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Microsoft Unveils New Xbox 360 Wireless Controller

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the more-aerodynamic dept.

XBox (Games) 150

adeelarshad82 writes "Microsoft unveiled a new wireless Xbox 360 controller, which features a revamped D-pad that transforms from a plus to a disc. The new D-pad was developed to address complaints from users. Other new features include: A, B, X, and Y buttons that are gray instead of the standard red, green, yellow, and blue; and a matte silver color. The controller includes 2.4-GHz wireless technology with a 30-foot range."

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As a Tester (3, Insightful)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432686)

That D-Pad is shit. I can understand not being quite up-to-snuff for playing a game, but you can't even navigate menus with that thing. Forget about entering text. I can't believe it took this long to address "complaints" about the utter worthlessness of those buttons.

Re:As a Tester (1)

OutLawSuit (1107987) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432754)

That time it took to address the "complaints" probably came from trying to circumvent an existing patent.

Re:As a Tester (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432774)

Nintendo's patent expired in the late 1990's, hence the Dreamcast's d-pad. This was simply Microsoft trying to be creative and failing miserably.

Re:As a Tester (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432794)

I can navigate menus just fine... Where is the difficulty?

Re:As a Tester (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33435030)

I can navigate menus just fine... Where is the difficulty?

I agree! Since you are the sole benchmark against which the effectiveness of all consoles' controllers are measured it's shocking that anyone would have an issue where you haven't.

Re:As a Tester (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33434004)

It's a shock to me that it took so long too. GoW uses the D-Pad to change weapons. After planted 'nades the most common cause of cursing seems to be the d-pad deciding you pressed a different direction than you did.

Still sucks. (0, Troll)

JDmetro (1745882) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432696)

My biggest problem with the 360 is the controlers and the fact that MS makes it.
But then again Sony is almost so evil I want to throw my PS3 away.

Re:Still sucks. (4, Insightful)

joeflies (529536) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432736)

So let's see - Microsoft is a monopoly that destroys companies on a number of fronts, has ongoing uneasy relationship of take and no give with the open source community, hurts consumers through various acts of evil, and then gets into the game business with its monopoly money sustaining the kind of huge loses that normal companies could not withstand.

Sony riled up the /. community primarily because of its copy protection efforts - the Lik Sang cease & desist, had the infamous copy protection scandal, and removed the other OS option.

And for that, Sony is "almost so evil" in comparison? I think that the scale of evil has been distorted somewhat.

Re:Still sucks. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433708)

Microsoft is "evil" to small to medium (and sometimes even larger) enterprises, but is largely indifferent to consumers. Sony is "evil" to consumers but is largely indifferent to small to medium enterprises. As a consumer, I find it morally difficult to do business with Microsoft but ultimately it doesn't hurt me (you say they "hurt consumers through various acts of evil" but I can't think of any beyond shoddy coding - okay, Vista aside), meanwhile I find it directly affects me to do business with Sony (rootkit fiasco, stripping out backwards compatability in PS3, removing OtherOS, pushing DRM tech etc). Of course neither company is really evil, just pursuing their goal of generating profit, but if we measure evil in this case as how much a company makes it difficult or even downright punishes me for giving them money, I'm currently far happier with MS than Sony. YMMV.

Re:Still sucks. (1)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434052)

hurts consumers through various acts of evil, and then gets into the game business with its monopoly money

That's really your case for Microsoft being uber evil? Microsoft's business practice isn't an example of corporate benefaction at work, and all this sensationalism does is hide valid concerns from people who are mostly concerned with getting work / stuff done.

They did what? (5, Insightful)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432700)

...new features include: A, B, X, and Y buttons that are gray instead of the standard red, green, yellow, and blue.

What's the reason behind that? Did colorblind players hate the colored buttons? Aren't a lot of games referring to the button colors instead of the button letters?

As for that transformer D-pad... The plus is still there in so-called disc mode, they should have made the remaining parts taller and concave to actually make a disc shape once the plus part is lowered. As usual, Microsoft has a good idea but screws up the implementation.

