Even though the original Xbox had growing pains with its initial controller design, Microsoft has since shown that they know how to make high quality controllers. The Xbox 360’s controller is considered by many to be one of the most well-designed controllers in existence, and the Xbox One’s controller has received similar praise, though it hasn’t been without criticism.
One of the main complaints fans have had about the Xbox One controller is the lack support for a standard 3.5mm headphone jack. This prevents people from listening to the game through their headset (without purchasing an adapter), which is something that greatly helps with game immersion. It appears as though Microsoft has listened to these complaints and are planning to rectify the situation by releasing a redesigned Xbox One controller, featuring a standard 3.5mm headphone port.
The Xbox Support website accidentally posted this news, which was probably being saved for an announcement at E3. They listed a description of the controller, including the position of the port. The headphone port will be located on the base of the controller, near where the headsets are plugged in, but otherwise the rest of the controller design seems to remain untouched.
The redesigned Xbox One controller is said to be made available very soon, as early as next month. The language on the support website seemed to suggest that Microsoft is going to phase out the controllers without the headphone jack, so going forward, most all Xbox One controllers sold at retail will likely feature the new headphone jack.
This marks the first physical update that Microsoft has applied to the Xbox One controller, but it’s not the first time the controller has been tweaked. Adapters have been released that allow people to use their legacy headsets and to use the Xbox One controller on PCs. Furthermore, the controller itself has received digital updates, including one that was released specifically for Titanfall, which made the controllers “less twitchy“.
The updated Xbox One controller will likely be confirmed at this year’s E3 event, if not sooner. However, don’t expect it to be a major focus during Microsoft’s presentation. They are going to come out swinging for the fences, as Sony has admitted that they have a sparse 2015 PS4 lineup, and Microsoft will be looking to take advantage. Phil Spencer has already confirmed that the MS presentation will focus mostly on first-party titles and new IP, and a controller redesign does not fit that definition. Still, the redesigned controller will likely make an E3 appearance, even if it’s just mentioned in passing.
Expect the redesigned Xbox One controller to be officially announced during Microsoft’s E3 2015 press conference if it’s not announced sooner. Microsoft’s E3 press conference will air live across various platforms on June 15th at 9:30am PDT.