Microsoft has been working on a new controller for the Xbox 360 with some pretty big changes when compared to the one you've been using for the last few years.
This new controller, which sports a matted silver color as opposed to the original's white, contains more than simply cosmetic changes - most notably in the design of the d-pad.
By itself, the d-pad is merely the regular "+" that we're all used to, but when it's twisted, the new design allows the pad to pop out - creating an 8-way d-pad (which will please fighting game fans), rather than a 4-sided one.
Yes, Microsoft patented this technology, in case you were wondering.
As you can see, the right side of the image shows the "+" in its normal positioning and the left side reveals what the d-pad will look like popped outward.
The other feature of note (which some gamers may not be appreciative of) is the fact the colors are gone on the buttons, which are no longer red, blue, yellow, and green, and now replaced with white, black, and gray. The controller will come bundled with a Play-N-Charge kit for $64.99 and will be released on November 9th. Seems like Microsoft will be using the Fall to introduce a lot of new features, like better online chat and increasing consumer cost to use Xbox LIVE.
Just in case you were still wondering about the new controller, here's Microsoft's own Major Nelson talking about it.
So why a new controller design after so long? I never really had a problem with the previous one, then again, I wouldn't necessarily categorize myself in the realm of "easily upset" gamer.
The new controller looks pretty awesome, though. The color scheme is definitely an eye-grab, although it is a shame regarding the newly colored button, but when you have an aesthetic, you have to stick with it. I'm sure Microsoft might have a few controllers laying around during PAX to get the feel for and see what all the fuss is about, and we'll be sure to bring you all the enjoyable opinions when it comes to it.
Just in case you didn't want to shell out $65 for a fancy d-pad, you can spend $30 for a light show inside your controller.