Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows 10 just got three times smaller

Xbox Wireless Adapter
Xbox Wireless Adapter

Microsoft has unveiled the latest revision of the Xbox Wireless Adapter – its official USB accessory for connecting Xbox One controllers to Windows PCs. Improving on the original model first introduced in 2015, the new adapter comes in at 66 percent smaller or in other words, a third of the size.

Like the original, the new Xbox Wireless adapter adds support for Microsoft's proprietary "Xbox Wireless" communication protocol to any Windows 10 PC. Allowing for up to eight Xbox One controllers on a single device, the dongle is a quick and easily solution to add your existing wireless gamepads to a PC.

Xbox Wireless Adapter

Xbox Wireless Adapter (Image credit: Microsoft)

One of the major critiques of the adapter's first revision was its form factor – protruding three inches from a USB port. While this was a valid solution for desktops, the sheer size proved to be problematic with laptops and other small-form PCs. With the latest version shrunk down to a third of the size, this should be especially appealing for gaming on the go.

It also appears that this revision has dropped support Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 PCs – a feature previously offered by the original adapter. After previous public outcry for the first adapter's Windows 10 exclusivity, Microsoft manually added compatibility for earlier versions of its operating system after launch.

The latest version of the Xbox Wireless Adapter will soon be available for preorder, via the Microsoft Store. Priced similarly to the original, the device will begin shipping for $24.99 in the United States, from August 8. The adapter will also be available bundled alongside a controller (opens in new tab), priced at $79.99. Other markets will see the smaller design, although these are yet to be specified.

Preorder at Microsoft Store (opens in new tab)

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.

  • Where are all the OEMs that were going to start including the Xbox wireless thechnology internally on their machines? 
  • Good question.
  • You see it in mostly desktop gaming PCs, not so much laptops. Lenovo uses it a lot as do many gaming-rig companies, who offer it as a configuration option. Would Dell put in the XPS line or HP in the Spectre? Definitely not. Plus, there is the new Bluetooth controller, which is somewhat better/easier (although it lacks the force feedback stuff).
  • Daniel, Windows Central (not sure if it's all mobile nations sites) has to seriously look at what's going on with the ads on your site. Video ads seem to be a major issue, at least when chrome is being used, they peg both cores on my client. It's bad enough that I've had to turn ad blocker back on.
  • I couldn't care less about OEM's including a Microsoft proprietary Protocol to their hardware but the need for a Xbox One Dongle on a Microsoft Product like my 1TB Surface Book with Performance Base in order to get my Elite Controllers working is kinda... Questionable. That being said... With the arrival of the Xbox Designlab Controllers in the EU recently I decided to make myself one that matches the style of the Surface Book:
  • Or you could use the included USB cable to connect your gaming device to your enterprise driven device.
  • As Daniel says, it's more likely that long-term Bluetooth will be integrated and Bluetooth Xbox One controllers will become the norm. I see this as a stop-gap for those who don't yet own the new controllers.
  • Or for those who own the Elite Controller which doesn't have a Bluetooth version.
  • " After previous public outcry for the first adapter's Windows 10 exclusivity, Microsoft manually added compatibility for earlier versions of its operating system after launch." So once again Microsoft has not learned from the earlier hard lessons; how ******* stupid do you have to be to do that; Phil Spencer is a damn moron and once again shows he does not give a damn about PC gamers and is running the PC gaming at Microsoft into the ground.      
  • Since the majority of PC gamers use Windows 10 it doesnt appear they are leaving out as many gamers as you make it out to be.
  • Windows 10 64 bit 50.33% Windows 7 64 bit 32.05% Windows 8.1 64 bit 8.68% out of 125 million users on steam alone; So what you are saying is that 60+ million Steam gamers are irrelevant? that is rather ignorant, and further proves why Microsoft is so stupid when they constantly get praised by mis-informed fanboys and listen to that BS.    
  • Misinformed fanboy? First off, my comment was 100% correct. There are in fact more gamers on Windows 10 than all other OS's combined. Second, the old dongle is still available for everyone that wants it. Third, the dongle is ONLY needed for those that want the added features that come with it, so 60+ million is a greatly inflated number. Please, tell me whose misinformed and blindly making statements based on their opinion of a company?
  • My goodness... do yourself a favor and buy an Xbox One controller made in the last 1 1/2 years... It includes Bluetooth... This peripheral really isn't needed anymore... And if you don't need wireless... hook your controller up via a plug n play USB connector.
  • Full functionality isn't available over Bluetooth, as far as I can tell. You can't change settings in Xbox Accessories app, do firmware updates, use headphones or accessories on the bottom ports, or get vibration from the four motors. For playing store/tablet games it's fine, but if you're playing Xbox games, these things are all nice to have.
    The signal is better too, wifi direct has more bandwidth, more range, and supposedly less latency than BT (although these might not be as apparent depending on how far away you are). Personally, the controller was far easier to connect with the wifi adapter than with BT (BT took several tries and dropped more than once). Also, the Elite controller doesn't have BT.
  • Um, the Xbox One S controller with bluetooth will be a year old tomorrow. Not every device has bluetooth and not everyone wants to be tethered.
  • My PC doesn't have bluetooth. Sure I could get a bluetooth dongle, but I could also use the Xbox adapter that comes free. For me, the bigger problem is with connectivity with the dongles. Sometimes mine can get stuck unpaired and only a PC restart will resolve it. 
  • So I should ditch my Xbox One Elite controller to buy one of the new standard controllers, you might have money to burn but other people don't.
  • Or you can buy a Xbox One controller with bluetooth support. (But this adapter is still useful in some cases, e.g., if you want to use elite controller).
  • True, Hopefully, they add Bluetooth to the elite line of controllers pretty soon.
  • Also, don't all modern Xbox controllers now support Bluetooth? Sure, I get that the Xbox wireless tech is supposed to offer superior latency, but is it worth toting around a separate adapter? What are the specific advantages of using this over Bluetooth?
  • Bluetooth allows you to connect and use the controller as any other controller. The dongle gives you everything, voice chat support, vibrations from all motors, firmware upgrading, everything that an Xbox controller can do.
  • What am I missing here, can't one just use Bluetooth? All the latest Xbox controllers are Bluetooth?
  • Not everyone's controller is the latest model (I have a Titanfall controller, for example), and desktops dont' come with Bluetooth built in, so you'd still need an adapter.
  • Being someone who uses the original Wireless Adapter, this is great news for me.
    I often stream my Xbox One games from downstairs to my ultrabook in my room, however, the original adapter overhangs and takes up the space of my second USB port, meaning I can't also connect my Ethernet adapter too for strong connection and "Very High" quality streaming.
    If I use Bluetooth, I loose the ability to chat and use my headset, meaning lonely multiplayer gaming whilst my friends all talk in the party.
    Judging by the new form factor, I can use both my Ethernet adapter, and Wireless Adapter and headset through the controller and ensure no lag in my game as everything will then be hard wired!
  • Misleading title as 3x smaller isn't the same as one third smaller. If was actually 3x smaller I'd upgrade in a second.
  • It says "a third of the size", not "a third smaller". I have issues with "three times smaller", which is logically nonsense, but it is an accepted phrase.
  • I was about to buy one of these, actually. I can wait another week or so to get something much smaller. I like the change, though it'd also be cool if we could get an embedded chip for custom PC builds.
  • It would be cool if this was just built into the new Surface Pro.