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Ding Dongle! Xbox Controller Finally Adding Bluetooth

Oh aye, video game announcements are dandy with their noises and colours and all that, but what will you play them on? Hardware. So while it’s not the flashest of E3 news, it’s still worth mentioning that Microsoft have announced an updated Xbox One wireless controller. The important bit here is that it’ll come with Bluetooth support which means an end – FINALLY – to Microsoft charging ridiculous prices for dongles to use wireless Xbontrollers on PC. Twenty flipping quid they’ve charged!

Oh, and MS are starting an online shop letting folks customise Xbone controllers with all sorts of garish colour combinations – like some phones, sneakers etc. offer.

Microsoft say the new pad has textured grip “for enhanced comfort”, a new thumbstick design which “significantly reduces wear to help maintain accuracy and smooth rotation over the life of the controller”, and support for good ol’ Bluetooth (though this will require Windows 10, like everything they do now).

The new wireless controller will arrive with the Xbox One S, an updated version of Microsoft’s console, but will be sold separately for $59.99 too. It’s not a major overhaul but hey, the Xbontroller is a fine gamepad so a refresh is probably good for people looking for a pad? A good gamepad is a good peripheral to possess for a number of the fine games we can enjoy on our personal computers.

PlayStation controllers have improved in recent years, I know, but a wired Xbone is still my controller of choice. I prefer the triggers, the handfeel, and how most Windows games show Xbox button prompts. I know nothing about non-console pads, mind; are there any you’d recommend to your fellow reader?

Oh! And if you want an extra-fancy new one, Microsoft are launching the Xbox Design Lab for bespoke controllers. For $79.99 – an extra $20 – you can make a lime green controller with purple triggers, an orange d-pad, black thumbsticks and… other hideous options. First orders will start arriving in September, though initially it’s limited to the USA, Canada, and Puerto Rico. More countries will follow in 2017, they say.

I do not think I would plump for a fancy controller. Sure, I did customise my phone (black face, black case, bright blue camera bezel obvs) but only because it didn’t cost extra. My dedication to my personal brand’s colour palette is not quite that strong.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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