Seamus Blackley led the charge for the original Xbox right from its inception, leading the team that built the platform. The original Xbox launched back in 2001, and coupled with the creation of Xbox Live, it changed console gaming forever.
For those of us lucky enough to have been gamers during that special era, you may remember the first iteration of the OG Xbox controller, dubbed the "Duke." Games accessory manufacturer Hyperkin wants you to say hi once again to the Duke, targeting a holiday 2017 launch.
The Duke controller is notorious for its size and weight, but some of its design principles eventually evolved into what we have today on the Xbox One, which is, frankly, probably the best video game controller ever made.
Retro products and nostalgia are pretty big in gaming right now. Nintendo fans have the retro SNES Classic to look forward to (or be frustrated over due to the lack of stock), and Sony has produced special PlayStation 1 edition consoles to celebrate the anniversary of their own gaming platform a little while back. This Hyperkin Duke controller will bring a bit of that nostalgic fun to Xbox fans.
These 3D renders are being used by Hyperkin to build the first production units, and they give us an idea of what to expect. The OG Xbox controller didn't have shoulder buttons. Instead, it used additional white and black buttons to go with the now-iconic ABXY buttons that have become standard across all Xbox consoles.
Designed for use on modern Xboxes, you can see that the start and back buttons have been replaced by the menu and view keys, found on all modern Xbox controllers. Additionally, the underside of the controller sports the standard 3.5mm audio jack, included in the second iteration of Xbox One controllers from this generation.
Perhaps the most intriguing thing about the Duke controller is that the central Xbox branding icon will be a full LCD panel. When pressed, it will act as a replacement for the Xbox home button found at the top of modern controllers. It will also display the logo animation from the original boot cycle on its LCD screen. Hyperkin is exploring other uses for the LCD display, so stay tuned.
Whether you loved or hated the OG Xbox controller, it's a welcome throwback for fans of the original console, especially if you're playing Halo CE Anniversary in retro mode, or any future title hitting OG Xbox backwards compatibility.
We'll keep you posted on availability as we learn more.
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