E3 2017: The Original Xbox "Duke" Controller Is Coming Back

Duke is back.

63 Comments

Remember the original Xbox controller? It's giant and unwieldy, much less elegant than the PS2's DualShock 2 that was out at the same time. The "Duke," as it was nicknamed, was so ridiculed that it was replaced by a much slimmer, more ergonomic version later in the Xbox's life. Co-creator Seamus Blackley even called it "embarrassingly enormous" last year.

But there's still some nostalgia for the massive controller, enough to motivate a third-party peripheral manufacturer to work with Microsoft to recreate the Duke. Hyperkin Games has announced a facsimile of the Duke that works with Xbox One and PC.

The company actually sought the "assistance and blessing" of Blackley when working on the project. Since the original controller was, obviously, built for the original Xbox, Hyperkin has updated its version to work with modern consoles.

It now has right and left bumpers to ensure that it has the correct number of buttons to work with PC and Xbox One games. It also has a detachable nine-foot cable, and that big green Xbox logo in the center is now a "logo display screen." It's unclear right now if the controller can be used wirelessly.

The controller is coming this holiday season, and it'll be compatible with the newly announced Xbox One X. This is just one of the many Xbox announcements that have come out of E3 2017; take a look at our roundup of all the news from Microsoft's press conference yesterday, and be sure to keep an eye on our hub for all news, videos, and impressions from the conference.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Avatar image for louixiii
LouiXIII

Oh HELL NO!!! Nobody wanted that clunky controller to begin with which is why it got discontinued and replaced with the S model.

WHY IS THIS NEWS???

Avatar image for mike468
mike468

I wouldn't be surprised if this is timed for released and marketed around OG Xbox games being BC, but I seriously would have loved it if they went with the S design. Would have been so much better.

Avatar image for the_real_luigi
the_real_luigi

Why? They stopped making it for a reason!

Avatar image for Shantmaster_K
Shantmaster_K

Didn't care for it, but happy to see it return.

Avatar image for Hagan
Hagan

I played Halo CE so long with the Duke that when the slim controller version was released I had trouble adapting and just kept playing with the Duke lol

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

YYYEEESSS!!!

It has nothing to do with nostalgia -- it has everything to do with large-hand, lifelong gamer comfort.

Avatar image for HardStomp
HardStomp

Finally a d-pad Hyperkin can pull off faithfully.

Avatar image for PixelAddict
PixelAddict

As long as we are waxing nostalgic about controllers... I'd like to see an updated Dreamcast controller again.

Not sure what devs would do with that center "screen", but man that thing was revolutionary.

Avatar image for gunnerfc
gunnerfc

Wow gonna get one for sure !

Instant classic

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

Knock it all you want, but the duke controller was designed for the average NA man whereas most controllers are designed for the Japanese. That controller was tough too and could withstand a man's finger strength. Even my still functioning PS2/Saturn/NES controllers still creak and crack a bit when you twist them. That Xbox controller doesn't give the tiniest fraction of an inch whatsoever.

The original Xbox really was a terrific console all around.

Avatar image for crusadernights
Crusadernights

@Barighm: Where do you guys get facts like these?

"Designed for a North American whereas the other controller was designed for small Japanese hands."

Stereotype much?

Avatar image for spooie
spooie

@crusadernights: He is entirely correct, however. The Duke was created for North American game players with larger hands and the smaller (S) model controller was specifically designed for Japan and player's smaller hands. After 9 months or so, they decided to bring it out in over here as the official replacement.

Avatar image for stewart24
stewart24

@crusadernights: no it's true. The smaller one was designed for Japan. However it was so popular in NA they retired the Duke and made the S instead.

Avatar image for attirex
attirex

@crusadernights:

TRIGGERED (get it? Because controllers? AHAHAHAHA!)

Avatar image for crusadernights
Crusadernights

@attirex: LMAO, nice one.

Avatar image for bonkdacarnivore
BonkDaCarnivore

@crusadernights: The thing about stereotyping is, it exists because it's usually true. What he's saying is completely true. If one thinks that the only "major" markets are Japan, the US, Australia, and Western Europe....only the US and Australia have an average male size to where "The Duke" makes sense. Conversely, the average male size in these countries - notably on hand size - is as such to where the controllers we're given today feel small and cramped. Calling Australia a "major market" is something of a stretch by virtue of total population, so yes, the controller was designed with an American in mind.

For the average and above amongst us, the XBox controllers after the Duke have always been problematic because our knuckles rub against the plastic on the back, and our hands cramp up after a while because we're stretching in order to "come in" to the controller. It's uncomfortable.

Avatar image for Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@bonkdacarnivore: EXACTLY. I have to constantly stretch to partially ward off all kinds of strain, damage, etc... Working on keyboards all day and gaming at night = "Carpal Tunnel doesn't even begin to describe it"

Avatar image for rasterror
rasterror

This was my favorite controller ever. It was the perfect size for my hands. I can't wait to get one.

