An official remake of the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller is on the way courtesy of the gaming peripheral manufacturer Hyperkin (opens in new tab). Hyperkin plans to re-market the controller as the Hyperkin Xenon, named after the Xbox 360’s code name. The updated controller aims to stay true to the original design, but gains some modern features.
The Hyperkin Xenon has a modernized menu, display and share buttons and gets a 3.5mm headphone jack in addition to a USB-C cable. You can get it in the 360-era Xbox white, as well as black, pink, and red.
Hyperkin is a name you may have heard before if you’re a retro gaming enthusiast, or it’s a name you’ve heard because you know how they revived the long-lost Duke, the Xbox’s first giant controller. have blown in. The one so big you can’t really use it (opens in new tab).
“Someone is young enough to do this ‘original’ Xbox controller to their friends,” said PC Gamer Senior Editor Wes Fenlon (opens in new tab), a sentence that caused me some consternation. I’m old enough now to have a gaming generation where I play on purpose skipped owning a console is considered retro I guess. At 17 years old, the Xbox 360 controller isn’t old… but compared to the hardware released this year, it’s as old as a Sinclair ZX80 or Atari 800 was when Nintendo 64 came out. Or as old as the Sega Mega Drive was when the Xbox 360 came out.
Hyperkin’s Xenon design is impressive, I’ll admit, and many people will be happy to buy a brand spanking new controller in their favorite style. It even has marketing! Packaging!
But I have to ask… what’s the point of remaking this? The best pc controllers (opens in new tab) are evolutions of 360 controller design. And you can buy them everywhere. Still, 17 years later, you can find them in thrift or charity shops and on online boards like Craigslist. You can find a thousand new knockoffs for $15-20 on any game marketplace. It’s been my favorite controller for years for exactly that reason: if it stops working, I can get a new one for $5 tops. Sure, some new buttons are cool, but not you need unless you are using a current generation console.
Anyway, if that remake of The Duke was for anyone, this remake is for a much larger group of someones. After all, you can fit your hands around it.