Posted by MattBodega (1903 posts) -

One of the oldest design oddities of the Xbox 360 controller--its concave disc D-pad that proved an ill fit for any game played in two dimensions--is finally getting addressed. Today, Xbox Live director of programming Major Nelson revealed that a new, redesigned wireless controller--bundled complete with Play-and-Charge kit--will arrive on stores shelves on November 9 in the US
 
What makes this controller noteworthy, other than removing the various colors associated with the controller's face buttons (the rationale being that gray is "stylish"), is what Nelson refers to as the patented "transforming D-pad." By twisting the D-pad itself on the controller, you'll be able to shift that pad between two different design modes: the current, concave "disc" directional pad and a more traditional "plus" shaped pad, raised outside of the "well" on the controller. 
 
And that new raised D-pad looks a little something like this!
 

How high can you get, D-pad?
 
Look at how much higher that D-pad! It barely touches the well at all! Finally, I'll be able to pull off Zangief's supers and ultras without have to rely on crazy felines.  

If you're looking to get your hands on this new controller, however, you're won't be able to grab it on its ownsome; Microsoft is currently only selling the new controller in a bundle set that includes the 360 Play-and-Charge Kit. However, Microsoft isn't charging any premium for their redesigned controller; like other controller-plus-charging cable bundles, the redesigned 360 controller with Play-and-Charge Kit will retail for $64.99.  And while the new controller design is set to come to the U.S. first, Nelson assures that the new pad will make its way to Europe sometime closer to February.
 
In fact, you can watch Nelson show off the new controller and its new D-pad in detail in video form. 
 
 
 
 
I feel like it's not a huge leap to say that the environment in which this control pad will really be tested is in fast-paced Super Street Fighter IV play. So, I turn to you fighting game fans out there; you haven't had the chance to try it out yet, but, do you think that, given the the new design, this raised D-pad looks to be a more suitable way to play Street Fighter than the old "disc?"
#1 Posted by MattBodega (1903 posts) -

One of the oldest design oddities of the Xbox 360 controller--its concave disc D-pad that proved an ill fit for any game played in two dimensions--is finally getting addressed. Today, Xbox Live director of programming Major Nelson revealed that a new, redesigned wireless controller--bundled complete with Play-and-Charge kit--will arrive on stores shelves on November 9 in the US
 
What makes this controller noteworthy, other than removing the various colors associated with the controller's face buttons (the rationale being that gray is "stylish"), is what Nelson refers to as the patented "transforming D-pad." By twisting the D-pad itself on the controller, you'll be able to shift that pad between two different design modes: the current, concave "disc" directional pad and a more traditional "plus" shaped pad, raised outside of the "well" on the controller. 
 
And that new raised D-pad looks a little something like this!
 

How high can you get, D-pad?
 
Look at how much higher that D-pad! It barely touches the well at all! Finally, I'll be able to pull off Zangief's supers and ultras without have to rely on crazy felines.  

If you're looking to get your hands on this new controller, however, you're won't be able to grab it on its ownsome; Microsoft is currently only selling the new controller in a bundle set that includes the 360 Play-and-Charge Kit. However, Microsoft isn't charging any premium for their redesigned controller; like other controller-plus-charging cable bundles, the redesigned 360 controller with Play-and-Charge Kit will retail for $64.99.  And while the new controller design is set to come to the U.S. first, Nelson assures that the new pad will make its way to Europe sometime closer to February.
 
In fact, you can watch Nelson show off the new controller and its new D-pad in detail in video form. 
 
 
 
 
I feel like it's not a huge leap to say that the environment in which this control pad will really be tested is in fast-paced Super Street Fighter IV play. So, I turn to you fighting game fans out there; you haven't had the chance to try it out yet, but, do you think that, given the the new design, this raised D-pad looks to be a more suitable way to play Street Fighter than the old "disc?"
#2 Posted by UberExplodey (904 posts) -

Yayy!

#3 Posted by halim51 (77 posts) -

Um...neat?

#4 Posted by Aaox (1656 posts) -

I wonder if it's actually as shiny as that.

#5 Posted by myalt22 (101 posts) -

I don't have a problem with the original controller.

#6 Posted by Deusoma (2972 posts) -

Finally! The current d-pad was a giant pain in the ass when I was playing through Symphony of the Night.

#7 Posted by StupidGamer (155 posts) -

 It took four years to hear the community complaints about the d-pad? They're only putting it on one model of controller? Removing the face colors? Only with the play and charge? SIXTY FIVE EFFING DOLLARS?!??! 

I play my 360 more than any other console, but MS is really pissing me off lately between this and the XBL price increase. Get your act together, Microsoft. $65 is a cruel joke.    

