Xbox 360 limited-edition green wireless controller hands on

At last month's Leipzig Games Convention, Konami mentioned that a new Xbox 360 limited-edition controller would be coming to Europe. The company's spokesperson said that the green controller would be released alongside Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, and it was unveiled alongside the game at the show...

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At last month's Leipzig Games Convention, Konami mentioned that a new Xbox 360 limited-edition controller would be coming to Europe. The company's spokesperson said that the green controller would be released alongside Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, and it was unveiled alongside the game at the show.

The Xbox 360 controller has received criticism for its directional pad, which is why this new pad sees a 16-way upgrade. That's up from the eight directions on the regular pad, although everything else on the joypad remains the same as before.

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According to Microsoft, the new limited-edition green wireless controller offers "enhancements to D pad functionality, which will add to the experience of playing games where the D pad is the primary control mechanism." While only Pro Evo has been announced as supporting the new pad, various rumours suggest other games may offer support, including Street Fighter IV; however, when we spoke to Capcom about the matter, it declined to comment.

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We tried the new controller at Leipzig 2008 and found it was fairly difficult to notice the difference. In office tests on Pro Evolution Soccer 2008 and Forza Motorsport 2, the control pad performed at the same standard as regular controllers on both games. It appears that games will have to be programmed to support the new pad or retrospectively offer downloadable updates.

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The physical form of the green model is identical to other Xbox 360 control pads. The pad has the same shape, look, and weight as before and even the label on the inside of the battery compartment doesn't indicate that it is a limited edition, referring to it merely as an "Xbox 360 wireless controller." The pad came with the standard AA battery pack, but there's currently no matching rechargeable battery pack.

There's no ignoring the colour of this pad, which is best described as "mushy pea green". It takes its inspiration from the green of the Xbox logo, but it's pretty hideous, and it would be difficult to see Sony or even Nintendo making something similarly outlandish. It also sits awkwardly with grey section on the edge, which is different from the usual glossy silver trim.

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The control pad will be available in Europe on October 17--the same day as Pro Evolution Soccer 2009. It's a limited edition so is only available while supplies last and is expected to be the same recommended retail price as existing Xbox 360 wireless controllers (£32.99). Microsoft has confirmed that the controller will be sold separately and not bundled with Pro Evo despite rumours to the contrary, although a spokesperson for the company pointed out that "whatever individual retailers do is up to them". While the Hulk-green pad will also be making its way to Asia and Latin America, there is no announcement for North American to date.

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