Who doesn’t feel nostalgic looking at the old controllers of your console? Therefore, to cap on that, in June it was reported that Microsoft has decided to give it’s original Xbox controller, “The Duke” another chance. Known by many as the father of Xbox, Seamus Blackley, is the man behind convincing Microsoft to make such a move.
The Duke was rightly called so; it was larger than your ordinary gamepad. The Duke has had a redesign and was currently shown to the public at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. As for the price, It is expected to have a tag of $70 (£50 or AU$90). It is also expected to make its arrival in the coming spring. The exact date is not yet known, but it’s manufacturer anticipates it to be around late May. The controller shall be available for Xbox as well as on a Windows PC.
We have managed to get a list of features, the new Duke is going to be about, through Seamus Blackley, whom CNET just recently interviewed.
The OLED screen underneath
It seems like OLED is making its way into everything, and by everything, we sure mean controllers too. Beneath the original Xbox controller “jewel” is an OLED screen. When you press that screen, it loads up a startup animation.
It was intended to be in the original Xbox controller in the very start by its father Seamus Blackley. Yet Microsoft didn’t approve at that time. Now that this is settled, he also wanted the OLED screen to do just more than that, but it’s hard to convince Microsoft. According to him, “I built a prototype myself because I knew if I said we should put a screen behind the jewel nobody would ever go for it,” he told CNET.
Shoulder Buttons are easy to use
The Duke is redesigned keeping in mind the nostalgic effects of the original controller. Though, there had to be some changes, catering to the public demand. These came in the form of an OLED screen as mentioned above, and the USB cable. Not only this, but there isn’t any memory card slot either since that’s certainly not needed now.
Furthermore, two new tiny shoulder buttons have been added above the triggers. These help you play the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC based Xinput games, adding to the compatibility of the controllers. These can be easily accessed through the tips of your very index fingers.
The reason behind the controller making a comeback
Blackley didn’t have to do much to get this controller to make a comeback. All he did, was just take a picture of an old controller lying in his house and put it on twitter. The tweet got an immense response, making a possibility for the controller’s revival.
“I discovered to my horror and fascination that The Duke was an object of nostalgia and comfort and happiness and childhood memories, and all these people with big hands saying it was the only controller that was comfortable,” he says. “One of the guys who follows me on Twitter tweets that we should reissue it … it got nearly 2,000 likes and retweets.”
“I contacted Phil [Spencer, head of Xbox], who was a buddy of mine, and asked, ‘Phil, is this crazy enough to do?’ and some of the hardware guys who were there when the Xbox was on the drawing board said we should absolutely do it.”
One wouldn’t have hoped from Microsoft to actually go through with this, but you never know what’s out there in the world for you.