And the silver color... all I can say is that the circle is complete. The new cool color for electronics is silver, like in the '70s! Next year, fake wood grain!

Re:They did what? (-1, Troll)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432782)

The simplistic color scheme, while convenient, suggests preschool.

We're manly men(who blow aliens to bits and save the universe), not thumbsucking infantiles pulling on our See-N-Says.

Re:They did what? (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432820)

The monochrome buttons are a stupid idea and a classic case of fixing something that wasn't broken. And developers do use the colors as a quick reference, which is far better than trying to look at very hard to see letters on those buttons.

Agreed (2, Interesting)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432920)

I don't actually have an X-Box 360, haven't figured out what I would need one for. It doesn't play Blu-Ray, almost every 360 game worth playing will also be released for Wii or PC, so why have yet another box.

On the other hand, I have 5, YES 5 360 wireless controllers. Two on my game machine hooked to the projector. Two on my 8 year old son's PC and one on my daughter's PC. The X-Box 360 controller is the best thing ever to have to gaming on the PC. Finally a standard PC joystick. It only took a billion years. Last time there was a standard game controller for the PC was the original two button, analog axis controller in the 80's that you needed a separate A/D card (there was no sound cards yet) to connect to the machine. It was the biggest piece of crap ever, but the 360 controller is AWESOME. A standard console grade controller for the PC.

Well that said, once I got these controllers, I bought all the Lego games (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Batman and Harry Potter), I bought Tomb Raider and piles of other games. After all, the PC just became the most powerful console and the best part is, it plays games from nearly every old console and it also plays Blu-ray etc...

Well, my kids LOVE playing games on the PC with their controllers. When the game says "press the green button", they press the green button. In the room with the projector (a cheap little 100 lumen BenQ Joybee) you can see the colors, but not the letters on the buttons. Also, since the projector typically is downscaling 1280x1024 to 800x600, it is really quite hard to read letters on the screen (even when playing Wii). So, the colors are GREAT.

Here comes Microsoft to tell us that if any of our controllers break, we'll be replacing them with controllers of lower usability. Oh well... good thing couldn't last forever could it? Let's just hope that Logitech and others don't change.

Re:Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432956)

You could just add a dot of appropriate color for your children. Then you still can use what you consider a good controller. Plus you have the benifit of a potentially better D-pad.

Try Windows Media Center (1)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433596)

I don't actually have an X-Box 360, haven't figured out what I would need one for.

The XBox 360 is the best *and* the most cost effective Media Center Extender available on the market.

Slap it together with Windows 7 and a Cablecard tuner, and you've got a networked DVR that can play 1080p h264 MKV's as well. Neat thing is that Windows Media Center on the host PC does the hardware accelerated decoding and ships it to the extender. It's very neat stuff.

I've never actually played a game on my 360 :-D

Re:Try Windows Media Center (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433888)

I've never liked the idea of needed to have two machines on to watch one film.
Oddly this happened around about the time I started paying the bills.

Paying more to get a better media server is not the solution as I still have to pay that bill too. So the ps3 with the 500mb Hdd upgrade will have to do for now.

Re:Try Windows Media Center (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33434990)

So how do you get your media onto the PS3 without another computer?

Re:Agreed (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434022)

Only if you buy this specific model; it's not the new standard for the machine, but a one-off silver thing (presumably for Halo: Reach) which sacrifices some usability for "looking cool" because the target market knows the positions of the buttons so well they don't need the colour assistance anyway.

Re:Agreed (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434776)

Halo: Reach already has controllers. (Amazon [amazon.com] ) Still the old style.

Re:They did what? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433980)

What they should of done is make the buttons clear but have the ability to backlight them with the appropriate color LED. That way if you don't know your colors by muscle memory yet you could use it as training wheels.

Re:They did what? (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432972)

The simplistic color scheme, while convenient, suggests preschool.

