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Microsoft Unveils New Xbox 360 Wireless Controller 150

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-aerodynamic dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft unveiled a new wireless Xbox 360 controller, which features a revamped D-pad that transforms from a plus to a disc. The new D-pad was developed to address complaints from users. Other new features include: A, B, X, and Y buttons that are gray instead of the standard red, green, yellow, and blue; and a matte silver color. The controller includes 2.4-GHz wireless technology with a 30-foot range."
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Microsoft Unveils New Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

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  • As a Tester (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Beardydog (716221) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:07AM (#33432686)
    That D-Pad is shit. I can understand not being quite up-to-snuff for playing a game, but you can't even navigate menus with that thing. Forget about entering text. I can't believe it took this long to address "complaints" about the utter worthlessness of those buttons.
    • That time it took to address the "complaints" probably came from trying to circumvent an existing patent.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Nintendo's patent expired in the late 1990's, hence the Dreamcast's d-pad. This was simply Microsoft trying to be creative and failing miserably.

    • I can navigate menus just fine... Where is the difficulty?

      • by Abstrackt (609015)

        I can navigate menus just fine... Where is the difficulty?

        I agree! Since you are the sole benchmark against which the effectiveness of all consoles' controllers are measured it's shocking that anyone would have an issue where you haven't.

        • by Ohrion (814105)
          I can also navigate menus just fine using the D-Pad. An explanation of the specific deficiencies of the D-Pad that some users experience would help.
          • by Bakkster (1529253)

            My thumb comes at such an angle that sometimes while attempting to scroll right, my thumb places enough force that the pad also goes up. This is particularly a hassle while navigating my Netflix queue.

    • Also a tester here. I agree completely. It's marginally better than the existing d-pads, but it does not solve any of the fundamental problems with the d-pad. I'll stick with my PC and PS3 for fighters still.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tlhIngan (30335)

        Also a tester here. I agree completely. It's marginally better than the existing d-pads, but it does not solve any of the fundamental problems with the d-pad. I'll stick with my PC and PS3 for fighters still.

        You're fighting with a gamepad? Ick. Invest ina good quality fightstick already (there are several, some with arcade parts). That d-pad's only been used as a way to get another 4 extra buttons to control stuff for other games, I didn't thing games used it as a primary control input. I never played SF4,

  • They did what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:11AM (#33432700) Homepage Journal

    ...new features include: A, B, X, and Y buttons that are gray instead of the standard red, green, yellow, and blue.

    What's the reason behind that? Did colorblind players hate the colored buttons? Aren't a lot of games referring to the button colors instead of the button letters?

    As for that transformer D-pad... The plus is still there in so-called disc mode, they should have made the remaining parts taller and concave to actually make a disc shape once the plus part is lowered. As usual, Microsoft has a good idea but screws up the implementation.

    And the silver color... all I can say is that the circle is complete. The new cool color for electronics is silver, like in the '70s! Next year, fake wood grain!

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Did colorblind players hate the colored buttons?

      Nope. I have the red/green issue, but I could see the red and green of the buttons fine. It's generally not a problem with very bright colors. *shrug* At this point the locations are second nature to me. Quickly from memory: Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green and Up Y Yellow.

      • by prionic6 (858109)

        Quickly from memory: Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green and Up Y Yellow.

        While I like the Xbox controller now, when I first started to use it I hated, how MS seemed to acknowlege the old SNES controller buttons while at the same time juggling everything around just a bit to screw with my head... See, SNES was

        Left Y Green, Right A Red, Down B Yellow, Up X Blue

        really subtle... Yes, I realize that it is the same configuration as on the original Xbox, but I never had one of those.

        • by Hadlock (143607)

          Where/when did you buy your SNES? I remember the color scheme being part of the logo in some of the early marketing, but I bought one about 6 months after release, and the buttons were...

          Left Y Pink, Right A Purple, Down B Purple, Up X Pink

          I think they used the "xbox color scheme" on some of their Japanese controllers, but AFAIK only third party and Japanese had the 4 color button controllers. Otherwise more SNES developers would have used the color instead of the letters.

        • by sorak (246725)

          Quickly from memory: Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green and Up Y Yellow.

          While I like the Xbox controller now, when I first started to use it I hated, how MS seemed to acknowlege the old SNES controller buttons while at the same time juggling everything around just a bit to screw with my head... See, SNES was

          Left Y Green, Right A Red, Down B Yellow, Up X Blue

          really subtle... Yes, I realize that it is the same configuration as on the original Xbox, but I never had one of those.