#8 Posted by Fallen189 (4921 posts) -

$65 for a controller, don't make me fucking laugh

#9 Posted by DerekDanahy (859 posts) -

I think it looks pretty slick.

#10 Posted by JoeyRavn (4887 posts) -
@myalt22 said:
" I don't have a problem with the original controller. "
Maybe I don't use the D-Pad as much as other people, so I really don't have any problem with the gamepad. I surely looks nice, but my old 360 PC gamepad is here to stay :P What I don't like much is that the ABXY buttons are now white/grey/black :(
#11 Posted by Willy105 (4686 posts) -

Nice.
 
The Nintendo-like D-Pad is a lot better than the Sega-like one from before.

#12 Posted by SaltyJack (37 posts) -

PlayStation controller d-pad will always be the best

#13 Posted by JohnRabbit (99 posts) -

SIXTY-FIVE.

#14 Posted by shazb0t (67 posts) -

So, you twist the d-pad and it sticks out a little? 
 
Um, big whoop.

#15 Edited by President_Evil (185 posts) -

I think it's rather telling that I would rather have a 360 controller with a functional d-pad than a year of Xbox Live.  But yeah, this should have been standard on all of their controllers post the redesign.

#16 Posted by SharpCypher (35 posts) -

I disapprove of removing the button colors.  Lots of games rely on those colors to identify buttons. They were a nice additional identifier for the buttons.  Some people remember that the right button is B, but I bet that most people think of it as red. 

#17 Posted by DrBobUK (54 posts) -
@Fallen189 said:
" $65 for a controller, don't make me fucking laugh "
Hohohoho, someone forgot to read the bit about this being bundled with the Play & Charge kit, without a premium charge on top of the overall cost.
#18 Posted by theWarren (101 posts) -

It's about time.  Still this won't make me stop using my TE stick for SSF4, but for the pad warriors out there it might be the holy grail. 
 
Confused about removing the button colors though, that's integrated into games and instruction manuals from here to the dawn of XBOX360 time.  My guess is that this particular pad will never be packed in with the console.

#19 Posted by blogpostnogood (270 posts) -

Looks pretty sweet, release date is a bit of a let down, would have helped if they just went ahead and implemented these along with that there new console there.

#20 Posted by fedorajay (405 posts) -

Too bad it's wireless. I need a wired controller for my XIM. I guess I'll stick to sanding, for now.

#21 Posted by Green_Incarnate (1782 posts) -

Do the wireless controllers really cost that much?

#22 Posted by Stealthcake92 (20 posts) -

Was interested until I heard the price. 
 
Will stick with my Halo Reach pads thanks.

#23 Posted by get2sammyb (6413 posts) -

It's definitely better. In fact it looks great. I don't know why they didn't bundle it in with their hardware redesign though... Oh wait -- yes I do.

#24 Posted by foggel (2763 posts) -

 " Look at how much higher that D-pad! It barely touches the well at all!" Is this supposed to make sense? Wait, it's a refence isn't it? 

#25 Posted by wrecks (2125 posts) -

So, what's wrong with color? I like color.

#26 Posted by TheVideoHustler (406 posts) -

Does anyone else think Major Nelson might be gay? Just sayin

#27 Posted by KaosAngel (13765 posts) -

...I don't understand why can't have built in batteries like the PS3.

#28 Edited by Bluethunder35 (337 posts) -

It took MS nearly 5 YEARS to fix the D-Pad on the 360 controller? They will probably charge $10 more for the new model...oh wait, they did.
 
I'll stick with the older model. I play most of my 2D games and fighters on the PS3.

#29 Posted by JohnRabbit (99 posts) -
@shazb0t said:
" So, you twist the d-pad and it sticks out a little?  Um, big whoop. "
kind of a big deal for fighters (and even shmups) since it will allow more precision and greater range in the motion of the d-pad.  the current d-pad is very mushy and provides little tactile feedback on its positioning relative to what you're actually doing on screen.
 
that said, SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS to fix what should have never been broken in the first place is outrageous.
#30 Posted by Burns098356GX (1366 posts) -

I wish they'd come out with a console that looks that colour, without gloss.

#31 Posted by TJSmash (83 posts) -
@KaosAngel said:
" ...I don't understand why can't have built in batteries like the PS3. "
Because then they can't milk you for another $20 for a play n charge kit.
#32 Posted by AlexMarra (310 posts) -

i hope they don't keep the new colorless ABXY buttons. i taught my little sister how to play games by telling her to press colors rather than letters.

