Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 Review

When the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 was first announced last year with its awkward name and an extra thirty bucks added to its price, none of us knew we were also getting a glimpse at the naming scheme for the upcoming Xbox Series X. Nor did anyone […]

Nor did anyone know that the refreshed design held some clues about the new console’s controller. The profile button in the center of the Elite Series 2 is in the same spot as the dedicated Share button on the new controller coming at the end of this year. A close peek at the triggers on the teased model reveals the same textured triggers as found on the Elite 2, and some of Microsoft’s other current special edition controllers. And both controllers make use of the bowl-shaped d-pad first featured on the original Elite model.

I theorize that the Xbox Controller Elite Series 2 is a clever gambit by Microsoft to defray some of the research and development costs for their new console before it even launches by selling a new premium controller product to their most ardent fans. The changes made to this controller will appeal most to that specific group…and if anecdotal evidence is anything to go on, this thing is flying off the shelves.

The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 retails for $179 and comes in black. The white controller variant for the original Elite model is nowhere to be seen, and given that it’s so late in the Xbox One life cycle, my guess is we won’t see new colors for a while.

Outside the three levels of adjustable tension on the sticks, the other obvious changes from the first model include a large permanently-installed battery, sleeker and more tactile rear paddles, optional Bluetooth connectivity similar to the current standard controllers, a new rubber grip that covers most of the controller’s body, and a new three- step trigger lock mechanism.

When the controller first launched last fall, a reddit thread almost immediately filled up with reports of build issues and a supposedly higher-than-average defect rate. What followed was rampant speculation about which lot numbers were “good” or “bad,” and to this day the thread is a general mess of bitterness, broken controllers, and guessing.

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