We're manly men(who blow aliens to bits and save the universe), not thumbsucking infantiles pulling on our See-N-Says.

Well, I like the colors cause it's easier for me to remember that green is the bottom button, not that it's the A button (seeing as it's in the B button location on other controllers i have.)

But to each his own. I don't find the D-pad that bad myself.

But honestly, I love the 360 gamepad. I like having analog triggers. Makes racing games better then the stupid on/off digital other controllers have.

In fact, i'm off to play some Need For Speed World now (in 3D Vision even) that the game finished updating.

Re:They did what? (1)

Danieljury3 (1809634) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433742)

You can usually use the right analog stick for the throttle and brakes in racing games though the triggers are more realistic and you can do left foot braking if you need to

Re:They did what? (1)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433922)

Using your feet on the controller? Now that is hardcore! well done.

Re:They did what? (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433486)

Damn straight, we're manly men! We're supposed to feel threatened by bright colourful things!

Re:They did what? (2, Interesting)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432948)

Did colorblind players hate the colored buttons?

Nope. I have the red/green issue, but I could see the red and green of the buttons fine. It's generally not a problem with very bright colors. *shrug* At this point the locations are second nature to me. Quickly from memory: Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green and Up Y Yellow.

Re:They did what? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433080)

Quickly from memory: Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green and Up Y Yellow.

While I like the Xbox controller now, when I first started to use it I hated, how MS seemed to acknowlege the old SNES controller buttons while at the same time juggling everything around just a bit to screw with my head... See, SNES was

Left Y Green, Right A Red, Down B Yellow, Up X Blue

really subtle... Yes, I realize that it is the same configuration as on the original Xbox, but I never had one of those.

Re:They did what? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433272)

Where/when did you buy your SNES? I remember the color scheme being part of the logo in some of the early marketing, but I bought one about 6 months after release, and the buttons were...

Left Y Pink, Right A Purple, Down B Purple, Up X Pink

I think they used the "xbox color scheme" on some of their Japanese controllers, but AFAIK only third party and Japanese had the 4 color button controllers. Otherwise more SNES developers would have used the color instead of the letters.

Re:They did what? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433382)

Ah sorry, I'm from germany... US controllers looked different to ours.

Re:They did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433834)

What you have isn't an original SNES Controller from Nintendo. I'm also from Germany and i still own an SNES, and i can definitely tell you that the linked-from-wikimedia controller down below was in the retail package of my german SNES.

The color version you describe can still be bought cheaply from ebay (around 3EUR or so) and they don't have a nintendo logo on it.

Re:They did what? (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433996)

That's just Nintendo being backwards - why the hell they ever thought it was a good idea to put the B button to the LEFT of the A button I'll never know. Microsoft's button layout is identical to the Dreamcast.

Re:They did what? (1)

prionic6 (858109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434118)

Microsoft's button layout is identical to the Dreamcast.

nope, at least not the colors...

Left X Blue, Right B Red, Down A Green, Up Y Yellow (xbox)
Left Y Green, Right A Red, Down B Yellow, Up X Blue (snes eu / jap)
Left X Yellow, Right B Blue, Down A Red, Up Y Green (dc)

Re:They did what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33434194)

Think back to the NES controller. The button on the right was the primary action button. The one on the left was the secondary button. A = Primary, B = secondary.

Re:They did what? (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 4 years ago | (#33435546)

Maybe it's a cultural difference. Things in Japan tend to be ordered right to left (think pages in a book).

Re:They did what? (1)

stms (1132653) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432976)

I thinks that it's a ploy to force people to buy more controllers I mean most developers work around the crappiness of the D-Pad. I haven't ever played a game that uses the D-Pad in such a way that you need all that accurate controls with it. Now Microsoft will probably start trying to make developers use the D-Pad more and you'll have to buy this controller is you want the best experience. Oh Yeah and WTF Gray buttons?

Re:They did what? (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433132)

From what I can tell from the information out there the gray buttons are gray because this isn't actually a replacement of existing controllers, but an optional new style of controller- just as they've released black, green, blue, pink, white controllers, this is the silver one. The difference is this time they've actually changed how a component of it works too.

