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Xbox One Elite Controller E3 2015 Impressions

A new controller has entered the fray.

On Monday, the Xbox One Elite Controller was unveiled during the Xbox E3 2015 conference. It promised upgraded precision, the ability to swap components, button mapping, paddles, and a whole suite of other improvements and features. But, there is often a very big difference between an announced item, and the reality of what players receive. Luckily, I was able to use one of these shiny new Elite Controllers during my time with Forza 6.

The moment you pick up the controller, there is a noticeable increase in weight when compared to the standard Xbox One controller. Whereas the standard one feels sort of light (in an awkward way at times), the Elite Controller has a heft to it that allows it to rest comfortably in your hands, while not feeling too bulky or overbearing.


The triggers are smoother in the way they click and in their rumble capabilities. During Forza 6, increasing pressure felt very responsive, while the rumble triggers managed to not make my fingers numb this time around. You still get that level of immersion, but it’s actually translated to the player much better.

The thumb sticks have a nice snap to them, and from what I could tell there is virtually no dead space. They were tight, in a good way. The directional pad was also interesting. I didn’t get the opportunity to swap any of the components on the controller, but the d-pad I got to use wasn’t the standard “cross” version that Xbox One gamers are currently used to. I got to try out the sort of directional pad that acted as a third thumbstick but was segmented to make choosing directions, including diagonal, much easier.

elite controller

Unfortunately, the controller I was using wasn’t equipped with any of the back paddles. Yet, even using the Elite Controller as a relatively standard input device, the difference was still very noticeable. Better weight, better precision, more comfortable triggers and sticks, and even an arguably better look help to push the Elite Controller to the front of the line when it comes to options for your Xbox One.

There is one major deterrent to picking one of these babies up, though: the price tag. An Elite Controller will run you $150. That’s enough money to purchase two standard controllers at full price ($60 each) and still have enough spare cash to pick up a relatively solid used game. It should be noted that this particular controller was targeted at “hardcore” gamers looking for that extra edge. So if you don’t find yourself under that category and you’re perfectly fine with the functionality of what you already have then you may want to steer clear of this pricey upgrade.

But, if you are looking for something a bit better for those long gaming sessions on the Xbox One (or even PC), then the Elite Controller is not a bad choice at all. So what are you going to do? Looking to upgrade? Or, do you think it’s too much and are fine with what you already have? Let us know how you feel in the comments below.

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