When Microsoft unveiled the first Xbox One Elite Controller in 2015, many fans and critics called it the best controller ever. The accessory came with a hefty price tag at launch but offered features such as interchangeable paddles, D-Pad, and thumbsticks and was designed to be used at tournaments.
But despite many agreeing that Microsoft had already reached the pinnacle of good controller design, the Xbox One platform holder is reportedly working on a successor. A leak via Chinese website Baidu suggests that Microsoft is now working on a new Xbox One Elite Controller that will offer even more hardcore-focused features.
This updated version of the controller will reportedly offer a USB-C charging port, a button for switching profiles, three-level hair trigger locks, longer key travel for paddles, and Bluetooth support for Windows 10 as well. Images posted on social media also suggest that the new controller will have adjustable locks for thumbsticks, improved grip sections, and three LED lights too. These features do seem to line up with a patent that Microsoft filed in December, lending some credibility to the leak.
A source speaking to The Verge has also confirmed the validity of the leaks. This same source reveals that Microsoft is working on a portable charging case for the new Xbox One Elite Controller too. Though it isn't noted whether this charging case would be bundled with the controller or whether it would be available separately for an additional fee.
As always, this leak should be taken with a grain of salt. Fans hoping for a new Xbox One Elite Controller may have to wait until E3 2018 in June for an official announcement. After all, the reveal of the first Elite Controller was one of the major announcements from the Xbox press conference in E3 2015.
But if the leak is correct, then it reflects Microsoft's growing appeal to the subsection of hardcore gamers. While hardware like the Xbox One X may not appeal to more casual players who aren't too fussed about graphics, it massively appeals to hardcore gamers who want the very best graphical quality. Likewise, a new Xbox One Elite Controller will offer features that specifically appeal to those who play at a high or even competitive level.
Microsoft's Xbox One sales struggles have been well-documented, but the focus on this part of its player base could prove successful for the company. Fans will have to watch this space to see what else Microsoft will do to appeal to hardcore gamers.