So the frustration is that they've released a new style of controller- fine, you can ignore that if it doesn't interest you, but they've also made parts of it better, something you don't get if you buy the classic coloured controllers.

Perhaps if people respond positively to the D-Pad and thumb stick changes they will roll them out to the other coloured controllers too, who knows. I agree the gray buttons are utterly fucking awful though, I wouldn't buy the controller for this alone and would just stick to the original ones.

Re:They did what? (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433758)

And, honestly, I can barely remember a time when I've had to rely on the D-Pad for anything in game other than menu/weapon selection. Assuming they still do an edition with the colours, then improving the D-Pad is a nice touch, even if hardly needed (and potentially another route for dirt to get into the controller).

Re:They did what? (1)

Five Bucks! (769277) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433770)

You think Fake Wood grain's got a chance?

Thank god... I knew my hand-me-down living room furniture would be cool some day!

Re:They did what? (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433974)

So we can expect to have to identify wood species by grain color and pattern? To continue push (maple). Or crap I didn't mean to hit (oak). Where the f&ck is (maple).

Re:They did what? (1)

tgd (2822) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433978)

I think Asus is selling a chrome/wood laptop.

Re:They did what? (1)

VisiX (765225) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434174)

Anyone who is going to buy a $70 controller probably has the buttons memorized. (video states price as $64.99+tax)

Re:They did what? (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434800)

Well, it's more a $50 controller with a $15 accessory (the play and charge kit, which anyone that knows better is going to buy anyway) but you're more than likely right.

Gray buttons (3, Insightful)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432704)

Truly remarkable.
How did they do it?

Re:Gray buttons (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432712)

They looked at the Apple hardware, most of which is anodized aluminium, then copied the on-screen color.

Re:Gray buttons (3, Insightful)

MokuMokuRyoushi (1701196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432776)

All ideas for a new design were remarked to be "colorless". A brilliant concept artist, in a moment of brilliance, shouted "That's it! No colors!"
Aaaaand, I see little difference. Honestly, the lack of colors worsens it. So many games just spit out the color of the button for sequences, and now the color is gone. What a retarded thing to do...

Re:Gray buttons (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433776)

Still, while people are arguing about whether the buttons should be grey or not, they're diverted from complaining about the recently announced Live price increases [kotaku.com] - and MS can always then say in a little while, "Hey, we're listening to you, you can have your coloured buttons back" for the bonus PR win.

About time (2, Informative)

Takahashi (409381) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432708)

It is seriously about time! The D-pad on the current controllers is absolutely awful (for those who don't know, often times it registers the wrong direction due to poor mechanical design). It has made some games (especially live-arcade games like megaman 9) incredibly frustrating.

Re:About time (2, Interesting)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432722)

Yah, and in order to fix it they've added even more mechanical complexity to it - now you can raise and lower the + part of it, making it either a disk or a plus.

So instead of Microsoft sticking to one thing and making it work well, they let the user pick between two half-assed solutions! Hooray!

No colors = terrible choice (4, Interesting)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432714)

Getting rid of the colors on the buttons seems baseless. I can't tell you how many times...

Me: "Press A"
Her: ::moving thumbs, squinting:: "... huh?"
Me: "Green."

The twisty d-pad is cute, but largely strikes me as a way of getting around Nintendo's killer patent on the golden standard. I can't imagine who would want to use the disc, except for perhaps fighting games.

Play&Charge sucks, I hate having to mess around with dongly wires and other crap to use my controller just get rechargeable batteries.

Re:No colors = terrible choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432762)

Me: "Press A"
Her: ::moving thumbs, squinting:: "... huh?"
Me: "Green."
Her: "nlawalker, this is too hard for me. Why can't we go make out like I wanted to earlier? It's 10pm on our first date and we've been playing Halo for 3 hours already!
Me: "LOL JAJA FRAG! Sorry, what were you saying?
Her: ( Sigh...and I turned down a date with a black man for this?! )

Re:No colors = terrible choice (1)

i-like-burritos (1532531) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432930)

Getting rid of the colors on the buttons seems baseless. I can't tell you how many times...

