A more detailed look at how the best games controller ever, in the 360 controller, got even better! Here is some highlights from information on Kotaku:
No Screen, No Speakers… They’re ‘Not Helpful.’
Alam’s team at Microsoft spent some of the last two years tinkering. Some of their experiments may yet show up in future controllers. For example, the team looked at so-called soft-touch materials like cloth or soft plastic that might be more comfortable as your hands sweat, but didn’t like the results enough to put them in the launch models. “There are some challenges that have to do with anti-bacterial coatings to prevent the controller from becoming a germ magnet,” Alam said, “so we looked at that and came up with the conclusion that maybe it was better not to include that in the first round.”
Other experiments seem to be off the table forever.
One involved adding a speaker to the controller, a concept Nintendo introduced with the Wii Remote and carried over to the Wii U GamePad and that Sony is introducing to the PS4 controller. Alam’s team tried it for Xbox One, too.
“We put speakers on it,” he said. They tested the idea of players being able to hear cartridges dropping during rapid fire. They didn’t like the sound mix. “The best speakers in the house are the ones associated with the TV and you essentially drown it all away, so it’s not a useful investment. It’s essentially almost distracting.”
It Could Have Been More Smelly.
So, they spent two years on this controller.
They tried anything and everything.
They even tried to see if it’d be cool to have an Xbox controller emit smells.
Alam’s team made a smell-emitting prototype Xbox controller. “So essentially you can have a couple of predefined cartridges like gunpowder, burning rubber, smoke, flowers,” he said. “For example, a core scenario could be, ‘Hey, I’m walking through a forest. As I’m walking through a forest, I’ll smell foliage.’ We can have that scent predefined.”
And what happened?
The after-smell—the smell residue—killed that experiment.
“While some folks don’t mind a rubber smell in the room for a while, other members of the household will not appreciate it if it’s still lingering in the room after half an hour. We went all out. This was all about, ‘Hey, how can we make this more immersive for core gamers,’ but, in the end, it was like, ‘Yeah, the smell thing that didn’t work out.'”