          I'm sorry, I know this is racist, but when someone from Germany starts demanding conformity, I get a little worried. :)

      • Consoles have placed the X button in all four positions [pineight.com].
    • by Xest (935314)

      From what I can tell from the information out there the gray buttons are gray because this isn't actually a replacement of existing controllers, but an optional new style of controller- just as they've released black, green, blue, pink, white controllers, this is the silver one. The difference is this time they've actually changed how a component of it works too.

      So the frustration is that they've released a new style of controller- fine, you can ignore that if it doesn't interest you, but they've also made

      • by delinear (991444)
        And, honestly, I can barely remember a time when I've had to rely on the D-Pad for anything in game other than menu/weapon selection. Assuming they still do an edition with the colours, then improving the D-Pad is a nice touch, even if hardly needed (and potentially another route for dirt to get into the controller).
        • I can barely remember a time when I've had to rely on the D-Pad for anything in game other than menu/weapon selection.

          Then I guess you've never tried playing Tetris Evolution, TGM Ace, or Tetris Splash on an Xbox 360. Most traditional puzzle games are designed for a digital control such as a directional pad, not an analog stick.

    • You think Fake Wood grain's got a chance?

      Thank god... I knew my hand-me-down living room furniture would be cool some day!

      • by elrous0 (869638) *
        If wood-grain paneling and orange shag carpeting are good enough for my finished basement, they're damn sure good enough for my controller.
    • by trout007 (975317)
      So we can expect to have to identify wood species by grain color and pattern? To continue push (maple). Or crap I didn't mean to hit (oak). Where the f&ck is (maple).
    • by tgd (2822)

      I think Asus is selling a chrome/wood laptop.

    • by VisiX (765225)
      Anyone who is going to buy a $70 controller probably has the buttons memorized. (video states price as $64.99+tax)
      • by AndrewNeo (979708)

        Well, it's more a $50 controller with a $15 accessory (the play and charge kit, which anyone that knows better is going to buy anyway) but you're more than likely right.

    • by iksbob (947407)

      >Next year, fake wood grain!
      Nah. Wood grain has been maintained as a niche retro or luxury look... It's not coming back for another generation or two.
      The current IN design element is glossy surfaces. Gloss black with metal accents is pretty popular right now. Apple (as usual) took the more technically impressive route here by using tempered glass in many of their products. It looks sharp, but people will eventually get bored with it, or fed up with scuffing the finish.

  • Gray buttons (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kenoli (934612) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:11AM (#33432704)
    Truly remarkable.
    How did they do it?
    • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:13AM (#33432712) Homepage Journal

      They looked at the Apple hardware, most of which is anodized aluminium, then copied the on-screen color.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      All ideas for a new design were remarked to be "colorless". A brilliant concept artist, in a moment of brilliance, shouted "That's it! No colors!"
      Aaaaand, I see little difference. Honestly, the lack of colors worsens it. So many games just spit out the color of the button for sequences, and now the color is gone. What a retarded thing to do...
      • by delinear (991444)
        Still, while people are arguing about whether the buttons should be grey or not, they're diverted from complaining about the recently announced Live price increases [kotaku.com] - and MS can always then say in a little while, "Hey, we're listening to you, you can have your coloured buttons back" for the bonus PR win.
  • About time (Score:2, Informative)

    by Takahashi (409381)

    It is seriously about time! The D-pad on the current controllers is absolutely awful (for those who don't know, often times it registers the wrong direction due to poor mechanical design). It has made some games (especially live-arcade games like megaman 9) incredibly frustrating.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IICV (652597)

      Yah, and in order to fix it they've added even more mechanical complexity to it - now you can raise and lower the + part of it, making it either a disk or a plus.

      So instead of Microsoft sticking to one thing and making it work well, they let the user pick between two half-assed solutions! Hooray!

  • by nlawalker (804108) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:15AM (#33432714)

    Getting rid of the colors on the buttons seems baseless. I can't tell you how many times...

    Me: "Press A"
    Her: ::moving thumbs, squinting:: "... huh?"
    Me: "Green."

    The twisty d-pad is cute, but largely strikes me as a way of getting around Nintendo's killer patent on the golden standard. I can't imagine who would want to use the disc, except for perhaps fighting games.

    Play&Charge sucks, I hate having to mess around with dongly wires and other crap to use my controller just get rechargeable batteries.

    • Getting rid of the colors on the buttons seems baseless. I can't tell you how many times...

      Me: "Press A" Her: ::moving thumbs, squinting:: "... huh?" Me: "Green."

      Yup. It's even worse for those of us that don't have HD TVs. When on-screen instructions appear, the only way I can understand them is from the colors.

    • by Moridin42 (219670)

      From the fighting game community sites, they don't like the disc either. The general response to this controller is "yay! a d-pad that sucks less! ... priced so high that we'd rather get an arcade stick!"

