You are hereMicrosoft announces limited edition controller with new D-pad

Microsoft announces limited edition controller with new D-pad

By Blackwalt - Posted on 01 September 2010

Official Herd of Cat's opinion is mixed

Blackwalt's reaction to this announcement? "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, my god yes."

Personal Game Reviewer's reaction to this announcement? "Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!"

It deteriorated from there…

So I had heard about Microsoft's new Wireless Controller with Transforming D-Pad and Play and Charge Kit which was announced as a Controller with an improved D-pad.

An improved D-pad! A loud hosanna was heard across the world.

So imagine my surprise when I received the following email from Personal Game Reviewer.

    From: Personal Game Reviewer
    To: Blackwalt
    Subject: Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!

    I am asking you? WHo? WHO?

He apparently was surprised by my immediate retort, particularly since I wrote it on my blackberry in the middle of a very important meeting scheduling my workload for the next two weeks.

    From: Blackwalt
    To: Personal Game Reviewer
    Subject: Re: Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!

    I do.

    I will forgo the halo 360 with two controllers just to buy the new dpad instead.

And I would. I had been thinking about the new Xbox 360, yes the Halo Edition, up until I found out about the new controller. Why would I want to buy a Console package with two controllers with badly designed D-pads when I can hold out a little longer and buy a separate controller with a properly working D-pad.

Heck, I might buy two!

He responded...

    From: Personal Game Reviewer
    To: Blackwalt
    Subject: Re: Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!

    WHY?! What do you use it for? Aside from switching weapons?

Followed immediately by:

    From: Personal Game Reviewer
    To: Blackwalt
    Subject: Re: Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!

    and I should add... "we's about to have ourselves a good ol' fashioned feud!"

A feud? Seriously? That... seems oddly appropriate.

And give a guy a few seconds to respond, why don't you.

So I ignored the second message, as I usually ignore most of his messages, and wrote a response to his first response.

    From: Blackwalt
    To: Personal Game Reviewer
    Subject: Re: Seriously... who complains about the D-Pad??!!

    Breathing! Seriously, Breathing.

    Metro 2033.

    Hold D-pad down to put on gas mask.

    Tap d-pad down to change air filters.

    Or, in the MS world, cram the damn d-pad in any direction resembling down while your character suffocates from poison air.

    And do it a lot…

Yes. Breathing. It was a severe issue with my enjoyment of Metro 2033 that I couldn't put on my gas mask when I wanted needed to, or more of an issue, change my air filters when they ran out. I tried multiple controllers and not one of them could accurately hit the hold D-pad down or tap d-pad without also going left or right which negated the down and, dammit, switched weapons. How the heck did Personal Game Reviewer know about that?

Unfortunately the Limited Edition controller will only be available in a Play and Charge Kit form which is annoying because I have this thing about plugging a "wire" into my "wireless" controller. Hello? Microsoft? Anyone home?

That's why a bought a Xbox 360 Quick Charge Kit. So I could recharge my batteries separate from my controller. But somehow, SOMEHOW, I still have three Play and Charge cables lying around. Soon to have four. They are almost as bad as the Xbox 360 Headsets which I swear are multiplying.

Personal Game Reviewer and I moved our discussion into the Realm of Reality. It never directly came to blows because there were other co-workers in the area who managed to get between us. Heated, yes. Violent, no. Stupid workplace harassment rules.

I was baffled that Personal Game Reviewer had never had an issue with the Xbox D-pad despite playing a significant number of fighting games.

Personal Game Reviewer was baffled that I had always had an issue despite never playing fighting games and only using it for changing weapons and other in game selections.

I touched base with Coxxorz on the matter and his response was "it would be nice to be able to scroll through the dashboard without randomly going sideways all the time."

Preaching to the converted, my friend, preaching to the converted.

So we determined after much discussion that we would have to agree to disagree. Personal Game Reviewer would continue to be wrong and I would continue to place my pre-order for the new D-pad redesigned controller.

I don't care about the rest of the controller, I only want the D-pad.

Let us know your experiences in the comments. MS Controller D-pad? Love it or hate it. Have you had problems or has it been smooth sailing since day one?

More information about the Controller (and a video) from Major Nelson's Blog:
  • a brand new version that includes a transforming D-pad
  • an ingenious solution with a d-pad that can go from a plus to a disc with the twist of the wrist
  • matte silver
  • features concave analog sticks
  • gray A,B,X,Y buttons

    The controller will only be available with the new Play & Charge Kit that will launch on November 9th for US $64.99.

Major Nelson also has more photos up on Flickr.

Here is a video showing off the transforming D-pad:

Sadly this is an old version of Personal Game Reviewer's avatar. He assures me that his present one is much cooler and thinner.

Coxxorz's picture

But do we know for sure this new controller actually fixes the touchiness problem?

I know, it's not like Microsoft to ignore the issue while solving non-existent problems and all... but clearly there was also a public outcry to remove all those confusing colours from the buttons.

Oops, wrong thread!

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