Once a relatively niche market, the gaming peripheral sector is now a big business that has attracted a bevy of hardware makers looking to cash in on the craze. It is not just third-party hardware partners that recognize the opportunity, either. Microsoft offers its own accessories, including customized controllers. It is perhaps best known for its Xbox Elite controller, a premium $150 game pad with interchangeable parts. Now the company is introducing a more affordable wireless controller, the Recon Tech Special Edition.
The Recon Tech Special Edition is the first product in Microsoft's new Tech Series of wireless controllers. It doesn't feature interchangeable paddles and buttons like the high-dollar Xbox Elite, but it's also about the half the price with an MSRP set at a more pedestrian $70. As far as MSRPs go, that is just $10 more expensive than a regular Xbox wireless controller, the same that comes bundled with Xbox One consoles.
Mostly what makes the Recon Tech Special Edition different are the graphics.
"In developing this new controller series, the Xbox team was inspired by military technology and performance patterns, exploring concepts stemming from combat armor and sci-fi mechanical gear. Premium finishes like a laser etched texture, gold accents and insignia are on the front of the controller," Microsoft explains.
The new controller also sports a rubberized grip with a diamond texture on the back. Otherwise, it's the same as Microsoft's latest Xbox One controller, which was recently revised with improved wireless range and Bluetooth connectivity for gaming on Windows 10 devices (or Samsung's Gear VR).
Microsoft is now accepting pre-orders for the Recon Tech Special Edition. It will be available April 25.