Xbox Series X Controller: New Design Adds Share Button

The new Xbox Series X controller gets a slight redesign, hybrid d-pad, and share button.

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The Xbox controller has been a gold standard in gamepads for quite some time, so you really shouldn't expect Microsoft to reinvent the wheel for its next-generation Project Scarlett console, now officially known as the Xbox Series X. A redesign isn't necessary, but some slight tweaks and additions certainly seem to be welcome additions to the upcoming Xbox controller that'll come with the new console. We spoke to Xbox boss Phil Spencer about many things Xbox Series X related, including a few details about what's changed for the new Xbox Series X controller.

"We think we have a good controller in the market today, so we didn't really feel like we needed to go back to square one to build [a new controller]. But there were certain things that we've learned through doing the Elite controller and just listening to fans," Spencer said. "One of them is on the d-pad. We have a new hybrid d-pad that we've been working and think is important."

Xbox Series X Specs Quick Look

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: AMD Navi-based GPU (~12 TFLOPs)
  • RAM: GDDR6 SDRAM (capacity not confirmed)
  • Storage: NVMe SSD (capacity not confirmed)
  • Max Output Resolution: 8K
  • Max Refresh Rate: 120Hz

Another sensible addition is one that improves a system-level function, which competitors Sony and Nintendo have already done: a share button. Spencer understands that it's an important feature, saying, "We're not the first ones to do a share button, so we're not going to say that we invented that, but we've heard feedback that sharing is such a part of a gaming experience now for many of our players. I wanted a dedicated button to share, so you'll see that."

The Xbox Series X controller
The Xbox Series X controller

It doesn't seem like Microsoft is trimming anything either, as Spencer confirmed that rumble triggers and haptic feedback are still in the controllers. And in keeping with the Series X's apparent unification of all things Xbox, the new controller is backwards compatible as well. This means you can use it on the Xbox One (it'll also be PC-compatible). Likewise, you can use existing Xbox One controllers, including both iterations of the Elite, on the Series X.

You don't need to fix what isn't broken, but you can add some new bells and whistles, which seems to be the case for the new Xbox controller. We have plenty of coverage on Microsoft's next-gen console, coming Holiday 2020, so be sure to read our exclusive in-depth feature about the Xbox Series X and all our other stories below.

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