Xbox Series X controller features USB-C port, AA batteries return

Xbox Series X Controller Hero
Xbox Series X Controller Hero (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has provided further details on the new Xbox controller shipping alongside Xbox Series X.
  • The Xbox Series X controller features an improved D-pad, dedicated Share button, and refined ergonomics.
  • The accessory also adopts a USB-C port on the rear, with support for AA batteries.

Microsoft has provided some additional details on its new Xbox Wireless Controller, on track to ship alongside the Xbox Series X later in 2020. The redesigned gamepad focuses on refining ergonomics, including a further streamlined design, coupled with new functionality over the existing Xbox One model.

As Microsoft previously announced, Xbox Series X's new controller will feature a reworked D-pad, with a new "facetted dish" design to better accommodate all types of titles. Inspired the Xbox Elite controller lineup, it provides more flexibility for directional input, over the firm four-way cross used by Xbox One.

The arrival of a Share button also complements the system's integrated DVR capabilities, allowing users to share screenshots and clips with a single button press. While far from new, with similar shortcuts across PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, it ensures the accessory aligns with recent trends.

And although designed for Xbox Series X, the new controller will also function with Xbox One, PC, mobiles, and more.

Xbox Series X Controller Hero

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

With Microsoft recently unveiling full Xbox Series X specifications, Redmond has provided additional context surrounding its accompanying controller. That includes the addition of USB-C connectivity to replace the top-facing Micro-USB port, adopting a modern standard primed for the growth of Project xCloud on mobile, too. The new Xbox Series X gamepad also retains the external batteries, requiring AA cells, or a separate charging pack. When using a charging back, users will need a USB-C to USB-A cable, due to a lack of USB-C on the system itself.

Microsoft also adopts Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) with the latest controller, explicitly geared toward PC, iOS, and Android devices. With the rise of Project xCloud across all platforms, adopting a more flexible standard with lower power consumption aids the nature of on-the-go gaming.

Xbox Series X Controller Rear

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

Xbox Series X Controller Trigger

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

The Xbox Series X controller will be smaller than the current Xbox One revision, set to accommodate a broader group of players. "By accommodating hands similar to those of an average 8-year-old, we found we could improve accessibility and comfort for hundreds of millions more people without negatively affecting the experience for those with larger hands," stated Ryan Whitaker, senior designer at Xbox. "We did that by rounding the bumpers, slightly reducing and rounding parts around the triggers, and carefully sculpting the grips."

We finally receive additional context around the new textured triggers and bumpers headed to Xbox Series X, first teased during the initial console reveal. With what Microsoft describes as a "tactile dot pattern," it follows several limited-time controllers that experimented with additional traction. That comes standard alongside a matte finish, which also applies to the D-Pad.

The latest Xbox Wireless Controller will ship alongside Xbox Series X, while also available for standalone purchase. A formal release date and pricing are yet to be confirmed.

Xbox Series X/S


Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior 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.