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Hyperkin's Duke controller for Xbox and PC does nostalgia right (video)

Hyperkin Duke
Hyperkin Duke (Image credit: Windows Central)

Recently our game's editor Jez Corden did a full review of the Hyperkin Duke Xbox One controller – a revival of the original Xbox controller from 2001. Priced at $70 the 2018 edition is proving to be quite popular.

I recently took it for a spin and compared it to the original to see what is new and what is different, which you can see in our latest review video.

One thing I like about this whole project is the original Duke was panned so heavily in 2001 that Microsoft had to redo it with a slimmed-down variant to appease gamers quickly. Now, in 2018, suddenly people want the original, but they also want it to work with a new Xbox One or their PC.

Hyperkin did a great job with the update, which includes new shoulder buttons that were not on the original, modern trigger buttons that have smoother momentum, and a bright large OLED display in the center that shows the original Xbox animation.

That display though would be great to use as a secondary screen for gaming, and while that would require some high-end programming, it may not be a bad idea if Microsoft and Hyperkin want to work that out.

Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller

Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller (Image credit: Jez Corden / Windows Central)

The other big downside is the Hyperkin Duke is not wireless. Not only would that have upped the price even further, but Microsoft doesn't actually allow third-party companies use that technology in its controllers as of writing. Still, the included micro-USB cable is long enough (but if you lose it you may have trouble finding one with the port to fit the Duke's).

As someone who never used the original Duke, I liked the feel and handling of the new Hyperkin edition. It's a nice change-up from a standard controller and is quite fun to use. While it is heavy – even more onerous than the original – I'd have to push 60 minutes before my hands got fatigued, but that is something to keep in mind.

Overall, the Hyperkin Duke is what we should be doing with technology these days: taking old, but flawed ideas and improving them where we can. Hyperkin did that, and the $70 is worth it for those who want a bit of history to use every day.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

5 Comments
  • Did you try a wired headset with it? Mine acted crazy with an adapter also..
  • 6 buttons setup... could be good for fighting game... I truly wish the Xbox One Standard Gamepad could have a 6 buttons version tho.
  • Those 2 extra buttons (black/white) are just shoulder/bumper buttons. They got moved to their current location for the 360.
    As its not a first party controller, I doubt the Accessories app can be used to remap those 2 buttons, but it would be great if that could be done.
  • Got mine yesterday, VERY impressed. I'll not be using it for regular play as much as a display piece, but it looks and feels great when I was testing it. Very very slightly smoother feeling then my original Duke and some say heavier (but it felt the same weight to me).
    The guys at Hyperkin definitely had a lot of passion for this particular controller unlike some of their other ones and its great to see the names of the original designers and ppl from the original xbox era included in the box.
    My only two criticisms are that MS REALLY should have made an exception to their "nobody but us can use WiFi-Direct tech", and that the included cable isn't long enough, though extensions are a dime a dozen.
  • Well, I still have my original Duke controller, so I wish they would just come out with a USB adapter for that instead. :P Even so, I think this is an awesome idea, and I'm sorry I missed the original review by Jez.