New Xbox Controller with sweet D-Pad refinement

Ever since the Xbox 360 was released, there has always been one common complaint about the controllers. It's er...directed at the directional pad, which most people refer to as the the d-pad. It's kind of a pain to use it and for me it just doesn't have a good 'feel'.

Xbox 360 Silver Controller and Play & Charge Kit
The good folks within the Xbox team are well aware of the issue and have redesigned the controller. Xbox has released the Transforming D-Pad controller - it is a completely revamped controller from the standard Xbox 360 controller that comes with the console. And it's a cool silver colour!

The controllers analog sticks have also received a bit of fresh paint. The joysticks are now concaved in the center as opposed to the four dots that are on the standard controllers. The dots that act as grips on the original controllers will fade and suppress over time. It's intended this change will making gaming more comfortable.

The main change to the controller is the new transforming directional pad. A slight twist of the pad and you’ve gone from the original Xbox 360 directional pad to a more traditional d-pad. The twist recedes the spaces between the arrows, allowing the controller to give more direct controls to the gamer. The purpose of this is to make gaming more of quicker and fun.

This snazzy modification will make switching weapons in Gears of War 3 a more gamer friendly experience. You'll be switching from Lancer to your sniper rifle in no time.

Here's the official Microsoft spiel:

Customize your control. With a D-pad that transforms from a plus to a disc, the new Wireless Controller provides ultimate precision, accuracy, and control for both directional and sweeping movements. This distinctively-designed controller features a special edition matte silver color with a unique and premium button design, and comes complete with a Play and Charge kit to keep the game going strong.
  • Matte silver controller contains a transforming D-pad that can be rotated to adapt to the user's gameplay, offering unrivaled precision. Use the D-pad in "plus" format for cardinal directional moves.
  • Use the D-pad in "disc" format for sweeping moves
  • Includes Play and Charge cable for continuous gameplay and up to 35 hours of play per charge
  • 2.4GHz wireless technology with 30-foot range
  • Use up to four controllers simultaneously on one console

The only drawback I see to this is the ABXY buttons are no longer colour coded. This may throw some games but I imagine enough hands on practice will resolve any issues.

You can buy the controller from Amazon - remember, it also comes with a play and charge kit and rechargeable battery pack.

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