* Prices may differ from that shown
to start off this controller is for the microsoft xbox 360 console, as the image displays the wired connection does NOT require batteries to operate, it connects to one of three usb ports on your xbox 360 (2 in front at bottom and the last is at the back next to the the Ethernet cable port, the port at the back is usually used for the wireless network adapter but its all down to individual preference.
the wired connection offers fast response, a very slight faster response as apposed to wireless but you really wont notice it, but it is there. For obvious reasons wired connection has pros and cons compared to the wireless controller, probably the main pro is not needing to buy and keep replacing batteries or for out more money for a play and charge kit which i know arent that expensive but the point still remains.
Then the Obvious cons come into play where you are limited to the range at which you can use your controller as the wire will only go so far but honestly i dont think you'll ever be out of range with your wired controller, if you are for any reason then you can buy extensions if required.
The next con is that most people may not like wires scattered about on their floor infront of them, which is perfectly understandable, i probably wouldnt be too happy about scattered wires but you could be a serious gamer who really likes the benfit of no battery changes and slight response time improvements but again that is down to the preferences of different people, im just giving examples of how it could be a benefit/disadvantage to different people.
CONTROLLER HANDLING & BUILD QUALITY:
Ive had xbox 360 for a considerable amount of time now and ive always found this controller to be nice to use but then again im not really used to anything else and it could just be that ive gotten used to this, it could vary if your previously a Playstation player or another platform. The buttons feel nice to use and of good build quality HOWEVER... having said that an exception could be that recently one of my bumper buttons (LB & RB) started not working and it took a considerable amount of force to click and other times it wouldnt even click at all for a few tries, not so bad if your not a more serious gamer that NEEDS all their buttons to be working perfectly ALL of the time, but if your big on gaming especially shooter games and to be competitively good all of the time then you may want to think about that.
Also now the same goes for with the LB button it could be just my remote and to do with how long ive had it but the thumb stick (the left one to be precise) starts to be a bit jittery when using, some directions more than others, for instance -- if i point the thumb-stick to the right there is a point in that movement where it becomes and stiff and hard to be smooth and precise, Now like i mentioned before with the dodgey buttons, it depends on how you play your games and what games you play and how serious you are when playing these games, it can vary from person to person how much this will affect you IF it happens but i like to mention it anyway to give a bigger variety of people and idea on what they think about this controller.
Im going to quickly compare it to the playstation (3) Controller, It is definitely heavier than the playstation 3 controller theres not much doubt about that , if youve been using a PS3 controller and you come to using this one you WILL notice a difference, but wether or not that is a bad thing is kind of up to you as the customer, i for one dont really mind it been heavier its something i can easily get used to and i might even suggest that the heaviness provides reassurance that it is tough and well built. Compared to the playstation i personally prefer the xbox controller triggers (RT & LT) i find them sturdy and easy to grip/handle, i find the ps3 triggers can be a tad flimsy and sometimes slip from my finger when pressed, that may be down to the fact that i am not so used to playstation controllers but it is worth mentioning.
BATTERIES (WIRELESS ONLY)
I Will mention that in the wireless version of the xbox 360 controller, there has been a few times where the battery holder/pack..etc, has come loose and disconnected at random points while playing, like i said before in this review it could all be down to my PARTICULAR controller(S) but its worth letting you know as it could happen to you and be a factor in buying this controller.
Recently i had to fix one of my buttons the same LB mentioned earlier as a matter of fact and noticed you need a very specific screwdriver to get the screws out needed to take apart/put together the controlller, im not too sure that it is the same case as the wired version (im 90% sure) but i found this to be quite annoying as some could say this is a tactic microsoft has used to get that bit extra money out of people, OR even to discourage internal controller modification, im not sure.
I managed to get the screws out with a regular screwdriver but i would NOT recommend it as now the screw heads in this controller are very worn and probably wouldnt screw out ever again even with the 'special' driver required.
