First Look: Xbox Elite Series 2 Controller

Posted on October 16, 2019 by Brad Sams in Games, Hardware, Xbox One with 8 Comments

When Microsoft was building the first generation Elite controller, there was some hesitation internally about if the hardware would sell. Would consumers really pay $150 for a peripheral?

Seeing as the Xbox team is now shipping V2 of its Elite controllers, the answer to that question is yes. And hopefully, this time around, they have fixed all the issues with the first-generation device.

The second-generation Elite follows the same premium offering path as the first-gen. A dedicated carrying case (that can now charge the device), rubber-wrapped grips, three-stops for the triggers, 3 profile settings for mapping settings, and the ability to adjust the tension of the thumbsticks; Microsoft has gone all out.

And for $180, for a controller, this thing better be perfect. While we are far too early in the review process, I only got the controller yesterday, I can say that it does feel premium in your hands. The packaging is top-notch, the presentation inside the case all make you feel like you have purchased something special, and it has the right amount of heft to it.

A few quick games of Apex and the controller feels confident but I do worry about the longevity of the hardware. The first-gen did not hold up well for me, rubber grips fell off multiple times, and others had issues with bumpers.

And then there is the battery, a non-removable battery that makes me a bit nervous. Being able to replace the battery would improve the life of the hardware but Microsoft chose to keep it sealed up which is a downer.

But everything about the hardware is premium. The button clicks sound solid, the thumbsticks move confidently, and the ability to tweak the tension on the thumbsticks and the travel distance of the triggers, let’s you customize the controller fit you, rather than you fitting the controller.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll put some mileage on the hardware (for science) and report back to see if the hardware is really worth the premium.

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