    • According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], Nintendo's d-pad patent expired in 2005 which would mean that any company could freely use the plus-shaped d-pad as sported by the NES, SNES etc.

  • My original controllers work fine. If I want to play a fighter game I will play it on my ps3.....even tho I think the best d-pad was my SNES controller. Surprized they aren't black to match the new xbox revision :? Maybe we can just gut the new controllers parts and put them in an old controller? I'm sure MS thought of that and found a way to stop that.
  • by DeeKayWon (155842) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @12:30AM (#33432770)
    The change they made to the d-pad doesn't sound like it addresses the crappiness of the existing d-pad at all. I don't care about disc versus plus, I care about things like its tendency to register a diagonal press when trying to press a horizontal direction.

    Seriously, take a 360 controller, hold left on the d-pad, and at the same time try to rock your thumb toward the up and down directions. It moves a lot! Using one on Windows, you can see in the controller properties how easily it registers diagonal presses. Now do the same thing with a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2, which has a very similar d-pad. It's far less finicky than the 360 pad.

    So really, how is this new d-pad supposed to fix that?

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'm guessing it's supposed to fix Microsoft's lack of money.

    • by kjart (941720)

      So really, how is this new d-pad supposed to fix that?

      It might be, you know, better? The purely aesthetic change does not rule out functional changes as well.

      That being said, the way they are rolling it out (play and charge only, not part of system bundles) doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. I'll wait for some reviews, thank you very much.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ninjackn (1424235)

      I love the D-pad and was sad to see it get ruined over the years. The NES, SNES and N64 controller got it right: nice large size, good button depth, and the area around and underneath the D pad was minimal.

      The biggest problem with the xbox360 controller isn't the shape of the Dpad, it's too much plastic around and underneath it. The sega genesis controller has the same shape but it felt fine because when you held it there was a nice sized gap between the edge of the controller and the size edge of your palm

    • Does anyone have any suggestions on third party controllers for Xbox 360 that have a good dpad? I find the official controller dpad fairly useless. Taking a quick look at Amazon, I see Hori and MadCatz controllers available. The Hori seems to get better reviews. Any others?

  • They still haven't addressed the bigger problem of not being able to use this thing in USB mode via the play and charge kit. First it screws owners into buying A 20 or 30 dollar dongle to use it on a PC. Second when bringing spare controllers over it makes the syncing process difficult. Especially for people who do LAN parties and tournaments.

    • The play&charge kit looks like overpriced branded crap, I bought an unbranded rechargable battery pack for my brother's 360 and it came with a USB charging cable, total cost including postage; less than £4. Works like a charm, only one annoyance is the USB cable could be a couple of feet longer, if it eventually gets too annoying I'll chop & extend it myself.
    • by tepples (727027)

      First it screws owners into buying A 20 or 30 dollar dongle to use it on a PC.

      What PC-native games are better on a gamepad than on a mouse and keyboard?

      • console emulators, racing games, flight sims(the previous two are better with wheel or proper joystick but gamepad definitely trumps the keyboard in either case), some third person shooters and fighters.

        • by tepples (727027)

          What PC-native games

          console emulators

          For one thing, I meant "native" in the sense of "other than emulated games". For another, how do you recommend acquiring lawful ROM images of games for use with emulators?

          racing games

          Aren't these far more popular on consoles? The only kart racing game I can think of on PC is Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing.

          fighters

          Aren't these far more popular on consoles too? The only notable fighters I can think of on PC are MUGEN and the first version of Street Fighter 4, and I run into a lot of Slashdot users who swear by a keyboard for pl

          • For one thing, I meant "native" in the sense of "other than emulated games". For another, how do you recommend acquiring lawful ROM images of games for use with emulators?

            Don't.

          • Aren't these far more popular on consoles? The only kart racing game I can think of on PC is Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing.

            Also, sure, but that doesn't stop my PC loving friends from picking up Blur on PC rather than PS3 or Xbox.

            Keyboard/mouse for Blur is like using a DDR pad to play Flight Sim.

  • by Greg_D (138979) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @01:10AM (#33432888)

    It isn't because of the disc, it's because of the way that the d-pad acts when you play fighting games (which is about the only reason you'd actually need a revamped D-Pad in the first place). Why is it that every podunk Japanese fighting pad manufacturer out there can put out a pad which works fine with a game like Street Fighter, but you can't seem to get a handle on it? Look at ASCII's pads, figure out what they do, and replicate it. Problem solved.