The official microsoft xbox 360 controller WILL work with everything you need for example Headsets, bot Chat headsets and more serious 'turtle beach' headphones 'Astros', 'trittons' whatever. it will also be able to use the play and charge kit as mentioned earlier as well as the wireless version will no problem connect up to your 360 console (little circular button on the top next to LB)
-Obviously this wont be a worry for wired controller users as you wont need sync button or play and charge kits etc.
Good operating controller, thumbs up from me, nice to handle, few button and stick problems from personal experience you might want to keep in mind could be a possibilty. Quite heavy (good or bad up to you) excellent connectivity and compatibility.
Im not a massive fan of the XBOX 360, being a PS3 fangirl myself. Never the less we have one in our household for those few XBOX exclusives that arent released for the PS3.
XBOX's are quite renowned for being unreliable and can often go faulty - this isnt the case for the controllers however. Somehow they have managed to build a controller that can stand the test of time, I dont think I have ever had one go faulty on me.
The controller itself is quite chunky, which I find quite difficult to use - probably because I am so used to using my PS3 controller which is a lot smaller and slimmer. I also find the controllers to feel quite heavy in my hands, especially with batteries in the back of it aswell. This is another negative aspect that needs mentioning, the controllers are not rechargable and need batteries to work, and they drain the power from the batteries very quickly so it costs quite alot to keep it powered. This is unless you invest in a play and charge kit, which allows you to plug your pad into your xbox and charge it as you need to, it is worth mentioning however that the standard price for this is is around £17.99 - which is a hell of a lot of money for a rechargable battery. The shape of the controllers also means that it gets quite dirty really easily as thhey are lots of gaps and nooks where dirt and dust can get stuck, and they can be quite difficult to clean with the aid of a toothpick or something similar (my hands are very clean i feel I should mention, but yet my xbox pad always manages to get dirty somehow).
The buttons on the xbox are resonably responsive apart from the d-pad. The d-pad is possibly one of the worst designed I have ever tried to use, its in accurate and incredibly hard to actually get it moving in the right direction - this is particularly noticable when your trying to use the onscreen keyboard.
The controllers retail for around £35-£40 (it is also worth noting that you can buy a limited edition silver controller with a play ad charge kit included for £44.99 from certain stores). They now also come in a range of colours, off white, silver, black, pink, green, yellow (the last three very rare), you can also get limited edition Halo and Modern Warfare pads, the latest to be released are the chrome series, which come in red, silver and blue. There is also a new white (actually white not that dingy off white colour like the older ones) that come with free england flag decals.
Overall, I am not a fan of these controllers. I find them too big and chunky and too expensive to maintain, but if you wanna play on the xbox then these are the best things for it. I realise that I have criticised microsoft alot here, but this is just how I feel about them after being an avid player of the Playstation for most of my life.
You gotta hand it to MS, they made a decent controller here. Even the old school 'plate' original Xbox controller had its pluses and they still sold a smaller version to meet demand. The only thing getting in the way of these is the price. Stroll into your local video game store and you'll see them on the wall for about £40. £40, That's basically the price of a game, and although they're important, you dont really want to spend that much on it compared to a new game or the console itself. Don't be fooled into buying a preowned one either, because people trade them in because they, like many other gamers, have come across the one main flaw - BUMPERS. You'd be surprised at how many games require them, mostly for mundane practical tasks, but its when these tasks become difficult, you could end up lobbing the controller at the nearest wall. The buttons can get stuck easily, because of the plastic chasis, if you spill a drink on them, so watch it.
The wired version of the controller connectes via USB port and is outdated compared to the wireless version since there are play and charge kits that allow for anytime recharging. The AA battery pack offers a good replacement controller as they can last a lot longer than the rechargeable ones however unless they are usb batteries they will run out soon enough. The rechargeable batteries last for days (or several gaming hours) and are easily charged via a kit sold separately for around £10-15. The buttons are brightly coloured and well weighted, the analogue sticks have a good sensitivity and there are minimal distracting lights. The only time lights are used is for being on, connecting wirelessly to the xbox 360 and when the battery is low. The connectivity is pristine and connecting to the console takes a rapid 3 seconds. So to summarise, there is only one flaw being weak bumpers, everything else just gets on with it as long as you take care of it.
