While Microsoft’s new console announcements garnered the biggest headlines today, let’s not overlook Xbox Design Lab, which lets you customize your own Xbox Wireless Controller. It looks awesome.
“To give our players even more choice and personalization with their Xbox experience, we are proud to introduce Xbox Design Lab, the first online customization program we’ve ever launched that offers more than 8 million different color combinations to choose from, so you can make the new Xbox Wireless Controller your own,” Microsoft senior product marketing manager Navin Kumar explains. “With Xbox Design Lab, every controller is an official Xbox Wireless Controller and it’s made to order.”
You can find Xbox Design Lab on the Xbox web site. Using a simple wizard, you can customize the controller to your heart’s content—seriously, everything is configurable, including the controller body, back case, D-pad, bumpers, triggers, thumb sticks, ABXY, View, and Menu buttons—add optional laser etching, and then share your design with friends.
A few important things to know. Controllers customized via Xbox Design Lab won’t ship until September, after the Xbox One S ships. And pricing starts at $79.99, with the engraving adding $10 to the price.
To be clear, these controllers are the new “Xbox Wireless Controllers,” which are also shipping with the Xbox One S. So they’re better than the original Xbox One Wireless Controller—and the Elite controller—in some ways, including available Bluetooth connectivity and those grippy handles. But these controllers won’t be as solid or durable as the Elite controller I currently favor.
Today, Xbox Design Lab is limited to U.S. and Canadian customers, but Microsoft says it will open the program to more markets in 2017.
The good news? Any customized controller will work with the original Xbox One, the Xbox One S, Xbox “Project Scorpio” (due in late 2017) and with any Windows 10 PC or tablet.
This is an excellent idea.