An early Xbox One controller prototype could produce its own smells
Microsoft reveals some of its more outlandish ideas for the Xbox One controller.
An early Xbox One controller prototype could emit smells designed to match the events taking place on screen, Microsoft has said.
While the idea never made it out of Microsoft's R&D department, a version of the smell-making controller physically exists in the company's archives, according to a VentureBeat report chronicling Microsoft's development of the Xbox One controller from its Xbox 360 predecessor,
“We built small slugs of different types of smells that could actually come out of a controller,” explained Xbox general manager for accessories Zulfi Alam. “Like, as you walked through a jungle, you’d smell the flora.”
“We had a whole bunch of brainstorm sessions and built hundreds of models,” said Alam, who also spoke about a controller which contained a tiny projector that could conjure images around the the player's immediate vision.
The company also experimented with features used by Sony and Nintendo in the PlayStation 4 and Wii U, including a touchpad, camera, and speakers. According to Alam, "each one of these ideas fell down."
All in all, Microsoft spent over $100 million on researching the Xbox One controller. “I don’t want to go into specifics, but it’s over $100 million for sure," said Alam. "Between the tooling of the device, the investments we made in process technology, and the engineering work that went into it, we invested a lot to get this thing right.”
The Xbox One will be released this Friday, November 22.