@ About and Comfort @
This controller came with my Xbox 360 over four years ago. It's had daily use since then, and hand on heart I can say this is the best built product by Microsoft. Scratch that, one of the best built things across all games console manufacturers. Given my track record with Microsoft, RROD, overheating, headsets breaking etc, this is the one product I take my hat off to. They have out an excellent amount of effort into this.
The first thing is comfort. The bottom of the controller is rounded off with a chunky piece of plastic either side, which can be grabbed in anger with white knuckle strength and not even creek or make a sound. The controller is chunky, a little bit heavy, and the trigger buttons are soft but not too springy so you can apply gentle acceleration to a car in forza motorsport, rather than full throttle, and in call of duty and other FPS games, you can fire short controlled bursts. Perfect balance.
The controller has multiple gaps around the top, sides and joins at the back of the plastic where dirt gets trapped. It will need a regular clean and this isn't easy without a toothpick to get into these areas.
@ Gameplay @
The front A,B,X,Y buttons are sharp and responsive, and require little effort to operate. The bumper buttons at the top however require a bit more of a push to fully get them down into their hole before you get a response. All of the buttons have some play by a couple millimetres, but the D-Pad is worst with a great deal of wiggle.
The controller has a fast response to the console with instant signals sent to the console. When you are in an FPS game such as call of duty, precision matters, the rubber sticks start responding on screen within a few millimetres, whilst maintaining slow speed when you nudge them with your fingers. You hit the knob left it moves to the left fast, it gradually pushing it further left gives you exact response on the screen. Handy for sniping campers...
@ Build Quality / Wear and tear @
This is the first time I have ever said this about a Microsoft product - its 4 years old, still working and without a doubt, not falling to pieces. What I can tell you, is what a controller looks like after 4 years of enthusiastic gameplay. The guide button has worn down and is no longer shiny, the triggers are loose and creaky, and the rubber has worn down on the sticks. And that's it.
The components are well put together and to make sure you're not modding your controllers, Microsoft have put special Microsoft only screws in the back of the controller. They won't fit a screwdriver you can pick up at home base that's for sure. The rubber wears down easily but the buttons and everything else feels fantastic.
@ Overall @
Brilliant piece of kit and I have to commend Microsoft on this product, it's comfortable to use, lasts ages and is built like a bulldozer. The controller requires some serious cleaning attention every month or so and you need to really get into all the holes where dirt builds up. My controller has not had an easy life, it's like a car with a ton of mileage but it will never break down.
I am a massive fan of the Xbox 360 but no matter how much work and effort is put in with the design of the console itself then it is not doing to be any good without a high quality control system so does this manage to deliver a controller that works well?
The controller is well designed and comfortable to use even when you are gaming for a period of time thanks to the ergonomics used. The buttons are very well laid out which makes it very easy to learn your way around the controller and perfect your gaming with little hassle.
The controller offers up great control thanks to having two control sticks, a d-pad (arrow set), red, green, yellow, blue, left trigger, right trigger, left button and right button but even with all of this going on the controller does not feel like it is overly cluttered or too complex.
The controller is not too heavy so it is not going to cause your wrist to ache after gaming for any period of time.
The controller can be purchased as either a wired version or wireless version (the one I am reviewing is the wireless one) with prices for each very reasonable (wireless is about £25 and the wired version is about £18) and can be picked up in most places where gaming products are offered.
The controller takes 2 AA batteries and these will last for a number of hours of gaming. The batteries can quickly and easily be changed over as you simply unclip the compartment on the rear of the controller.
The control sticks work very well and allow for you to simply and easily have great control in any games you wish to play.
The wireless controller works well from a few metres (I've only played this from about 5 to 10 metres away) away with no drop out of reception.
