Update June 9, 2019: Microsoft has officially unveiled the new Xbox Elite Controller at E3 2019!

Leaked via Chinese site Baidu and later confirmed by The Verge, the new Xbox Elite Controller looks to be an iterative update on the original controller, which came with a range of premium features (and at a premium $150 price point.

The original Xbox Elite Controller supported Xbox Wireless, but only supported USB for PC connectivity. It sported two separate profiles for configurable button mapping, as well as locks for the triggers, making them activate more quickly. It also came with four additional buttons on the reverse of the controller in the form of paddles, which could be configured and removed at will. Additionally, the joysticks on the original Elite controller came with extra options, both from first and third-party vendors. Longer joystick options increased the distance from the pivot, for example, allowing for more precision without sacrificing turn speed. The directional pad also came with more robust options too.

The new Xbox Elite Controller seems to be a little more of an "evolution" rather than revolution at this point, but from what we're hearing from our own sources as well as those posted on various forums, it looks set to improve on the original controller in every way.

Codename 'Spider' Rumored features

It appears that the codename for the new Elite controller appears to be "Spider," according to our sources, perhaps in reference to the elongated paddles on the reverse side looking almost like spider legs.

The rumored feature set for the updated controller includes a three-stage hair trigger lock. This means that you will be able to adjust the amount of trigger depression far more than previously, which only supported a single on/off stage. When the triggers are locked, it means activation is much faster, which can be advantageous when using handguns and burst rifles in games.

Another feature rumored to be on the way to the new Elite controller is tension control for the joysticks. Microsoft filed a patent specifically to allow users to control the tension of joystick movement previously (via The Verge), the pictures leaked via Baidu appear to confirm that feature. Supposedly, this will allow users to control the amount of resistence you experience when you push the sticks. The original Elite Controller was criticized as being a little too resistive vs. the regular controllers in some circumstances.

Some other rumored features include an additional configuration profile, making for a total of three. USB Type-C connectivity, longer key travel for the reverse paddles, and, according to the leaked image above, revised rubber grips.

Bluetooth, charge dock?

According to our sources and the original leak, Bluetooth support is in for connectivity to PCs, which is also a given. The most recent versions of the regular Xbox controller support Bluetooth, so that's a bit of a no-brainer. However, more interestingly, it seems that the new Elite controller has built-in batteries too, and a unique charging port on the reverse of the device, which has been described as "MagSafe-like" by the original information.

Our sources indicate that the new Elite Controller might, in-fact, have some sort of propietary charge dock, perhaps for display and fast-charging functionality. The "docking" mechanism might simply be a propietary cable, but since the controller supports USB Type-C, it seems unlikely that Microsoft would introduce two separate cable charge methods, a full dock seems more likely.

Controller Gear already offers high-quality charging docks for Xbox controllers, it looks as though Microsoft might be working on its own solution.

The LED lights on the front of the controller might be specifically to show off battery life levels when the controller is docked, or in-use on PC, where battery life levels aren't as easy to see as they are on Xbox One.

Other secrets

It's entirely likely the next Elite Controller has other secrets up its sleeve. Maybe it will support the Xbox Design Lab for customization, complete with customization for the docks, similarly to the high-quality multi-color solutions offered by Controller Gear. Perhaps the front-facing LEDs have other functions beyond battery life, showing the signal strength and active config profiles.

Microsoft also previously filed patents for fully customizable and removable triggers, so that could make an appearance too.

Either way, it seems that the new Xbox Elite Controller is almost ready for the prime time, considering it's leaking presumeably via manufacturing sources. Expect it to make an official appearance anywhere between now and the end of 2018.

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Updated June 28, 2018: We've updated this article with the latest information on this enigmatic accessory.

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