raised, if it’s still on a swivel, it’s still going to suck. That remains to be seen though, and I could be wrong.

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