The controller does not come with rechargeable batteries but a rechargeable battery set can be purchased easily and cheaply (about £10 for 2 batteries and a charger cable if you shop around and are willing to go for a non Microsoft product).
Overall I have been very impressed with the controllers on offer from Microsoft for the Xbox 360 and the wireless verion allows for easy gaming in comfort. The fact you need to purchase a rechargeable battery pack for your controller (if you are going to use this regularly) does not detract from the product for me as the design work and great amount of control available makes this something I am happy to use. The controller is very reasonably priced and I have never had any issues with mine so I highly recommend spending a little more and going for the official product.
Prior to owning my xbox 360, I had both the Playstation 1 and 2 and I had grown accustomed to the playstation controller. One of the main set backs for me was that it was hard to get used to the controller when I first got my xbox 360. First up, it is much heavier then the Playstation controller even when that has the heavier dual shock vibration "rumble pack" feature added.
The design of the controller is more ergonomical then the playstation, points of your hands wont hurt as much after a few hours gameplay. But again it all seems to add to the weight. So it has the standard four multicoloured dialoge fourway buttons that you`ll be used to seeing all the way back to the super Nintendo. In addition, you have four upper buttons on the top of the controller. These are RT, RB, LT and LB buttons, that being left and right top and left and right bottom. These extra buttons give you much needed adaptable gameplay and functionality buttons, these days it seems unless you have nearly a dozen buttons you simply dont have the options you need to play a modern game.
One of the biggest changes over the years in controller design was a move away from the standard four way direction key buttons that you see on the centre left of the controller. In the past consoles controllers had these as the only keypad you could use to actually move around, many a thumb has been bruised using this for hours at a time. Even as soon as 1998 the directional keypad was replaced with the more sensitive directional 'mushroom' buttons, two of them. Sony were the first to use these buttons. Now not only do you tend to use the left button to look in a different direction (if its a first person shooter) and the right mushroom to actually move in a direction, now some bright spark came up with actually being able to press the mushrrom buttons for extra functionality. You obviously get a select and start button and the famous X (xbox) button in the middle of the controller which you use to turn it off and on again, indicated by a repeating green light....its actually quite colourful.
The other thing you can do with the controller is that if you hold the X button down you can decide to turn off the console or the controller via infrared. You also get the standard vibration rumble pack effect.
The two problems with this controller are the weight, which you simply dont get with the dual shock playstation controller, is the fact that if you have an unwired version (infrared) then it goes through batteries (which fit into a AA battery pack thats designed to fit into the back of the controller) like the coalition go through cabinet ministers. Its the most annoying thing, I spend a fortune on them, and it doesnt even properly use them up , they stil have about 20% charge left in them which isnt enough to power the controller. If I had the choice I would put up with a wired version (as you got with the old xbox controller) or a rechargeble battery pack but this will set you back.
These controllers will set you back £25 new on Amazon and you can normally get them in black and white as well as more specially designed controllers like exclusives that you get with 'just released' games.
When I first purchased my Xbox 360 it came with one wired, and one wireless controller, to begin with, I decided to use the wired controller because it meant less effort than having to find new batteries every day, but after a few weeks of continuously tripping over the cable, I decided to use the wireless controller, which is much heavier due to the fact is has a battery pack. I preferred the heavier wireless controller, and instead of having to continuously buy, or recharge separate AA batteries, I brought the recharging kit. This made using the controller much easier.
But in terms of performance, the two controllers are basically the same, both offer a great level of sensitivity and precision and mean using the controller for pin-point accuracy is very easy to do. Also because of the bulkiness of the controller, it seems to be more comfortable to use than the old PS2 controllers, which were very thin.
Like most, I started off my Xbox life with a wireless controller. After a few days the batteries had died and I was already frustrated. The batteries were coming and going thick and fast and I knew I had to do something. In the end I decided on a wired controller over a play and charge kit for a few reason.
Pros of a wired controller:
You will never have to worry about batteries again.
You can use it with your PC to play Games For Windows Live games.
The wire is long enough to reach far enough for most people.
