Microsoft’s Xbox Elite controller has been the gold customary within the professional gamepad market since its launch again in 2015. No professional controller has come near the extent of construct high quality, design aesthetics, and ergonomics that Microsoft supplied with its first-generation model, and the one machine to return shut in my private use of those controllers throughout platforms is Astro’s C40 TR for the PlayStation four and PC.
Now, Microsoft says it lastly has an replace to the Xbox Elite, appropriately referred to as the Xbox Elite Collection 2, that may convey some much-needed updates to its premium gamepad. The Verge bought to spend a couple of minutes with a demo model of the Elite 2 right here at E3, and whereas I sadly don’t have hands-on expertise with the way it performs throughout a dwell recreation, I can say that it appears like one of the best, lightest, and most succesful professional Xbox controller. With out instantaneous, on-device button remapping, I can’t say it’s probably the most succesful, however it comes very shut.
The important thing upgrades Microsoft guarantees with the Elite 2 are USB-C charging with as much as 40 hours of battery life, Bluetooth help so you’ll be able to extra simply play wirelessly on Xbox or PC (the previous controller used a proprietary wi-fi protocol), and extra customization choices.
Now you’ll be able to change between three profiles on the fly and have one default to fall again on, and you can too do some extra granular customizations utilizing the Xbox Equipment companion app, like adjusting the thumbstick pressure. The brand new model additionally helps shorter hair set off locks and even helps you to use a “shift” possibility, so you’ll be able to maintain down one button and have it activate various remapped instructions for any of the controller’s different buttons. As I discussed, one function the Elite 2 controller seems to lack is instantaneous button remapping, a hallmark of each Scuf’s competing Vantage controller and the Astro C40 TR. However with the additional profile choices, that shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of a difficulty.
As for a way the machine seems to be and feels, it nonetheless has that very same premium end that makes it really feel like a high-quality gadget ought to, and it now comes with wrap-around rubberized grip that makes it far more nice to carry. I used to be truly stunned at how mild the Elite 2 was, in contrast with the equally sized Astro C40 TR. However regardless of the lighter construct, nothing concerning the redesigned grips or the largely unchanged set off system feels in any respect low cost.
The Xbox Elite 2 retains the four-paddle again design, which ought to preserve it aggressive with probably the most hardcore of professional gamepads from firms like AimControllers, Battle Beaver Customs, Evil Controllers, and Scuf. (One massive draw back to the Astro C40 is that it has solely two again paddles.) All in all, the machine looks like the right possibility for extra critical Xbox gamers, and it ought to nonetheless rightly make PS4 house owners jealous Sony received’t develop a model of its personal.
The machine launches November 4th in 24 nations for $179.99. You may preorder it now from Microsoft’s devoted product web page on Xbox.com.