Xbox One Controller- Close Look Video

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 experimented.

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.'”

Check out the brilliant article over on Kotaku for more information.

2 responses to “Xbox One Controller- Close Look Video

  1. Thank goodness they gave up on the smell thing! (You can imagine what a Lovecraft-themed FPS would smell like, with the references to charnel houses and all…)
    But all of these are just tweaks, in the end. They make no attempt to correct the overall unnatural, “thumb-centric” design of game controllers. Mice, joysticks, trackballs, and touchscreens leverage the intuitive XYZ movement of your hand, forearm, and index finger as a pointing device. Being detached from any base/reference point, game controllers do not do this. The hand and arms merely serve to hold the controller, and their real-life XYZ movement produces no in-game result. It is replaced by a thumb stick function for XYZ orientation that players must learn, which never becomes truly intuitive.
    If you watch someone playing they will sometimes try to move the entire controller up, down, left, or right, etc., in an intuitive, real-world XYZ movement to negotiate an in-game obstacle. Were the controller a mouse or joystick, the intuitive real-world movement would produce an in-game effect, but with the current crop of game controllers, if you aren’t moving the thumb controller, nothing happens. You have to unlearn your real-world reflexes and discard how you would intuitively manipulate and orient objects in the real world. For more than an hour or so of game play, you’d also better have thumbs of steel! 🙂

    • Honestly I’m the exact opposite, but then I did grow up as a console gamer. To me playing with a mouse/proper game stick feels odd and a controller feels perfectly natural, and the 360 was the best controller ever and now the Xbox One controller is even better! One thing they don’t mention in the article is the material it is made out of, I love the texture/feel of the plastic finish on the new controller and it’s only something you will see when you hold one for the first time.

      Regarding the smell I would love that too as I love the most immersive experiences you can get. Granted it wouldn’t be nice after a session if it smelt of burnt rubber or gun powder but whilst playing it it would be amazing! It’s a shame they didn’t have the speaker in the controller- they cite that it’s inferior sound quality to TV/surround sound setups which is true but i still think it added more ‘3D’ sound and that extra step of immersion when a whooshing sound came out of my Wiimote when I swung a baseball bat.

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