Xbox 360 - The Controller

In our original article about the Xbox 360 we stated that the new 360 controller appeared to be physically smaller than the current Xbox S controllers. Our first goal at the show was to play around with the new controller, and we were not disappointed.

All of the 360 controllers at E3 are unfortunately wired (more on why later) and thus are probably a bit lighter than their wireless counterparts that will launch with the console. The controller itself is significantly lighter than the current generation S controller; we were unable to test force feedback capabilities of the controllers, so it is possible that these controllers had smaller motors or didn't have any at all.

Ergonomically the new controller is a huge improvement over the current Xbox controller. We were originally skeptical about how comfortable it would be to have two sets of buttons at the top of the controller, but our fears were put to rest after just minutes with the new controller. It is extremely comfortable, much lighter (although that may change) and the layout is quite well done.

The four buttons at the top of the controller are easily accessed with one two fingers, one for each side.

The 360 button in the center was also quite impressive; it's got four independent quadrants that light up according to what controller number you're holding.

Index The Console


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  • xype - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    The reason the games are not "ported" to OS X has a lot to do with OS X's current OpenGL implementation sucking just that much. Apple recently posted job offers for people to work on OpenGL and while they were oblivious to the developers complaining about OpenGL performance ("Yeah, it may be slow, but it's working according to spec!") I think that (and I might be very wrong), ironically, World of Warcraft and Blizzard gave Apple the kick in the shin it needed to wake up.

    If you ever see a G5 with a X800, do run WoW or Doom 3 on it and compare it to a X800 equipped PC. Any difference you'll notice sure wont be because of the Dual 2.0 GHz CPUs and the 1GHz system bus, that's for sure.

    I'd think that the XBox dev kit G5s are actually quite nice - simply because MS probably got their 3D API implementation sorted already.
  • PrinceGaz - Friday, May 20, 2005 - link

    #27- maybe a UPS? Reply
  • Eug - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Hmmm... I think there were two Power Macs because it looks like in the picture that there are two screens. I still wanna know what that black thing was on the left though.

    #23, they were Power Macs running the X800 XT or 6800 Ultra DDL.
  • Felickzs - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    Uh. The "Black Thing" looks like a cry computer ;-) Reply
  • Felickzs - Thursday, March 17, 2011 - link

    This: Reply
  • stmok - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Those consoles aren't using PPUs at all.

    There are using PPU's technology software wise.

    Confused? Let me explain...

    AGEIA, the company responsible for the Physics Processor, has NovodeX physics software...This is an API that allows you to write apps with full interactive environments/etc. In addition, it IS multithreaded allowing you to support multi-core or multi-CPU environments.

    Both Sony and MS's consoles are multi-core/multi-CPU implemenations.

    In the PS3's case, they use the API to emulate a Physics Processor Unit on the Cell CPU.

    So it does NOT need a PPU. But its CPU emulates this function!

    For the PC, you need a PPU.

    The PPU will give you a fully interactive environment. eg : When a bullet hits a brick wall, you will see bits of it fall off. You can pickup and move items around, as if you were really in that room.

    In all essence...

    PS3 => PPU (emulated) + Sound(done by Cell) + Cell CPU + RSX

    By the end of this year...

    PC => PPU (hardware) + Sound Card + CPU + G70 or R520.

    PC will lose out in graphics, because the G70 offers half the floating point precision in graphics and is clocked slower than the RSX GPU in the PS3.

    Developer-wise, PS3 uses OpenGL and Nvidia's Cg APIs...So porting games from PC to PS3 and vice versa won't be too much of a problem. (You obviously need to tweak certain areas and re-compile on a different architecture.)
  • sillyC - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    It is weird that all these new consoles are gonna be sporting PPC CPUs. why isnt anybody (game consoles) using Intel or AMD chips? Is the PPC better for gaming? Are desktop computers going to be making the same migration? Now it seems clear why IBM dumped their desktop computer division, they are going to be making chips for everybody. Reply
  • nitromullet - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link


    What would be the point of a dev OS for a G5 tower with a $500+ video card when you will be able to actually buy the console for around $300?
  • Zak - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    Yeah, all those iMacs with crap video cards like 5200, totally awesome gaming machines, LOL :D

  • Houdani - Thursday, May 19, 2005 - link

    I do have to chuckle at the irony of the Apple360 there.

    The XB360 case looks fine, dunno what folks are bellyaching about. A brushed metalic finish would be better than the default white, though, particularly for the controllers -- imagine how grimy looking those white controllers are going to look after a month of use. Ick. Hope they clean up nicely.

    Maybe it's part of a brilliant Marketing master plan. Use white so that the controllers show their dirt sooner, prompting consumers to junk the controller and buy a new one. Cha-ching.

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