Confirming recent rumors, Microsoft has announced an updated Xbox 360 controller. Major Nelson has posted a video showing the gamepad's new features (seen below). Although the changes are mostly aesthetic, fans of arcade-style fighting games will appreciate the redesigned directional pad Redmond's engineers have cleverly modified the D-pad so it can be twisted from the disc you're all familiar with to a raised "plus" configuration for more precise cardinal input.

Other changes include grey A, B, X and Y buttons (instead of the original's green, red, blue and yellow), and the analog sticks have a rigidly indented surface. The controller itself is silver instead of white, with black accents replacing the grey. It will only be available in the new Play & Charge kit that is expected to reach US stores on November 9 for $64.99. Microsoft will show the device at PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend if you're in the area, and Nelson is giving a few away for free.