Me: "Press A" Her: ::moving thumbs, squinting:: "... huh?" Me: "Green."

Yup. It's even worse for those of us that don't have HD TVs. When on-screen instructions appear, the only way I can understand them is from the colors.

Re:No colors = terrible choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433230)

Move your microwave back into the kitchen.

Re:No colors = terrible choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433246)

Can I offer you an old b&w television?

Re:No colors = terrible choice (1)

Moridin42 (219670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433946)

From the fighting game community sites, they don't like the disc either. The general response to this controller is "yay! a d-pad that sucks less! ... priced so high that we'd rather get an arcade stick!"

Re:No colors = terrible choice (1)

iainl (136759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434042)

If you're one of the people who either don't like Arcade Sticks (don't laugh, there are a few, apparently) or just find the idea of storing a big dedicated controller that can't be used to play the rest of your games off-putting, you could do what I did, and realise that an additional "normal" controller and one of Madcatz's SFIV fightpads cost rather less money together than this new controller does on its own...

Re:No colors = terrible choice (1)

Hogwash McFly (678207) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434098)

According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , Nintendo's d-pad patent expired in 2005 which would mean that any company could freely use the plus-shaped d-pad as sported by the NES, SNES etc.

meh (1)

bakamorgan (1854434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432740)

My original controllers work fine. If I want to play a fighter game I will play it on my ps3.....even tho I think the best d-pad was my SNES controller. Surprized they aren't black to match the new xbox revision :? Maybe we can just gut the new controllers parts and put them in an old controller? I'm sure MS thought of that and found a way to stop that.

Lipstick on a (-1, Flamebait)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432768)

640p limited pig. With the loss leader and brains they could have hired, why did they not have a faster better back end?
They could have have a much better system that would have scaled well, now all MS can do is decorate with trinkets until its end of life.

Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (4, Interesting)

DeeKayWon (155842) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432770)

The change they made to the d-pad doesn't sound like it addresses the crappiness of the existing d-pad at all. I don't care about disc versus plus, I care about things like its tendency to register a diagonal press when trying to press a horizontal direction.

Seriously, take a 360 controller, hold left on the d-pad, and at the same time try to rock your thumb toward the up and down directions. It moves a lot! Using one on Windows, you can see in the controller properties how easily it registers diagonal presses. Now do the same thing with a Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2, which has a very similar d-pad. It's far less finicky than the 360 pad.

So really, how is this new d-pad supposed to fix that?

Re:Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432900)

I'm guessing it's supposed to fix Microsoft's lack of money.

Re:Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433492)

Never heard of it.

Re:Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (1)

kjart (941720) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432902)

So really, how is this new d-pad supposed to fix that?

It might be, you know, better? The purely aesthetic change does not rule out functional changes as well.

That being said, the way they are rolling it out (play and charge only, not part of system bundles) doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in me. I'll wait for some reviews, thank you very much.

Re:Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (3, Interesting)

ninjackn (1424235) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433042)

I love the D-pad and was sad to see it get ruined over the years. The NES, SNES and N64 controller got it right: nice large size, good button depth, and the area around and underneath the D pad was minimal.

The biggest problem with the xbox360 controller isn't the shape of the Dpad, it's too much plastic around and underneath it. The sega genesis controller has the same shape but it felt fine because when you held it there was a nice sized gap between the edge of the controller and the size edge of your palm and the "pinch" distance was small.

Take the SNES controller for example, the left edge of the controller to the d pad is only 18mm and the thickest part from the back of the controller to the top of the dpad is 22.3mm. The xbox260 is 36.5mm from left edge to dpad and 32mm from back to surface of dpad. That's just too much plastic to get in the way of thumb movement.