Got a safety feature so you don't pull your Xbox over if you knock the lead.
Cons of a wired controller.
Limited to how far you can move.
Can't have 4 plugged in at once if you're using a wireless adapter.
The first one I had broke where the wireless connects to the controller leaving exposed wires which broke shortly after.
After a while I felt some of the buttons stuck more and were less responsive than they were on the Wireless.
In conclusion, if you're a heavy gamer who uses up lots of batteries then this is most certainly for you.
My partner wanted an Xbox 360 for Christmas, it was all he had gone on about all year so I knew that buying one I would be very popular! I bought the new 250gb console but it only came with one controller. This would have been fine for when he is playing alone but I thought I would get an additional one too for when friends came over or I wanted to play. I bought an identical controller to the one that came with the Xbox for just over £20 from Amazon which was a good price.
The controllers are wireless and they are black in colour which is the standard colour for the new Xbox's. They are about 5 inches across, 3 inches up and a couple of inches tall. They are shaped just like the one in the picture above, with two sort of 'handles' to grip.
I was surprised at how many buttons there were on the controller! There are more than the PS3's and many more than the Wii's. There are 2 joy stick buttons, 2 trigger buttons, a round pad, 4 coloured buttons and also 4 more buttons! Initially I thought there was no way I was ever going to be able to work the thing but once you get going it is not as daunting as it seems!
Holding the controller it feels really comfortable in your hand and it doesn't give me achy fingers like some controllers have in the past. We have been using the Xbox a lot this week as we are both off of work and it is new and I find it great for long gaming sessions.
The buttons make the games really easy to play, they are positioned well and I find them easy to use. We have found we mostly use the joy stick buttons to move about on games and the trigger buttons which are situated on the back of the controller. Initially I thought these might be better on the front of the controller but it is so easy to use them in the game and their position means you can easily use the triggers alongside the joystick pads.
The coloured buttons are occasionally used in the games we have been playing and I find the use of colours really helpful as it is quick and easy to see which is which. They also have letters on which means they are easy for anyone to use, even if you are colourblind.
In the middle of the controller there is a large 'X' button. This is what you use to take you to your homepage and it is often used. It looks quite stylish and it also lights up dependant on which player you are.
Using the controller is really easy. I am rubbish at gaming but I have been getting on really well with these controllers. Recently we have been playing the new Call of Duty game: Black Ops which is a shooting game. Usually I would be terrible at this but I am actually doing ok because I find the controllers really simple to use!
The controller uses 2 AA batteries. One of ours ran out yesterday so they lasted just a week. However, we have been playing it an awful lot. You can get a rechargable battery pack for them instead which we are going to look into getting.
Out of the wii, PS3 and the 360, I think these are by far the best controllers. They are comfortable to hold, easy to use and all games respond quickly to them. At £20 I think they are a bargain.
To date the Xbox 360 controller holds, in my opinion at the very least, the most superior design. Owning both a PS3 and a 360 the differences in the controllers have become starkly apparent, with Microsoft's subtle alterations proving to be worthwhile.
Let's commence with the layout. Microsoft place the left analog stick in the top left, above the D-Pad. The sticks are therefore not parallel providing an extremely comfortable grip. The surfaces of the analog sticks are concave as well as including four rubber grips to further support your thumbs. Logically, the triggers are also concave allowing your fingers to rest without slipping.
In the top centre is the ever-important Guide button. When pressed, it opens a window allowing for a variety of different options - essentially, it is a control panel for the 360. From there you can go to your friends list, change settings, edit your profile, view your achievements, redeem codes and so on. Furthermore, the button also acts as an indicator. If you are player one, a light in the top left quadrant will light up; if player two, you will be in the top right quadrant. If your battery is low, all four quadrants will flash intermittently as an easily noticeable reminder.
Above all, the shape and weight of the controller is fundamental to its success. Rather than trying to slim it down, or decrease too much weight, Microsoft provided a "solid" feel. It fills the curves of your hands perfectly, while not seeming flimsy.
