Speaking with Greg Miller and the rest of the Kinda Funny Gamescast, Xbox head Phil Spencer has made positive remarks about the competition whilst hinting at future revisions for Xbox Series X|S controllers. The Xbox controller, something of an architectural classic at this point, might just have something decidedly DualSense in store for its future.
DualSense is Good Sense
Spencer, who is either a humble guy or very good at faking it, has praised industry rivals Sony and Nintendo a hundred times or more since becoming a rising star in Microsoft’s video gaming division. Well-spoken and customarily quick to point out that gaming as a medium evolves at its greatest pace when competitors remain open to competitive ideas, the 52-year-old Washington native has reinvigorated the Xbox brand with a sense of openness and earnestness in recent years.
It’s worth prefacing with all of that because it’s easy to fall into unfortunate traps. It’s the media’s responsibility to avoid mischaracterization, and we’ve not always prevented folks from taking Phil Spencer’s words out of context. How can anyone make good on promises they’ve never even made? And while he hardly outright promised anything during his recent stint on the Kinda Funny Gamescast, he surely came closer than usual.
If It Ain’t Broke, Fiddle Again
“There’s probably some work that we’ll do on the [Xbox] controller,” Spencer ruminates. “I think Sony has done a nice job with their [DualSense] controller, and we kind of look at some of that and [think] there are things that we should go do.” Openly admitting that Sony’s PlayStation 5 controller is the more forward-thinking piece of tech by design is cake. Telling us he wants to catch up to that level of innovation? That’s the icing.
With its rounded bumpers and slight ergonomic shift, the Xbox Series X|S controller is a direct and unfettered continuation of the already-excellent Xbox One pad. In a very real way, Spencer and his talented team took the traditionally more Sony-like approach — the differences between the DualShock 2 and DualShock 4 controllers, for example, are not as plentiful as one might expect when comparing 2000 and 2013 tech.
Xbox Controller 2.0?
Spencer goes on to contemplate other hardware, such as the Oculus Quest 2. One would thus be forgiven for treating his DualSense namedrop as little more than one example among many. Dig a tad deeper, however, and you’ll discover that a January Xbox customer experience survey was quite interested in gauging folks’ thoughts on Sony’s delicious DualSense capabilities.
We’re not saying a DualSense-inspired Xbox controller is an eventual absolute, hence our article title reflecting the possibility of it instead. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and the House of Halo is committed to following promising trends when the incentive is there to do so. We’ll keep our eyes and ears out for further notion of an Xbox controller in motion.