There's also the problem that the Dpad is really a giant stick. The total thickness of the plastic in the xbox dpad is something like 20mm, the SNES is 9mm (these are estimate measurements unlike the previous).

Re:Wrong thing to talk about on the d-pad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433924)

There's also the problem that the Dpad is really a giant stick.

ALSO the problem? This is THE problem. The controller would be so much better if it were actually a d-pad instead of a stick. Replace the Xbox 360 d-pad with that of the PS2/PS3 and you have the best console controller ever. Instead, you have quite possibly the most retarded design decision in the history of human civilization.

Meh. But not bad either. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432772)

They still haven't addressed the bigger problem of not being able to use this thing in USB mode via the play and charge kit. First it screws owners into buying A 20 or 30 dollar dongle to use it on a PC. Second when bringing spare controllers over it makes the syncing process difficult. Especially for people who do LAN parties and tournaments.

Re:Meh. But not bad either. (1)

hack slash (1064002) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432896)

The play&charge kit looks like overpriced branded crap, I bought an unbranded rechargable battery pack for my brother's 360 and it came with a USB charging cable, total cost including postage; less than £4. Works like a charm, only one annoyance is the USB cable could be a couple of feet longer, if it eventually gets too annoying I'll chop & extend it myself.

It might be the OCD.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33432882)

..but If my face was as asymmetrical as their gamepads I'd be dying of cancer. Just sayin'. ~ethana2

Hey Microsoft, here's why your D-Pad sucks (3, Insightful)

Greg_D (138979) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432888)

It isn't because of the disc, it's because of the way that the d-pad acts when you play fighting games (which is about the only reason you'd actually need a revamped D-Pad in the first place). Why is it that every podunk Japanese fighting pad manufacturer out there can put out a pad which works fine with a game like Street Fighter, but you can't seem to get a handle on it? Look at ASCII's pads, figure out what they do, and replicate it. Problem solved.

Re:Hey Microsoft, here's why your D-Pad sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433030)

Because MS doesn't want to pay royalties for a decent D-pad design

Re:Hey Microsoft, here's why your D-Pad sucks (4, Insightful)

lyinhart (1352173) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433704)

Players that really care about controls in fighting games set down the gamepad and plunk down the money for a decent arcade stick. No gamepad on the planet can take the place of a good joystick controller.

Games in most other genres seem to use the analog stick more than the digital pad, so the new d-pad doesn't seem all that useful....

Re:Hey Microsoft, here's why your D-Pad sucks (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433952)

The EVO Super Street Fighter 4 finals featured not one, but two pad players in the top 8 this year.

I prefer an arcade stick as well, but it's not universal.

(For those who don't know, EVO is the largest fighting game tournament held anually in the USA.)

Color vs gray buttons in games (2, Insightful)

m1c4a1 (785940) | more than 4 years ago | (#33432924)

I have Xbox and I use it on older CRT television. Some games give you a hint a they tell you to press a button. Because of the crapy resolution I can't recognize the letter, but I see the color. With this controller it will be harder. And how often do you use the D-pad?

Re:Color vs gray buttons in games (1)

kevinmenzel (1403457) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433084)

Congrats. You've realized you don't need to buy it. I realized the same time when I saw the controller. Clearly, as they are only selling the controller with the play and charge kit as a bundle, even Microsoft isn't pushing this hard, and you will still be able to buy plenty of the regular controllers, all over the place. So... don't buy this one. Don't recommend it to your friends. Etc.

Color hack (2, Funny)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433054)

There already is a colour hack. It requires you to sneak into your sister's bedroom and to nick a few of her nail varnishes. You now have the luxury of brushing any colour you like on any button you want. Soon you will lovingly nickname your controller spotted dick. [wikipedia.org]

Let the varnish dry and voila, you're the coolest kid on the block.

PS: Finding sex toys during your quest is perfectly normal. Admire your sis' liberated state! Let religion rest for a bit.

Re:Color hack (1)

JDLWL (1505241) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434684)

I thought I might tweet XBOX support and ask why they ditched the colours on the buttons. Offical reply is "Just a decision to go with the cool new look". So... I'll just have to get the paints out then.