#33 Edited by kollay (1923 posts) -

I love the gradiation, but holy fucking hell $65? I'd rather actually give my $65 to the workers who fucking assembled this hunk of plastic.
 
Probably more money than what they were paid for.

#34 Posted by onimonkii (2421 posts) -
@foggel said:
" " Look at how much higher that D-pad! It barely touches the well at all!" Is this supposed to make sense? Wait, it's a refence isn't it? "
the 360's dpad now sits in a "well", and when you move it it will hit the sides of the "well". by letting it be raised up, it fixes most everyone's problem with it who actually has a problem with it.
#35 Posted by TigerDX (332 posts) -

So if you're unfamiliar with the controller, all those on-screen colorful button prompts will be less helpful. Make sure your non-xbox friends get the old pad then, I guess?
 
Can't see the pad being much better for fighting games, there's still not enough roll room. To be suitable for fighting games, it'd be better off like the Saturn pad, which was copied for the fight pad. Tough to fit that into the current pad shape though.

#36 Posted by RaffaChicken (15 posts) -

I don't understand. The problem with the D-Pad is that it's all stiff and clunky and unreliable. Does this fix that or not? Maybe it does but they're just talking about the shape changing. With this weird mechanism i would assume if anything it'll be worse...

#37 Posted by Jadeskye (4359 posts) -

i want one of these.

#38 Posted by AURON570 (1666 posts) -

People can do 360 motions on a D-pad?!

#39 Posted by Radar (884 posts) -

Other than the chrome Xbox globe, that thing is pretty sexy

#40 Posted by Goldanas (542 posts) -

Removing the colors seems like a bad idea, since every game representing the buttons on screen are color coded. 
 
Also, the problem with the D-Pad had less to do with it's overall shape, and more to do with the fact that it only had 4 directions for input, instead of the full 8 that every other d-pad recognizes. Without diagonal recognition, games that make heavy use of quick movements between directions become difficult. 
 
Did they fix that issue? They make no mention of it.

#41 Edited by mnzy (2909 posts) -
@AURON570 said:

" People can do 360 motions on a D-pad?! "

Walking 720s with Gief, I tell ya!
 
Also, this does not look like the redesign people wanted. It still looks unprecise.
#42 Posted by 88Fingers (279 posts) -

Cool ! And about freakin' time !
 
Maybe I'll try playing Lumines again in September.
And Street Fighter...  hell, all the 2D fighters on 360 will be better.
I'm sold.

#43 Posted by MrKlorox (11186 posts) -

Damn the price. I don't need yet another play and charge kit.
 
Also damn the gray buttons. I hope the colored buttons on regular controllers fit in the key slots.
 
Thirdly, damn the lack of wired solution.
 
I'll probably still pick one up later on down the line. But for now I'll stick to sanding and cushioning.

#44 Posted by SilentCommando (579 posts) -

Looks nice, but $65? and I don't really like the colorless buttons.

#45 Posted by CaLe (3678 posts) -

It really takes 4 months to release a controller in another region? I'll never understand this region bullshit.

#46 Posted by Sideburn (56 posts) -

Sony and Nintendo own the patents for the most obvious D-pad design solutions - kind of explains why it took MS so long to come up with something that wouldn't infringe on those patents, and why it's such an odd solution.

#47 Posted by Devil240Z (3054 posts) -

Now they just need to release a controller that has the sticks in the right place. 

#48 Posted by Ratfoot (199 posts) -
@Devil240Z: Sorry but you got it the other way around Sony needs to fix their sticks.
#49 Posted by WickedCobra03 (2101 posts) -
@Goldanas said:
" Removing the colors seems like a bad idea, since every game representing the buttons on screen are color coded.  Also, the problem with the D-Pad had less to do with it's overall shape, and more to do with the fact that it only had 4 directions for input, instead of the full 8 that every other d-pad recognizes. Without diagonal recognition, games that make heavy use of quick movements between directions become difficult.  Did they fix that issue? They make no mention of it. "
Oh, I totally agree that removing all button color is a bad idea.  I mean if they do, they should go the sony route and just make the letter/symbol the color instead of the whole button if they are going for a sleeker look.  But otherwise, I think this is just going to be off-putting to anyone who is not super familiar with videogames in general or even owns a Playstation 3 and maybe gets confused between X and B.  Heck, I still sometimes have to think about it.
#50 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

My original controller is old and the rubber is coming off of the sticks, so I got a new black one. But then I decided to play Lost Odyssey and the black controller met its demise, so I'm probably gonna get this. It looks really cool, and I bet you will be able to find it on amazon or ebay without the stupid charge kit. I'm pretty excited for this new D-pad change and the awesome looking design.