Microsoft Is Making A Simpler, Cheaper Version Of Its Elite Customizable Controller Now

·2-min read
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core in white.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core in white.

Microsoft has just released a new entry in its premium line of Elite wireless controllers. The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 – Core, currently available only in white, is the latest and the most affordable controller in the Xbox Elite line, coming in at $129.99 instead of the usual $179.99.

The new controller has many of the same features of its Elite brethren—your “adjustable-tension thumbsticks,” your “wrap-around rubberized grip,” and the like. And, of course, you can map the buttons on it any which way you choose. But there’s a catch. While the existing Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 ships with “interchangeable components,” including a set of six differently-shaped sticks, two D-pad options, and two types of paddles, the slightly cheaper white controller only comes with a thumbstick-adjustment tool and USB-C. If you want to adjust your controller further, you’ll have to purchase a Complete Component Pack for an additional $59.99. So, a white Xbox Elite controller plus the usually-standard customization pack will run you a more expensive $189.98. Hm.

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But wait, there’s more! The tech company launched its first Xbox Elite controller in 2015, and, at the time, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer billed it as “an elite controller for the elite gamer.” But only wretched non-elite gamers like myself could customize their shamefully standard Xbox Wireless Controllers in the Xbox Design Lab, which gives you power over controllers’ skin, body, and buttons. That changes soon—Microsoft also announced today that Xbox Elite customization was coming, ominously, to the Design Lab “this holiday.”

But wait, there’s even more! It’s not as exciting as Microsoft’s other announcements today unless you’re a truly, extremely elite gamer with a pocket full of $100 bills, though. Xbox is now hawking $99.99 Xbox Elite Core White Jerseys with, according to its product details, “technical features that pair with the Xbox Elite Series 2 – Core White controller.”

Those features are a zippered pocket and “magnetic band on chest for stowing metal Xbox Elite controller components.” Think of it as a BabyBjörn for your Xbox Controller, which, really, is a beautiful thing.