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29 Controls of Christmas
Xbox Controller S
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 18, 2008   |   Episode 22 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



It's not much to look at, but the Xbox Controller S is substantially more comfortable to use than the original model!
Brief Synopsis: Remember when I complained about the Americanized Xbox control? I compared it to a small elephant, I wasn't happy with the design. Well, apparently somebody at Microsoft heard me (and the millions of other gamers who were complaining), because they had the good sense to release this brand new revision. The truth is, it's not a revision at all, it's just a repackaging of the far superior Japanese control. This version, known as Controller S, has a significantly smaller logo (that still doesn't do anything), better placement of the face buttons and analog sticks that don't feel like they are a time zone away from each other. The shape of the pad is also different, in a good way. If you've been keeping track you'll notice that every time a company releases two different controls to two different regions, there's usually an outcry and the Americans always get the Japanese control. It works like clockwork. So I guess the lesson is, if you're thinking about releasing two versions of your control take a step back, slap yourself in the face, and then don't do it. Ever. Never ever release different controls to different parts of the world. It's that simple.

The Style: Controller S? What does the "S" stand for? Second? Sorry? Nope, small. The "S" stands for small. While I won't say this control is the best looking game pad we've reviewed so far, it's miles ahead of that crummy original Xbox pad. At least this thing is small and easy to hold. It doesn't look like you have to weight lift in order to pick it up. The biggest design faux pas was that large logo, and thankfully Microsoft was able to curb their giant ego and give us a regular sized logo. If you squint your eyes you can see the Xbox 360 control in this

Microsoft had toyed with the idea of making the Xbox Controller B, a considerably larger control that cost three times as much!
design, but we'll get to that in a few days. This is definitely the better of the two controls, but the Controller S is far from the world's most stylish control pad.

What the 25 Year Old Me Would Say: Oh great, another control. Why didn't Microsoft just release this thing in the first place? I already bought a bunch of those original Xbox controls, now they expect me to buy more of these? What do they think I am, made of money? I like that they shrunk that logo, but it still looks like it should do something. I don't know what, but it's right there in the middle and every time I see it I just want to push it. Microsoft should make one of these things that you push and it does something. Maybe make a sound or something. I don't know; just pass that on to Microsoft.

What I Would Say Now: The younger me is right, why did I buy so many controls? The Xbox had four different controller ports, even if I mixed and matched that's still a hell of a lot of money to spend on controllers. While it's not going to win any awards for beauty, I genuinely like this second Xbox control. The pad feels good in my hand, and it's easy to see how Microsoft went from this to the Xbox 360 control. Either way, this is a solid control that should have been released a couple years earlier when the system first came out. Hopefully Microsoft learned their lesson.

The Xbox Controller S Haiku:
Should have come out first.
Buying these will break the bank.
Easier to hold!
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