A hot potato: Microsoft has revealed plenty of details regarding the various upgrades we’ll see in the Xbox Series X, but one element that it shares with earlier Xbox consoles is its controller’s use of AA batteries. Now, the company has explained its reasons behind the decision.
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.