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New Xbox One resistive controller triggers detailed in Microsoft patents

With over two years since Xbox One's latest controller revision, Microsoft is seemingly preparing for the significant evolution in its lineup. Following rumor of a second-generation Elite and USB-C peripherals, newly-surfaced patents explore further improvements in development.

Reported by Windows Latest, Microsoft-filed patents detail potential changes to Xbox controller trigger (LT + RT) technology. The documents detail an "input device" leveraging a "linear geared feedback trigger" and "motor-driven adjustable-tension trigger." In short, Microsoft is experimenting with force-feedback and adjustable-tension, hoping to elevate real-time trigger feedback. The feature could allow titles to impose variable resistance on the buttons, repelling player actions in-line with on-screen actions.

Such a motor-driven, force-feedback trigger configuration enables the user-perceived state of the trigger to be dynamically adjusted in a variety of ways. For example, the trigger may be driven by the force-feedback motor to adjust a user-perceived resistance of the user-actuatable trigger. In another example, the trigger may be driven by the force-feedback motor to simulate a hard stop that effectively adjusts a pull length or range of rotation of the trigger. In another example, the trigger may be driven by the force-feedback motor to assist the trigger in returning to a fully-extended or "unpressed" posture when a user' s finger is removed from the trigger. In another example, the trigger may be driven by the force-feedback motor to vibrate the trigger.

The Xbox One controller's existing triggers are already distinct, packing rumble technology for more precise controller vibration. The feature proves impressive across supported games, driving across rumble strips or firing high-caliber weapons in games. Further enhancements could expand this concept, changing how players experience select titles. Previously-leaked "Elite V2" images show has toyed with joystick tension control too, although would be player-configured to personal preference.

As with any patent, this technology isn't set to translate to a final product. However, it provides an insight into Microsoft's plans to improve its gamepads as a new "Scarlett" Xbox console generation looms.

Everything we know about the next Xbox Elite Controller 'V2'

Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Games Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

12 Comments
  • For a second I thought they were going with a system similar to what the Saitek X-65F HOTAS Stick used - Until I reread it again. Wouldn't have been bad either! I still have my X-65F and I REALLY dig the concept of the Force Sense Technology. If you're not familiar with the concept then the first time using it gives the impression of a 3-Axis ForceFeedback enabled Stick that crashed and remains "locked" in but you're still able to control whatever you're doing. So essentially you're moving stuff without any moving parts involved - Unreal sight/feeling. Translated to an XBox Controller you'd basically have no mechanical parts to ever wear out, only the coatings of whatever you're making contact with.
  • I didn't know about the tech you're talking about so I searched for it on the internet.
    It's really cool tech but I'm not sure it'd fit with the Xbox controller.
    But good idea nonetheless
  • In a racing game, that would allow more precise braking by adjusting the resistance of the brake pedal as you're pressing it to mimic how hydraulics works in a real car. In a shooter they could replicate the feeling of a real trigger
  • I would love to have this for Forza.
  • Cool concept. I doubt it will lead to an actual product, because that tech would be prone to wear and easily brake. Just imagine someone just pushing really hard on a trigger that is currently in high tension mode. Can't be good for the wheels, let alone the plastic construction of it all.
  • Yeah I would have thought something linear like a solenoid would be less prone to wear.
  • You could have a tension release mechanism that released the gear when a certain pressure was reached so someone couldn't break it the way you described.
  • eagerly waiting for this latest version controller trigger.... You can watch latest videos, movies and more entertainment videos on one platform without any ad blocks on Youtube vanced click to download there.....
  • I'd love this but on WMR controllers.
  • Let's hope nobody beats them to market and steals their thunder yet again. XBOX seems to have some great innovative minds and to be ahead of the curve many times, but its worthless if one of their competitors announces their brand new strangely similar offering before they get to market.
  • Xbox has the best controller of all the consoles. Sony should do something about their cheap plastic-y small controller.
  • Just finished playing Zelda breath of the wild and started Tomb raider on the Xbox one which also has a lot of archery. I was instantly annoyed about the missing aiming controls that came so natural with the Switch controller... Now that would be a big improvement over an already great controller....