I am not particularly pro... (1)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433082)

...or against MS, but how is a disc-shaped D-pad and grey buttons "news" (for nerds or otherwise)?

Re:I am not particularly pro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33433120)

how is a disc-shaped D-pad and grey buttons "news" (for nerds or otherwise)?

The controller didn't have them before.

Re:I am not particularly pro... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33435098)

how is a disc-shaped D-pad and grey buttons "news" (for nerds or otherwise)?

The controller didn't have them before.

That and Microsoft is one of the main topics of discussion on this site. Others include, but are not limited to, Linux, Apple, NASA, SCO, the RIAA/MPAA, the Internet and politicians gone wild.

Modern D-Pads... (2, Insightful)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433316)

I never understood why the quality of d-pads has steadily taken a turn for the worse instead of better. I mean I understand analog sticks are the chosen medium of choice these days but I have to say Sony is the only company that still makes d-pads worth a damn anymore.

The "fake analog" d-pad design with more than 4 directions is and always has been poorly thought out and never performs well. They need to go back to the idea that the d-pad should feel like different buttons, even if they're not.

Re:Modern D-Pads... (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434214)

The Wii Classic Controller D-pad is great. One of the best controllers ever, all around, I'd say. Could use analog triggers, though--in fact, I think the earlier model had them, but I've only got the newer one.

Pity it has to be tethered to that other piece of crap, which you have to buy in addition, and that it doesn't have motion sensors like the PS3 controller, so you still have to use the crap Wiimote (and god is it ever a bad substitute for a real controller; the NES controller is more ergonomic and has better buttons) for games like NSMBW.

Re:Modern D-Pads... (3, Informative)

Rowan_u (859287) | more than 4 years ago | (#33435144)

The reason all modern d-pads suck is that Nintendo has a patent on the "good" d-pad :)

Pricing scheme (1)

gamricstone (1879210) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433420)

I have no idea what a 360 controller costs to manufacture, but third-party manufacturers can sell them at a profit for $25. At over $40 I will never pay for such controllers, unless of course they're bundled with a console I want and the price is passed on that way. One other exception, I would gladly pay $60 for a controller, if I could be ensured it would be fully compatible with all consoles released by the same company in the future (or at least the next one).

Re:Pricing scheme (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434848)

The controller comes with a play and charge kit, and MSRPs at $65 ($50 for the controller + $15 for the P&CK). I'm guessing retailers will sell it cheaper later on (like how Amazon sells regular wireless controllers for $35)

The important question... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433780)

Do the controllers still come with a copy of the bluetooth HID spec, printed on nice soft 2-ply paper and conveniently rolled for bathroom use?

Oh, so this must mean... (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433786)

This must mean it fixes the problems with the d-pad being too stiff, having too much travel distance, having vague tactile feedback, and being too large to move freely around the tight recess it's placed in.

Oh, it doesn't? Well, nothing to see here, then. Maybe we can start some kind of benefit fundraiser to buy these guys a couple GBA SPs so they can see how to do it properly.

Seriously? (1)

uncholowapo (1666661) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433838)

This is break through engineering? Something in the world isn't right...

I don't get it (0, Troll)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433936)

I just looked at my honky 360 controller, and the D-pad looks the same as in TFA. It's a disc with 4 cardinal 'ridges' in the shape of a + and the whole thing moves. Does it now rotate like a paddle or something? I don't play a lot of scrollers/platformers or fighting games.

Incidentally, the PS3 controller sucks. Its left analog controller is in the wrong place, it's too small, and it doesn't have removable battery so when it runs low I can't just slap in the alternate battery I have in the charge cradle. This has been an issue with Fallout 3 lately (yeah yeah I'm late. I'm surprised they never fixed the PS3 lockup and slowness bugs though :( ). Also, most games seem to have the 'trigger' controls backward, they map to the 'bumper' (what PS3 stupidly calls 'R1' or 'L1') and not to the proper trigger ('R2' or 'L2'). That's fucking retarded.

