Microsoft had already quietly stated that the new Xbox One wouldn’t support Xbox 360 controllers, but have taken the time to elaborate on why gamers will be forced to buy into the redesign. The console’s reveal yesterday showed the next-generation controller in full, and while it looked the same for the most part, it’s what’s inside that counts.
The revamped Xbox One controllers boast more features than their predecessors, ranging from magnetic sensors in the triggers to individual rumble motors placed in each trigger button. While it still maintains the look and feel of the Xbox 360 edition controller, the technology inside it is vastly different – which is reportedly the reason why the Xbox One won’t recognize older controllers – the other reason being revenue from selling new hardware and accessories. A Microsoft spokesperson gave a more detailed explanation:
“Xbox One was designed from the ground up with entirely new technology to deliver a new generation of experiences for both games and entertainment For example, the Wireless Controller will connect to the console using high speed data transfer to enable higher fidelity headset audio and future controller add-on experiences that are not possible with Xbox 360 wireless technology. Additionally, the all-new Kinect sensor’s ability to locate the wireless controller is dependent on new technology. In order for Xbox One to deliver robust, meaningful gaming scenarios for all users across all experiences, only Xbox One controllers and accessories will work with the new console.”
It’s the same story for the Xbox 360 edition Kinect, which is being replaced by a new version that boasts 1080P functionality, wider imaging and more accurate tracking. While there will be disappointment in losing out on all of accessories (especially seeing as Kinect was only released in 2010), such sacrifices are required when the technological level of the console itself is simply too far above the old equipment.
Since the new Kinect will be tracking the controller as well as the player, it makes sense that Microsoft wouldn’t want to throw in untrackable 360 controllers into the mix. While many titles would work as normal with the 360 controllers since the button layouts are the same, Microsoft wants every player to be able to utilize the new controller motion tracking, or at the very least, be forced to buy the accessories anyway.
The prospect of ‘future controller add-on experiences’ sounds exciting, but the company has been tight-lipped on what any of these experiences might be. Most likely, gamers will have to wait until E3 2013 to get the full scoop on what these new controllers can deliver.
What do you think about the new controllers, Ranters? Do you think they’re a step forward for Microsoft, or would you rather retain the use of existing controllers?
Follow me at @Makelevi.