Avatar image for matricks_
Matricks_

Dear god that thing was massive. I remember trying the Xbox that was on display in Best Buy back in the day. Naturally they were demoing Halo: Combat Evolved, and the feel of that monster in my hands was amazing - it really was. I can still feel the sense of awesomeness that I experienced playing a FPS with a controller that felt so right. The rest is history.

My hands aren't big enough to make this re-release a thing for me (I feel the Xbox One controller is the perfect size and form), but it's a classic!

Avatar image for Articuno76
Articuno76

This will be a godsend to people with particularly large hands.

And you know what they say about people with large hands... They find small controllers uncomfortable.

Avatar image for Kodrab
Kodrab

Huh, i seem to be one of the few people that actually liked that controller the only thing i found a bit weird was the place where the white and black buttons were.

Avatar image for Barighm
Barighm

@Kodrab: Yeah, that sucked. They should have put them on the inside of the right thumb.

Avatar image for NTM23
NTM23

Huh, so if it has the bumpers, I wonder if they'll allow the black and white buttons to do anything on the consoles. I assume it'll do something on PC like keyboards allow for multiple keys for things.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

I still have 2 of those things along with 2 original Xbox consoles. I have to do my brakes soon, maybe I can use them as wedges to keep my car from rolling back.

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Pyrosa

@bdrtfm: Or sell them, and recoup the cost of pads AND new rotors...

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

More controllers. Looks like they ran out of color schemes for the modern ones. At this point, M$ has more controller variations than exclusives. Good job software company, you went the opposite way with your Xbox Division!

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@immortaltech6:I believe every console manufacturer can make that claim, Skippy. N64 had 37 variations alone.

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Barighm

@bdrtfm: Sony is actually heavily regulating the number of controllers on the PS4. There are just a few, and the only reason they made the recent DS4 revision is because fans complained.

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@bdrtfm: actually untrue.....Nintendo, Sega and Sony all have/had like 5-10 IP's and if you add all the iterations of their controllers [first party cons]

Nintendo kinda does overdo it when you get to Wii cus of the pro controllers.....

Sega had like 5 controllers at the time of Dreamcast's death and over 10 IP's

Sony has like 6 controllers and over 10 IP's

MS has [if you count wired/wireless too] about 6 or so controllers?? and about as many IP's

assessment is spot on......MS has as many controllers as they do IP's can't fault the truth for being the truth.......

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@darthrevenx: More than 6: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_One_Controller#Colors_and_styles

+ Elite + variation

+ Design Lab which you can leave out since they're not official retail releases but still saying something. It's like selling different colors and styles of steering wheels when you don't have fuel (exclusives) for your car (console), or rims without wheels.

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@immortaltech6: NO, those don't count....unless they're changing the physical design.....adding back levers, extra buttons, a cord.....etc

I'm talking wired vs wireless or adding extra buttons of serving a new function....

alternate colors and the design lab offer no such changes, aesthetics don't count as a new model number.....

but MS's controllers are 2 on old XBOX, 3 on X350, wired and wireless and the one with the changable D-pad, on X1 the 2 designs stock con including alternate colors and design labs and the second design is the pro or elite or whatever.....

that's 7 actual controllers across 3 consoles.....and like maybe 9 IP's total but only 4 or 5 active IP's......

Sony on the other hand has well over 10 IP's maybe close to 20 IP's total but maybe 6 or 7 active IP's 10 active max....

i guarantee you the design labs con is the exact same con as what came with the X1......it's just you have the ability of changing the color scheme is all.....

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@darthrevenx: YES, they do. It's a new retail SKU for each one and about half are even limited, and they announce them like so with a bang like it compensates for lack of exclusives: http://www.dualshockers.com/new-greenorange-xbox-one-controller-launching-january-24th/

Get your exclusive controllers here! Believe us, we're not milking you! Limited Special Editions! Collect your hardware!

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@immortaltech6: NO, even PS2 over the course of it's life had over 10 different changes and model numbers to boot yet it was still the same console.....same product.....

sorry but like I said just cus you slap a number on it, change nothing internally and call it a new model.....that'd be like taking a 2016 Mustang, re-releasing it with a new paintjob and model number and calling it the 2017 Mustang.....no, it's still the same thing as before.....

now when they go from the 2017 Mustang to the 2017 Shelby Mustang GT then it's a different model....

but here's another kicker to this that throws everything on it's head, Sony had 4 or 5 versions of the PS2 con right? all performed the same way, it;s just they were constructed differently.....[I think they had more versions than just 4 or 5 though]

the original models used an actual PCB [circuit boards], later models used a plastic sheet with the circuit printed on it, it was a cheaper method that cut costs but in doing so the controller overall became a bit unreliable....if the controller took a big enough hit it'd break, cola and other liquids would gum up the works easier, sometimes the plastic would bunch up and it'd stop working properly.....I know this cus I fixed many of my own cons.....

