Microsoft reveals why the Xbox Series X controller still uses batteries


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Speaking to Digital Foundry, Xbox’s partner director of program management, Jason Roland, said sticking with the battery back in the new Xbox controller offered players a level of flexibility. He added that the split between those who wanted batteries and those preferring built-in rechargeable cells was about 50/50.

“What it comes down to is when actually talking to gamers, it's kind of polarising and there is a strong camp that really want AAs. So just giving flexibility is the way to please both [groups of] people,” said Roland. “You can use a rechargeable battery pack and it works just like it does on the Elite, [but] it is a separate thing.”

So, while Xbox Series X owners who prefer to recharge their controllers can use a rechargeable battery kit, it will mean buying one separately.

It’s noted that one advantage of using batteries is that the controller will last longer, whereas those with internal cell units, such as the DualShock 4, eventually wear out, forcing owners to buy a new one.

Microsoft has revealed that the Xbox Series X controller comes with a share button similar to the one on Sony’s DualShock 4, while the grips and triggers are more textured, have a matte finish, and are more ergonomic. Internally, it features Bluetooth Low Energy for easier pairing with non-Xbox hardware, and has improved latency.

While the Covid-19 outbreak has caused the delay of several products, Microsoft boss Satya Nadella says the improving situation in China means the Xbox Series X is unlikely to be affected.

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Posts: 1,080   +1,724
Works for me, I just use rechargeables. Sealing a battery inside the controller only means they are often less capacity, you have to be wired to charge, and when it's dead it is more difficult to replace.

Changing over some AAs and carrying on wirelessly from a set I have ready charged is the best option. You are also still going to be able to buy specific rechargeable packs too, if you wanted.


Posts: 639   +395
Anyone ever use a WiiU pro controller?

The batteries last forever and the controller has like zero weight.

I NEVER had an issues with any of my DS4 controllers batteries or their lifespans as a day 1 owner.

This just screams up-sale on their play and charge kit.

I just converted from playstation to xbox a few months ago, while I love gamepass, I do have a few gripes for sure. Batteries in the controllers being one thing, no CEC for hdmi control (the switch is awesome with this feature, pickup the controller and the tv and everything turns on).

Also the main menu/OS is awful, plus, once you learn its ins and outs, they change it on you again!
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Posts: 224   +420
It’s noted that one advantage of using batteries is that the controller will last longer, whereas those with internal cell units, such as the DualShock 4, eventually wear out, forcing owners to buy a new one.
Thats really funny seeing as the controller itself will fail long before the rechargeable battery pack will.

These controllers are not built to last, replacement sales are too much of cash cow for MS & Sony to make them too durable.
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Posts: 9   +3
I don't mind the option to use (rechargeable)batteries but I want the controller to have the ability to charge them directly, not take them out of the controller, put them in charger, then back in the controller.


Posts: 53   +51
I wish we could get better controllers. This style along with the PS controllers are so uncomfortable.


Posts: 702   +469
Replaceable batteries are always more convenient and faster to continue playing, rather than keeping the controller tethered to a wall socket and unusable during recharge. Some argue that they have more than a couple of controllers to keep one in charge when using another, but, the rechargeable batteries also loose their efficiency over time. Finding a replacement for the non-removable rechargeable battery slab might also be more troublesome to find and replace.

Replacing the simple AA or AAA batteries just takes seconds.


Posts: 40   +21
The grip and AA-batteries are positive news, but how about those shoulder buttons, are they any durable this time? Durability is the key to victory, but unfortunately it cannot be tested in a short time when the reviews come out. There is nothing worse than constantly faulty controllers.
To be fair, technical-minded people can easily change DS4 batteries and buttons/springs. My controller triggers have all been replaced with painted aluminium and I replace the springs every six months. I actually inherited two 'broken' controllers from friends that are now fully working and have been for years.
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Posts: 56   +35
Having both PS4 and XONE controllers, I'm definitely on the side of replaceable batteries. When the batteries go on the PS4 controller it becomes useless, or useful for like a single hour at a time. Would much have preferred simply being able to buy a new battery than chucking the controller or only using it wired.

Also, sometimes the battery on new controllers die mid game, would much prefer simply being able to put in new batteries rather than be tethered to the console and way to close to the TV. PS4 controller requires battery management, XONE only requires that you have at least two working AAs in the house.


Posts: 1,867   +454
This whole debate over removable batteries on a controller is pretty weak. Is this really the main concern over the next gen gaming consoles?

Edit: To give in to this debate, replaceable batteries create more trash. Rechargeable AA's still require that extra effort, no matter how you want to spin it. That should be enough said there... Also, did y'all know that you can use your micro USB phone charger to charge a DS controller while you are playing? Most people have one nowadays.... as well as a spare micro USB cable, and I BET you guys have one close enough by where you sit to play your games. (So much for the argument that you have to then sit directly in front of your console while your controller is dead.) To that end, I have no problems with either controller or method.

Also, Buy PC... debate over.;)
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