  • I have Xbox and I use it on older CRT television. Some games give you a hint a they tell you to press a button. Because of the crapy resolution I can't recognize the letter, but I see the color. With this controller it will be harder. And how often do you use the D-pad?
    • Congrats. You've realized you don't need to buy it. I realized the same time when I saw the controller. Clearly, as they are only selling the controller with the play and charge kit as a bundle, even Microsoft isn't pushing this hard, and you will still be able to buy plenty of the regular controllers, all over the place. So... don't buy this one. Don't recommend it to your friends. Etc.
  • Color hack (Score:3, Funny)

    by SpaghettiPattern (609814) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @02:23AM (#33433054)
    There already is a colour hack. It requires you to sneak into your sister's bedroom and to nick a few of her nail varnishes. You now have the luxury of brushing any colour you like on any button you want. Soon you will lovingly nickname your controller spotted dick. [wikipedia.org]

    Let the varnish dry and voila, you're the coolest kid on the block.

    PS: Finding sex toys during your quest is perfectly normal. Admire your sis' liberated state! Let religion rest for a bit.
  • Modern D-Pads... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flimflammer (956759) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @03:51AM (#33433316)

    I never understood why the quality of d-pads has steadily taken a turn for the worse instead of better. I mean I understand analog sticks are the chosen medium of choice these days but I have to say Sony is the only company that still makes d-pads worth a damn anymore.

    The "fake analog" d-pad design with more than 4 directions is and always has been poorly thought out and never performs well. They need to go back to the idea that the d-pad should feel like different buttons, even if they're not.

    • The Wii Classic Controller D-pad is great. One of the best controllers ever, all around, I'd say. Could use analog triggers, though--in fact, I think the earlier model had them, but I've only got the newer one.

      Pity it has to be tethered to that other piece of crap, which you have to buy in addition, and that it doesn't have motion sensors like the PS3 controller, so you still have to use the crap Wiimote (and god is it ever a bad substitute for a real controller; the NES controller is more ergonomic and h

    • Re:Modern D-Pads... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rowan_u (859287) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @09:12AM (#33435144)
      The reason all modern d-pads suck is that Nintendo has a patent on the "good" d-pad :)
  • Do the controllers still come with a copy of the bluetooth HID spec, printed on nice soft 2-ply paper and conveniently rolled for bathroom use?
  • This must mean it fixes the problems with the d-pad being too stiff, having too much travel distance, having vague tactile feedback, and being too large to move freely around the tight recess it's placed in.

    Oh, it doesn't? Well, nothing to see here, then. Maybe we can start some kind of benefit fundraiser to buy these guys a couple GBA SPs so they can see how to do it properly.

    • Most people still do, in fact it's probably more sought after because it's so distinguishable from the knock off NES controllers and you can use it for hours without making your thumbs bleed.

      I'd probably argue that in the history of Video gaming the Advantage and Max were the most well built and best designed controllers ever.

  • A reasonably priced controller with a precise D-pad would certainly beat searching through eBay for an arcade fighting stick priced less than 250$ when it comes to Street Fighter 4...
  • If there's one thing I like about the XBox 360, it's the controllers.

    They fit my hand comfortably. The coloured buttons are great for young children to figure out what to do and to communicate with one another (even if they can't read what letter is on the button). I never had a problem with the D-Pad - I like that it's a single surface rather than 4 individual buttons.

    I have purchased a PS3 now because my 360 has already died once and the replacement (now a year old, I guess) gave me a red light recently

  • by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @08:07AM (#33434472) Homepage

    Xbox live will go up by 20% and the controller prices as well.

    Thanks Microsoft!

    I'm letting my "gold" account expire and will be getting a VuDu box or another device to do netflix. I'm not paying $60.00 a year for their barely useful service.

  • The mention of "2.4GHz Wireless Technology" is a marketing logical fallacy: it allows the consumer to assume a lot of things no stated about "2.4GHz Wireless Technology." This is similar to popcorn that (yes, I've seen this...) carries the label "100% Whole Grain." Popcorn is made out of a full corn kernel (it won't pop otherwise); the "100% Whole Grain" label encourages the consumer to assume this particular bag of popcorn (with cheese and caramel) is more healthy than other, (im)possibly not whole grai

  • What is a more pressing problem is the weakness of the buttons. Those suckers lose their spring and then you're left with a duff controller. A better button probably would cost fifty cents a button.

  • By the article, the D-Pad can be changed from the disc to a plus. Not the other way around (from a plus to disc in the abstract).
  • by NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) on Wednesday September 01, 2010 @10:49AM (#33436610)
    I mean the one that was on the 6-button pad for the Genesis, the japanese Saturn pad, and on the Saturn analog controller. I mean that was easily my favorite d-pad and anyway Sega would probably sell it cheap anyway.
  • I'd be happier if they'd just fix the batteries so they don't drain in under an hour. I've been through 5 batteries and they all had this problem. I just use the wires now.

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

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