Xbox One controllers designed to last a decade, or more

The controller for the Xbox One may not be radically different from its predecessor, but that hasn't stopped Microsoft from conducting extensive research and testing to ensure that it's the best controller it's ever created. For those who have used the Xbox 360 version, the new controller will certainly feel familiar, with all of the previous buttons, thumbsticks and triggers carried over - although, true to Microsoft's current form, the Start button has been given a makeover

But the familiar look and feel of the new controller hides the story of its development, and in particular, the extraordinary amounts of stress-testing and research that went into making sure that each individual controller can handle the battering that it will get from its owners. Pocket-lint got an insight into the controller testing labs at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where they spoke to Bob Brown, the company's accessories and hardware manager. 

A special custom-built stress-testing rig has been created, in which twenty controllers can be simultaneously put through their paces, with each button being pushed between four and five times every second. By the time a controller has completed its testing run, its buttons will have been pushed around two million times. 

The buttons are tested to ensure that they'll survive the frequent, brutal presses of excited gamers over time, but the testing is also designed to make sure that each button performs consistently every time it's used. The controllers are hooked up to computers which allow engineers to monitor their performance, so they can investigate any issues that pop up. 

As you'd expect, drop-tests are also carried out and filmed in slow-mo so that technicians can identify any weak points in construction which might result in the controller's functions being impaired - particularly important if you've ever dropped (or thrown) your controller in despair while playing a game. Let's face it, we've all been there. 

According to Brown, the testing isn't over yet, with controllers now exceeding three million button pushes, far beyond Microsoft's original targets. With this kind of resilience, each controller is expected to last at least ten years, which Pocket-lint notes is Microsoft's projected lifespan for the Xbox One. 

Source and image: Pocket-lint

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? I thought I read somewhere it would take 4 AA batteries or a similar sized rechargeable pack that can be easily replaced (yeah!).
I for one am glad the battery bulge is gone and that it can be recharged through Mini-USB.

The buttons were never the problem. It's the tumbsticks that are always breaking/malfunctioning.
I "break" 2 or 3 gamepads a year....they are not build to last at the moment. I game a few hours every day.

is it first generation gamepads or second that break often on you? I have two second-gen gamepads, even though I have them for barely half year they're performing just like new and survived well some heavy usage during some fighting games and especially MGR which often uses "shake" movement for left stick on quick time events and in order to do it fast, I'm using palm of the hand instead of finger.

Little 3vil said,
The buttons were never the problem. It's the tumbsticks that are always breaking/malfunctioning.
I "break" 2 or 3 gamepads a year....they are not build to last at the moment. I game a few hours every day.

I've yet to break one in a 5 year span and I have two young boys. Not saying they don't have some wear n' tear but breaking 2-3 a year?? What the heck are you playing?

I've yet to have one of my 360 controllers break. I still have two of them I brought the week the 360 launched.

But I've gone though many of their "rechargeable" batteries and just gave buying any more; all three of my controllers turn off the moment I unplug the Play and Charge cable.

virtorio said,
I&#039]
But I've gone though many of their "rechargeable" batteries and just gave buying any more; all three of my controllers turn off the moment I unplug the Play and Charge cable.

Do you P&C cables keep falling out, too? Mine do, it's flipping annoying.

Yep no mention of batteries, I went through so many of the "rechargeable" packs that in the end i just switched to batteries. They seemed to last longer and in the end are a lot cheaper.

Doesn't look like this is an option this time around so I hope they get it right!

Yeah I'm sure the non-removable battery you chose to use to sell a new gamepad after 3-4 years will last a decade Microsoft…

It's all well and good testing them with robots, but have they let kids use the things? My kids manage to destroy controllers at a pretty impressive rate, these days. Especially Wii ones; I'm lucky to get 4 months out of a Wiimote & Nunchuck...

M_Lyons10 said,
Good to see, but the 360 controller was pretty durable too. Microsoft has always made good peripherals and such...

I have 3 broken official controllers, wired models, in a box at home that disagree with you.

They might be tough, but they sure as hell aren't pre-teen safe, that's for sure!

I just want to see a wired version that's compatible with the PC; then I'll be content. I have a few of the 360 controllers for my PCs and they've performed like champs thus far. I have to say that the vibration feedback in the old white controllers is stronger than the current model's.

I just bought a Black one as the older white one's analogue stick and RB button were acting up. Haven't put it through the paces yet but I'll have to see if that's true.

Dear god. The most shocking part of this story was realising that I'll be 40 before Microsoft launch a new console that isn't the ONE. Dafaq ._. /depressed

On another note. This is probably the most positive thing I have read about the console so far. Good to see quality isn't taking a backseat.

I purchased a new Xbox 360 ("Slim") recently. It included one of the worst controllers I've ever used. The D-pad is nearly useless. The original Xbox came out in 2001. If Microsoft couldn't figure out how to include a decent controller in over a decade, I don't think I'd trust anything that hints that they care about or test their controllers. Sony has been releasing the same amazing controller style since the 1990s. Their D pad is great. Nintendo has been releasing nearly the same D-pad for even longer.

Actually looking at the new PS4 controller compared to the new Xbox pad, the PS4 LOOKS to be the winner for me for comfort


...and what happened to the transformable d-pad that Major Nelson said was so good they patented it?

This is good to hear! Though for me the buttons never wore out for me. For me it was always the joysticks. They became loose and trigger when your not moving the stick. If they improve it to the point where they don't wear out that would be SOOOOOO awesome (I've gone through like 4 controllers).

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