also I was agreeing you your assessment FFS, just not exactly how you put it.....you are correct that MS has no IP's or not nearly enough and Sony alone dwarf's MS's efforts....eww true gaming power? frack that, Sony is killing em with games....the Sony conference is gonna be nuts, if they do the same thing as the last couple years it's gonna be like gameplay, gameplay, trailer, gameplay, montage, gameplay or some variation on that theme with some talking here and there and some surprises.....for 5 years Sony has had more actual gameplay than the other guys....

at least this year everyone is making a bit more of a point to show gameplay cus that's what matters or what should in the end....

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@darthrevenx: Jesus. I'm not arguing models and architectural changes. I specifically said variations and cosmetic changes counts because that's a goddamn variation. The Wikipedia link I shared also made it pretty damn clear because they wouldn't list them separately otherwise. You agree with me on their overall assessment? Good, but you can stop making asinine defenses. You want to continue, go ahead, won't be reading your walls of text when it's semantically based and this flawed to begin with.

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@immortaltech6: and i'm saying cosmetic changes don't count cus they aren't actually changing anything inside or adding new functionality......if they improve on precision, use better materials to make a more durable controller or something like that then it's a new model IMO but to slap a coat of paint on it and call it new.....you're fooling yourself...

would you call a car labeled as 2017 version correct if it was in fact merely last year's model with a fresh coat of paint?? I sure as sh**t wouldn't.....I don't care if you're talking consoles, controllers games cars whatever, if you're passing last years models off as new models you are a crooked company......

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@darthrevenx: Didn't know anybody could be this thick. Look up the definition of "variation" to start, and then go back and read what I've said until it (hopefully) sinks in. Another failed car analogy, yawn. Ignoring your foolishness now.

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@immortaltech6: just STFU FFS........you're incapable of understanding what I've said.....just another fool unwilling to see what others say, there was a point that you fracking missed yet again, bravo for you.....

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@darthrevenx: Sure, sure. You never understood mine but used this as an opportunity to go on your tangent rant. I gave you links and explained how the world works in the reality of retail. I even told you to look up the meaning of the exact word that would render your rant inapplicable to my point but you're beyond reproach.

Also, learn how to type like an adult if you want to be considered one. Actually my fault for engaging such an illiterate and going beyond my duty to spoonfeed, "Looks like they ran out of color schemes for the modern ones. At this point, M$ has more controller variations than exclusives."

"Color schemes." "Controller variations." Context. Lol, what an Idiocracy we're already in.

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@bdrtfm: @bdrtfm: N64 also had worthy exclusives. If it wasn't clear enough for you, I'm making direct comparisons versus Sony for current gen and this entire E3 showing for the future. You want it even clearer? Sony already has much more exclusives than hardware variations of a controller to play said exclusives, and their E3 hasn't even started.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

@immortaltech6: I think what I was trying to say is, what's your point? Who counts the number of controller variations and compares them to the number of exclusive games a company has? Or, more importantly, why?

Avatar image for immortaltech6
immortaltech6

@bdrtfm: Man, you really need everything spelled out more than twice. All the answers are in my previous replies. I didn't count them precisely until I looked up the Wikipedia article, but knew enough that they outnumbered the exclusives, which is saying something pretty clearly if you actually play games with all those controllers. It's saying your fav corp is not investing in games and they're milking you with hardware and people like you actually defend it.

Avatar image for romeothebeast
RomeoTheBeast

I'll stick with the DualShock 4 and the Xbox 1 S controller for my PC. I think they are hoping the OG backwards compatibility will help sell these. Not happening. The newer controllers are superior in every way and worth the extra cash.

Avatar image for darthrevenx
DarthRevenX

@romeothebeast: you're right there, not that big on the X1 con but compared to the Duke.....the X1 con is superior.....

I prefer the PS4 con.....but the triggers on XBOX feel a little better so there's that....

Avatar image for bat725
bat725

They should price it at $150, sit back, make some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

They have to know how dumb their fan base is, by now :P

Avatar image for rasterror
rasterror

@bat725: How so?

Avatar image for spartanx169x
spartanx169x

@bat725: About as dumb as someone who goes on the xbox articles just to complain all the while having zero interest in the xbox. You don't know anybody like that do you? Sure you don't.

Avatar image for romeothebeast
RomeoTheBeast

@sellingthings: I know you're trying to diss him (bat725) but if this is the only controller to fit your massive hands then wouldn't it suck to have massive hands as opposed to the tiny ones @bat725 has? As far as gaming goes of course

Avatar image for LpcWarrior
LpcWarrior

Y tho?

Avatar image for spoochy
Spoochy

There's no way I'd go back to using that that thing, let alone pay for it.

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