First look at the new Xbox controller
We're a little under a month to go until the next console generation officially starts, and I've been lucky enough to get my hands on an early preview build of the Xbox Series X. While it's not a final retail console, it's pretty close. Although I can't talk about any of its next-gen capabilities yet, a week has been more than enough time for me to fall in love with the new Xbox Series X|S controller and Quick Resume feature.
First, to the controller. Microsoft has spent several years working out which 80 per cent of the controller needed to stay the same, and which 20 per cent could be completely reimagined so people's muscle memory wouldn't be interrupted, while still improving it. The result is a controller that I find more comfortable and better weighted than even the $250 Elite Controller Series 2. It's slightly smaller in a way that still fits perfectly in my large hands, but is also significantly more comfortable and compatible with my wife's tiny hands. The weight has been redistributed to the tips so it feels less like a toy than the Xbox One controller, and is comfortable for hours.
The back has a new textured matte finish, and the triggers have slightly raised bumps. That not only helps with grip, but also breaks some contact points so your hands don't get so hot and sweaty. I've used controllers worth up to $500, and this is probably the most comfortable I've used, which is crazy for out of the box.
The other big noticeable thing is how quickly games launch. Instead of waiting an interminable 50 seconds for Forza Horizon 3 to load, it's closer to 10 seconds. Then you add that to Quick Resume, which allows you to pick up where you left off in up to four games, and suddenly being indecisive, or wanting to just turn on the console and play a game without friction becomes much easier. Frankly, I don't know how I ever lived without Quick Resume, and I never want to go back.
Bottom line: No one buys a next gen console to play their old games on. But it is reassuring to know that not only do your old favourites and your unplayed Pile Of Shame work on Series X, but they play better than faster than ever before.
The Xbox Series X|S is in stores November 10.
Originally published as First look at the new Xbox controller