The controllers are available in both wireless and wired as well as a huge range of colours and designs such as Halo Reach, Fable III and Call of Duty themed ones, to name a few. It's worth mentioning that wireless ones obvoiusly need a battery pack on the back, whereas the wired ones do not. Hence, the wired controllers are arguably more comfortable as there is nothing blocking your fingers at the back.
The console controller for all past and present gaming developments has
been key to both the usability and appearance of each system. The Xbox
360 controller is arguably the most usable, nicest looking controller around
today as it combines excellently positioned buttons and mini joysticks with a
stylish, pure white exterior. However, how does this model compare to the
previous Xbox's controller design, and how does it fair against new
consoles, like the equally popular Sony Play Station 3 system.
Well, unlike the PS3, in comparison with its previous model, the Xbox
controller has been completely revitalised. The PS3 simply added two
triggers at the back instead of buttons (R2 and L2) and included a new
button for turning the console on and off in the centre. The Xbox 360
controller, since the original Xbox, has had a completely new shape and
new positioning of triggers, buttons and joysticks. It does mimic the old
controller on some wave-lengths, but the 360 device is much smaller,
more compact and perhaps vitally, easier to use.
The joystick sensitivity is at the perfect level. By sensitivity, I don't mean
how quickly moving the stick operates the game on screen, I mean how
weighty and controllable both sticks are physically. Their rubber coating
and indented top allow for ease in grip, and a unique spring-back system
and light level of manoeuvrability allows for accurate game-play on screen.
The controller's main buttons are very similar to the old Xbox models.
They are materialised in hard transparent plastic (probably HIP), with a coloured
underside inscribed with each individual buttons lettering - A, B, X, Y. The
buttons are easy to press, are evenly separated to minimise double-pressing,
and have a very low wearing capacity which allows for longer life.
The 'D-pad' or cross-pad is a feature included in most consoles dating back
to the end of the 20th century. They are a necessary part to the controllers
of today, despite having similar functionality to the joystick. Basically, D-pads,
instead of being used to move a character/car/plane/etc, are being used as
'option pads' for such tasks as changing equipped weapons and swapping
tactics during a football match. This is simply because of the joysticks greater
accuracy, but it didn't stop Microsoft developing the D-pad to a fine state.
The controller's on/off button which also acts as a 'home' button, linking
players to the consoles interface or window which opens in the centre of the
screen has also been designed well. Its made of a similar if not identical
material to the main buttons and when held down can bring up an option to
turn off the console altogether. Similarly, clicking it once when the console is off
(whether using a wired or wireless pad)will turn the machine on.
The general durability and wear of the product over time (having owned a
single controller for over 3-years) is very good. The only issue I've had with
my wired controller is that the rubber coating on one of the joysticks has
started to rupture and erode - believe me it's had a lot of use!
The controller's wire, which splits into two sections to stop you pulling the
whole console off its desk if yanked, is also very durable and well made.
Altogether, this is a product which will remain in public use for a long time
to come. I can't wait to see how Microsoft and other developers manage
to improve new designs as time goes by. We really are at the beginning of a
very long, very expensive era in the gaming and computing industry which
is sure to bring new and exciting hardware and software concepts to the
The 360 controller is a big step forward for the XBox team; if you owned an original XBox you'll know how large and awkward XBox controllers used to be, with the size and shape making it hard for even grown adults to use. The 360 controllers are now much more lightweight, its shape means it fits well to your hands and space is used more efficiently. What's more, additional buttons have been added above the left and right triggers, meaning the controller is now a very close design to Playstation controllers, making the 360 controller much more familiar.
The 360 controller is extremely easy to use, perhaps easier so than PS3 controllers, what with its colour-coded buttons and indented thumbsticks. If you're a regular console user, you'll adapt to it immediately - the buttons and thumbsticks on the 360 controller are positioned identically to previous XBox and Playstation incarnations. On the other hand, if you're not, you should pick it up quickly enough as its not complicated to use at all. The only problem I had as an original XBox user was getting used to the additional left and right buttons, but once you do it only means you can adapt more quickly when you're round at a friend's and using the similar PS3 controller. Also - though this may be just me - the XBox 360 controller is the best-looking and best-designed console controller around.
