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New Xbox 360 D-Pad on the way?

August 22, 2008

Eurogamer, who spotted/were told of an Xbox 360 controller with a new d-pad have managed to gather pictures and get a confirmation from Microsoft about it.

The existing d-pad is well regarded as providing the controllability experienced when trying to use a mobile phone in sub-zero temperatures whilst wearing gloves that haven’t protected you from frostbite. Ok, it isn’t that bad but the way the d-pad design on the Xbox 360 pad works is the same as a traditional d-pad below on the circuit board but above that it’s a little different.

Rather than having a cross pad with the traditional up, down, left and right buttons, or individual buttons impacting the rubber pads below, the Xbox 360 ultilises a rubbish rocker motion. This rocking gives the impression that it is really an analogue control with a d-pad on top. The d-pad’s plastic moulding gives the user a clumsy interaction with this rocker pretending to be a d-pad, often invoking another direction if not precisely hitting the direction intended at the very tip.

Microsoft has confirmed the new controller, which looks the same as existing Xbox 360 controllers, which will now have increased sensitivity, detecting button presses in 32 directions. No doubt it will still have the rubbish rocking motion. Eurogamer have been told the controller is a limited edition available in Europe, Latin America and Asia, until it sells out.

Links: Eurogamer original articleconfirmationpictures
Keywords: Xbox 360, Controller, D-Pad, Microsoft

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