Re:I don't get it (2, Informative)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434690)

R1/L1, R2/L2 has been around since the original PlayStation days. Plus the benefit of R1 being "fire" is that the way you grip it, it's like pulling an actual trigger. You don't need the smooth analog action of the R2/L2 buttons.

I don't know about the analog sticks being in the wrong place. I think that's just a matter of preference at this point.

I liked the NES Max (1)

trout007 (975317) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433942)

Re:I liked the NES Max (1)

MistrBlank (1183469) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434148)

Most people still do, in fact it's probably more sought after because it's so distinguishable from the knock off NES controllers and you can use it for hours without making your thumbs bleed.

I'd probably argue that in the history of Video gaming the Advantage and Max were the most well built and best designed controllers ever.

A better option at last? (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#33433998)

A reasonably priced controller with a precise D-pad would certainly beat searching through eBay for an arcade fighting stick priced less than 250$ when it comes to Street Fighter 4...

Is it an improvement? (1)

whereiswaldo (459052) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434010)

If there's one thing I like about the XBox 360, it's the controllers.

They fit my hand comfortably. The coloured buttons are great for young children to figure out what to do and to communicate with one another (even if they can't read what letter is on the button). I never had a problem with the D-Pad - I like that it's a single surface rather than 4 individual buttons.

I have purchased a PS3 now because my 360 has already died once and the replacement (now a year old, I guess) gave me a red light recently so this one will probably fail, too. Plus the PS3 lets me upgrade the hard disk with whatever I want whereas the 360 is encrypted up the ying-yang. And no more XBox Live fees! It will take some time getting used to the PS3 menu system, though. Mind you, it is much snappier than the _slow_ menu system of the 360.

Slipping during gameplay (1)

rveldpau (1765928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434242)

The major problem that I see with this is that the d-pad could potentially slip out of d-pad, or disc mode during gameplay if you're sliding your fingers on it. Slide your finger in a quarter-circle... are you now in disc mode when you were in d-pad mode? I see this actually causing issues and being a worse solution than the previosu d-pad.

This and live going up in price... (2, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434472)

Xbox live will go up by 20% and the controller prices as well.

Thanks Microsoft!

I'm letting my "gold" account expire and will be getting a VuDu box or another device to do netflix. I'm not paying $60.00 a year for their barely useful service.

2.4GHz Logical fallacy (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 4 years ago | (#33434476)

The mention of "2.4GHz Wireless Technology" is a marketing logical fallacy: it allows the consumer to assume a lot of things no stated about "2.4GHz Wireless Technology." This is similar to popcorn that (yes, I've seen this...) carries the label "100% Whole Grain." Popcorn is made out of a full corn kernel (it won't pop otherwise); the "100% Whole Grain" label encourages the consumer to assume this particular bag of popcorn (with cheese and caramel) is more healthy than other, (im)possibly not whole grain popcorn.

Another logical fallacy: I could mention that 2.4GHz wireless technology is the technology used in cordless house phones from the 1980s. This would encourage the consumer to assume that 2.4GHz Wireless Technology is old, outdated, low-tech crap. In reality, it's perfectly workable; and it's also a federally reserved bandwidth for these uses, along with the 5GHz band. Lots of cordless phones have advertised prominently their 5.0GHz band utilization rather than 2.4GHz, because consumers know 2.4GHz is less than 5.0GHz and thus 5.0GHz must be better.

What fun.

Re:2.4GHz Logical fallacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33435130)

Or, maybe consumers know that their poorly-shielded microwave oven runs on "2.4 GHz Technology" and want to be able to make a damn phone call while popping that whole grain popcorn with the delicious cheezy caramel. Just throwing that out there.

worthless fix (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#33435020)

What is a more pressing problem is the weakness of the buttons. Those suckers lose their spring and then you're left with a duff controller. A better button probably would cost fifty cents a button.

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