One of the coolest things that gamers saw during CES 2018 was the original Xbox controller, known as "Duke", in the Hyperkin booth. The giant controller is making a comeback and you will be able to buy one at the end of March to scratch that retro gaming itch in your geek hands. Hyperkin says that the controller will sell for $69.99, which is more expensive than most Xbox controllers.
The giant Duke controller was replaced early in the Xbox lifecycle with the Xbox S controller during the first generation of the original Xbox. Word is that while the Hyperkin controller looks like the original Duke controller, it does have modern touches that will make it more useful for gamers.
Button placement is exactly as it was originally, but it does have a pair of small shoulder buttons that act as the black and white buttons and they are functional. The new Duke is noticeably lighter than the original reportedly. The new Duke has the Xbox One view and menu buttons in the middle. It also has a large circle that shows boot-up screen animation of the original console when pressed.
The biggest caveat to this controller for most gamers will be that it will only work with a wired micro USB connection. That means no across the room playing like you do with a wireless controller. Seamus Blackley, co-creator of the Xbox, has said he is glad it is coming back and describes the comeback as a "miracle."
Blackley said, "I discovered to my horror and fascination that The Duke was an object of nostalgia and comfort and happiness and childhood memories, and all these people with big hands saying it was the only controller that was comfortable."
He continued, "I contacted Phil [Spencer, Head of Xbox], who was a buddy of mine, and asked, 'Phil, is this crazy enough to do?' and some of the hardware guys who were there, when the Xbox was on the drawing board, said we should absolutely do it."