U.S. Navy launches new attack submarine with Xbox controllers on board

Xbox wireless controller
Xbox wireless controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

The U.S. Navy put its latest submarine, the USS Colorado, into service this weekend. And while it's described as "a true marvel of technology and innovation" by Secretary of the Navy Richard V. Spencer, at least part of the new submarine is powered by a piece of technology that looks like it belongs more in the living room than the ocean's depths: an Xbox controller.

As The Associated Press reports, the USS Colorado is the first U.S. Navy submarine to use Xbox 360 controllers to control its photonics masts. Last September, the Navy revealed that the Xbox controllers would replace complicated helicopter-style joysticks that were that required specialized training to use.

The biggest advantage to the move comes down to cost: the specialized joysticks cost around $38,000 apiece. In contrast, Xbox 360 controllers can be picked up off the shelf for around $30 and are much easier to replace. Young sailors are also more likely to be familiar with operating a gamepad, Cmdr. Reed Koepp, the USS Colorado's commanding officer, told The Associated Press.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl