While the Xbox One and Xbox 360 are often featured in articles around the web (thanks to the Xbox One’s growing library and backward compatibility with its predecessor), the original Xbox rarely comes up in conversation. Most of this can be explained away by its relatively small number of worthwhile, exclusive titles, many of which have been re-released in some fashion on newer hardware.
Still, while the (relatively) ancient hardware has been forgotten by many, one of its more infamous peripherals has seen new life. Unofficially referred to as “Duke,” the original Xbox controller became well-known not for its offset dual analog sticks or breakaway dongles, but rather for its bulky, large frame. While large-handed gamers embraced “Duke,” it was largely criticized by critics and the public, leading Microsoft to replace it with the “Controller S,” a much smaller controller which was originally released exclusively in Japan, before becoming the standard controller packed-in with Xbox consoles.
While large-handed gamers embraced the “Duke,” it was largely criticized by critics and the public, leading Microsoft to replace it with the “Controller S,” a much smaller controller which was originally released exclusively in Japan, before becoming the standard controller packed-in with Xbox consoles.
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) September 20, 2017
While it quickly faded out of popularity, the “Duke” is making a comeback this holiday season, as Microsoft and peripherals manufacturer Hyperkin have teamed up to release a brand new version of the controller, which will be compatible with Xbox One and PCs running Windows 10. Originally announced back at E3 2017, the controller’s re-release is notable for involving Seamus Blackley, who served as one of the designers on the original Xbox.
Blackley has been reporting on the revival via his Twitter account and has recently announced that the final prototype has passed Microsoft’s certification, and has gone to tooling, which is when plastic molds will be made for use in mass production. He also showed off a mockup of the controller’s built-in OLED screen, which displays the Xbox’s splash screen and animation.
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) September 16, 2017
While a final retail price has not been confirmed, gamers should be able to pick up their own “Duke” in time for the busy holiday season.
[Featured Image by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]