This particular model unfortunately is not wireless which is a major drawback for me. Although the controller otherwise acts in the same way as any 360 controller, the attached cable offers much less freedom of movement, meaning you have to be within nine feet of the console at all times, and can restrict your game playing. Take my advice and opt for a wireless controller instead, it makes for a much better lounging around and gaming experience. Wireless controllers do use up a lot of batteries very quickly, whereas the wired controller is charged by the console, but in my opinion it's worth battery money.
Many years ago I held the original sized Microsoft Xbox controller and absolutely hated it. I was used to small userfriendly Playstation controllers, so that mammoth Xbox controller with it's buttons here there and everywhere really put me off the Xbox for years. The controller was that bad. The Xbox 360 controller, however, is much better and I became an Xbox 360 convert early last year.
The controller, which can be picked up for under £20 if you shop around, particularly online, is a greyish white colour and looks fairly user friendly. It's easier to grip and even having little hands it fits fairly snugly into them and I have no problem reaching to the triggers which are placed on the very front of the controller.
It's wireless as standard, which is great and which we take for granted these days, but I remember having my controllers on wires (very annoying) so this for me is a great step forward.
There are lots of buttons on the controller which could be a little confusing at first, but basically, you have the 4 coloured action buttons A, B, X and Y, on the right of the controller, along with a rotating mini joy stick (depending on the game, this is usually for camera movement). In the very middle of the controller is a handily placed on/off button, from which you can shut down the individual controller and even the Xbox 360 in full. I love the fact I don't have to get up to switch the whole console off, I can do t simply by using the controller.
There is also another joystick on the left of the controller, which is usually for character movement, and a directional keypad, as well as collar and trigger buttons on each side, which are used for different purposes depending on the game. As I said, it can sound complicated, but once you're used to it, the buttons become second nature.
The controller takes 2 AA batteries and the battery section on the back is easy to get on and off, I've found, so when your controller helpfully flashes it's light to you to let you know it's battery is dying, it's not a problem to quickly change the power source.
Overall, this is a great controller, particularly once you get used to the buttons. Although larger than Playstation controllers, I still find it easy to hold even with fairly small girly hands. I find this to be an intuitive, flexible controller that works well in all the games I've ever played on the 360 and now I can't imagine using a smaller, less well equipped controller. It also wipes clean fairly easily if you get it dirty!
I heard that there were some complaints about the ergonomics of the original Microsoft Xbox controller. In my experience, fortunately these have been ironed out in the for the Xbox 360 controller.
Microsoft led the way with the move to a white controller. It has candy-coloured no the right-hand side and otherwise is an understated mix of white and grey. Certainly, it looks less like a boy's only toy than the all-black controller which comes as standard with the PS3.
In the wireless world we now live in, it is easy to forget how much of a step up it was to have a controller where you are not bound by wires. One of the first things this meant was that you could play your games from the comfort of your sofa(s) and not have to sit on the floor, tied as if by an umbilical cord to the console mothership. This is great when it comes to multiplayer games as, let's face it, how many living rooms have sofas all equidistant from the TV?
The second thing you may notice about the controller is its size. It is bigger than the PS3 offering, but in my opinion this really helps with the ergonomics. I have played for some hours without developing any sense of strain in my hands from holding a controller.
The controller has these in spades! Not only do you have the classic arcade set-up, with a directional pad on the left and A B X Y keys on the right, you also have two thumb-controlled joysticks and a collar and trigger button on each side, which can be controlled with your index fingers. The trigger button is great and works really well with gun-firing games.
Finally, I have used one of these white controllers for around a year now and I can confidently say that it doesn't pick up dirt easily at all. A quick wipe down with a damp soapy cloth would probably pick off most accumulated grime, not that I have had to do that yet.