A lot of work went into designing the new controller for Microsoft's
upcoming Xbox One console
. Though it looks similar the Xbox 360's controller, there are subtle differences that are the result of 20 research studies around the world with more than 500 participants of varying age, gender, and gaming proficiency, Microsoft says. After going through no less than 200 prototypes, Microsoft settled on a design that was "still distinctly Xbox, but refined and improved."
In a blog post today, Microsoft detailed all the changes to the new controller, beginning with the impulse triggers. The controller sports four vibration motors, including small ones behind each trigger for precise haptic feedback to the fingertips and a larger one in each grip for a deeper rumble.
Microsoft also revamped the thumbsticks, which will be smaller and feature a knurled texture for better grip compared to Xbox 360 version. They'll require 25 percent less force to move, paving the way for quicker aim in first person shooters or pulling off combos in fighting games. In addition, "advanced electronics" will reduce the thumbstick deadzone in the center, Microsoft says.
Perhaps one of the most nifty changes is a low-power state to conserve battery life. If you have to step away for whatever reason, the controller will wake up and be ready to use as soon as you pick it up again.
"Simply put, it is the best controller we've ever made," the Xbox team said.
That's a claim we'll put to the test by the end of the year. While no specific release date has yet been announced, the Xbox One will be available before 2013 is over and likely in time for the holiday shopping season.