Home Entertainment The Xbox 360 Controller Is Returning, But There’s A Catch

The Xbox 360 Controller Is Returning, But There’s A Catch

Will Xenon be worth the cost?

by George Mensah
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Hyperkin has resumed its hobby of unearthing beloved gaming controllers from the past. The Duke, the reimagining of the original Xbox controller with its awkwardly placed black and white buttons, is probably a little too beloved. The Xbox 360 controller fared much better among Microsoft fans, bringing with it a much more sensible placement and shape for its shoulder bumpers, as well as triggers with more grip and travel and other ergonomic improvements. The US military even used the controllers for some of its most sensitive missions.

This controller, dubbed Xenon after the Xbox 360’s secret internal codename, is a fairly accurate recreation of the original. It’s an officially licensed, “Designed for Xbox” product that recreates all the award-winning crooks and curves that earned it a reputation as one of the best gaming controllers ever made. It will be compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, as well as Windows PCs. We don’t yet have a release date or price, but Hyperkin promises that information will be available soon.

While Hyperkin kept most of the original Xbox 360 controller’s appeal (including the “mushy” directional pad that many fighting gamers despised), it made some changes to accommodate features on the latest consoles. You’ll notice a “Share” button beneath the Xbox button, which allows you to create screenshots and game clips with a single touch on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One. I have rebranded the start and select buttons to correspond with the “menu” and “view” buttons on newer models, and a 3.5mm headphone jack is on the underside for connecting your headset.

This controller, too, is wired only. For comparison, the Duke controller was also wired-only and costs $70. While we don’t yet know the Xenon’s price, it’d be a shame to pay that much for a wired model when the Xbox 360 originally came with a wireless controller, and $70 is the same price you can pay for the official wireless controller designed specifically for the Xbox Series X|S (in fact, it’s frequently available for less than $50 on sale).

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The iconic Xbox startup animation integrated into the massive Xbox button justified the Duke’s lofty price tag, but there doesn’t appear to be such a perk for the new product unless you value the detachable USB-C cable to make replacements easier and cheaper. When it arrives, you’ll be able to choose between black, white, pink, and red color options.

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