We got to try out a lot of stuff at PAX, some of the gear was pretty forgettable or just not innovative enough to feel different. However, one thing stands out far above the rest, and that’s the Xbox One Elite Controller. My first impressions were pretty much: holy shit, this thing is insanely good.
The first thing you notice when picking up the controller is its weight, it feels like it’s actually worth something and not just cheap plastic parts. It’s also insanely comfortable with rubber grips hugging your fingers.
After noticing the weight the second thing you’ll probably pick up on are the four paddles on the back. These are essentially a pay to win feature for anyone who owns an Elite Controller. Sitting by the fingers you tend to not use when playing, the paddles can be assigned however you like. Feel like having an easy to access grenade button? Go for it! Want to use paddles to steer a car into a crowd in GTA? You totally can.
The paddles can be fitted however you like and are easy to remove as they are magnetic. Aside from removable paddles, you can also customise the thumb sticks and D-pad you have on the controller, with a range of sizes available. This can be done to give you better control as certain sizes may suit your hands more than others. These are removed just as easily as the paddles as they are magnetic. When not in use the parts can sit in the controllers carry case.
One of the main features of a controller that divides users is the trigger sensitivity, something which the Elite Controller allows you to customise. With the flick of a switch you can go from having a hair trigger to more resistance. If you have a preferred controller configuration you can save it, the Elite Controller allows you to store two layouts which can be toggled between with a switch.
The only downside to the controller for most will be the price, which is AUD$199.95. That’s pretty much half an Xbox One console. It might seem like a lot, and yes it is, but I’m just going to go out on a limb and say I can see why. The Xbox One controller has always been my favourite next gen controller, and this just adds to that. It feels good enough and has enough features to justify a high price. Just think about how much some pro gaming keyboards are, a Razer Black Widow Chroma will set you back a staggering $319.95, and that has one use. The Xbox Elite Controller isn’t limited, I could see myself using one for console and PC gaming. Incidentally my birthday is coming up, so if anyone wants to get me one please go ahead.
The Xbox One Elite controller comes out this week on Friday November 6 and is only available at EB Games in Australia.