New Xbox controller promises improved directional pad


— 1:47 PM on August 31, 2010

While the PC's keyboard and mouse are an ideal combo for first-person shooters, gamepads are much better for some other genres. Microsoft's Xbox 360 controller has arguably been the best gamepad on the market for some time, which is an impressive feat considering its directional pad is universally reviled. The folks at Redmond have been paying attention to that particular complaint, and they've come up with a new controller with a revised D-pad. With little more than a twist, the new D-pad can be toggled between a raised profile optimized for precise directional movement and a flat profile that's purportedly better for sweeping motions. Microsoft's Major Nelson shows off the new controller in the video embedded below:

In addition to the transforming D-pad, the new controller has deeper contours on the analog sticks and a fresh monochrome aesthetic. Microsoft has ditched the usual red, green, blue, and yellow buttons in favor of white, black, and two shades of grey, which strikes me as a bit of a step backwards on the usability front.

Gamers itching to get their thumbs on the new D-pad will have to wait until November 9. The new controller won't be cheap, either; it's only going to be available in wireless form as part of a Play & Charge kit that will sell for $65.

   
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