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Xbox One Front
Xbox One

How different is the new Xbox One controller?

Take a look at the core differences between the Xbox 360 controller and the newly launched Xbox One controller. 

Xbox One Front

The recently launched Microsoft Xbox One has garnered a lot of attention from the gaming community. It’s usually compared with the Sony PlayStation 4, which not so surprisingly was launched alongside the Microsoft console back in November. But as we compare the two rival consoles, seldom are the controllers of upgraded consoles are compared to their predecessors. That’s exactly what we did with the Sony DualShock 3 and the DualShock 4 controller comparison some days ago to determine what’s different on the new Sony controller.  Today, we give the controllers from the Microsoft Xbox 360 and the Xbox One a similar treatment.

Xbox One controller design vs. Xbox 360 controller design

Xbox One Controller Side

The first thing that comes to mind when we do such comparisons is the physical shape and size. The Xbox One controller is a lot sleeker in comparison, although physically it doesn’t seem like the size has changed much. The controller is also very lightweight compared to its predecessor, which boosts gameplay substantially.


The analog sticks have received some redesigning and are now a tad smaller in diameter but taller from the surface. The gripping around these dual analog sticks ensures no accidental slips midway through a game, which is much needed improvement.

On the back, the triggers have been heavily revamped too. In what was a two tiered setup with the Xbox 360, it now feels like one button for both the bottom and top triggers. Microsoft calls these the ‘Impulse Triggers’ as they provide great feedback for even the most delicate press. This is a pretty nifty feature to have in games like Forza Motorsport which was one of the first titles to launch with the console.

Xbox One Back

The D Pad is also substantially improved here as you can probably see from the pictures above and should most likely last through prolonged gaming sessions, without proving to be much of an annoyance. The action or face buttons (Y, X, A and B) are now pushed closer against each other, while not sacrificing on the look and feel of the controller. Additionally, the back and start buttons have now been replaced with the View and Menu buttons.

Battery and other features

One of the less talked about changes is the inclusion of a micro-USB port on the back, to charge the on board rechargeable AA batteries. It’s claimed that this takes half as much time to recharge compared to the predecessor, thus saving precious gaming time. Users can also use this as a wired controller any time, as all they have to do is hook up a micro USB cable to the device and the console. Using it in this mode will not require the batteries to be in place as all the power is gathered through the cable.

The controller also comes with an infrared sensor on the back to pair with the Kinect sensor on the Xbox One. The pairing is done automatically without much fuss. At the bottom of the device, there is an expansion slot for the Xbox One Chat Headset which is supplied with the console.


Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One controller is definitely a massive upgrade over its predecessor, as it should be since Microsoft has worked years on the development of this device. Our only issue remains the use of AA batteries, while Microsoft could have used a Lithium-ion unit like Sony does on the PlayStation 4 DualShock controller. However, users can always add their own AA batteries if the one on board dies out while PlayStation 4 users do not enjoy that luxury. Apart from this very minor and subjective gripe, we think the Xbox One controller has surpassed all expectations. It’s better looking, lighter and more functional, which is pretty much what every gamer wants from a console controller.

Valerie Richardson
26 year old tech writer based in London. Have prior experience working with major media conglomerates. I'm also a lover of all things tech. Well, basically anything with a display and a power button on it.

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