Xbox boss Phil Spencer had some nice things to say recently about the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller while also hinting that the Xbox controller could one day embrace its own set of changes. The discussion happened amid talks of accessories and other hardware considerations the Xbox team has explored. No specific improvements to the Xbox controller were mentioned amid these comments, but this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard of Microsoft exploring potential controller updates either.
Spencer’s comments about the DualSense were shared during the most recent Kinda Funny Gamescast episode (via VGC) wherein he first praised what Xbox’s Corporate Vice President of Gaming Experiences and Platforms Liz Hamren and the rest of the Xbox team had done with hardware. Soon after, he said there’s probably some work to be done on the Xbox controller and offered similar praise to what Sony had created through the DualSense device.
“We’re definitely thinking about different kinds of devices that can bring more games to more places,” Spencer said. “There’s probably some work that we’ll do on the controller. I think Sony’s done a nice job with their controller and we kind of look at some of that and [think] there are things that we should go do.”
The newest Xbox controller and the PlayStation 5’s DualSense controller differ significantly from one another. Xbox adopted a cross-generation mindset with its controller as it did with other Xbox products which meant that only minor changes were made to the controller itself such as the addition of a dedicated “share” button in the center of the device. The DualSense, by comparison, embraced the next-gen themes of the new devices and includes features like haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. These sorts of features have allowed people to play games with enhanced tactile feedback implemented in many games by now, but the most noticeable examples of these features typically come from Sony’s first-party games and exclusives.
Back in January, some Xbox users were presented with a questionnaire which talked about various topics related to the new generation of consoles. Part of that survey referenced the PlayStation controllers without specifically naming the DualSense. It offered a statement saying “I am aware of features on PlayStation controllers that I wish were on the controller that came with this console” and asked users to respond with how much they agree or disagree with that statement.
Xbox hasn’t formally announced any plans to renovate the newest Xbox controller, but it seems like it’s at least open to the idea.