As you'd expect with any new console generation, there's a brand-new controller releasing with the Xbox Series X - although at a passing glance it's hard to notice. The new controller doesn't bring a whole host of obvious changes to the already pretty spot-on Xbox One controller, but it does add a few quality of life improvements such as a dedicated share button.
This is part of the Xbox master plan of allowing every part of the ecosystem to play well together. From cross-saves to cross-gen, Game Pass on PC to mobile streaming, it all plays together. So it makes sense that the Series X's controller will be compatible with last-gen devices, and all the old controllers will be compatible with next-gen too - and to do that, both controllers have to be pretty similar
Syncing an old controller to the Series X works just like any other, by holding the sync button on both devices - exactly the same as with previous Xbox generations.
The new controller has much more effective grips than the Xbox One pad, and a nice and clicky multi-direction d-pad. Overall it just feels better in the hand, and the subtle changes to the top half make it easier for those with smaller hands to reach the triggers. In fact, those subtle changes actually make a world of difference.
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When holding up the new controller to last gen you can see that the triggers have been lowered in the body for easier access, and thankfully the horrible shiny and slippery plastic has been swapped to the same matte finish seen on the rest of the device, with some well needed textured grips added to the end - something previously seen in the Elite Controller range.
My only complaint is that it still relies on AA batteries! The internal battery on the Elite Series 2 is a dream, lasting up to 40 hours before needing to be charged again, so returning to batteries that drain within a week feels like a real step backwards.
The worst thing is the controller now has a USB-C port on the top, which except for those players who like to wire their console for faster response times, feels kind of redundant without an internal battery to charge. I'll invest in some rechargeables soon, but there's nothing worse than seeing the dreaded "low battery" sign in 2020.
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