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When Microsoft's first Xbox came onto the scene, it had to compete with both the mighty Sony Playstation2 and Nintendo's GameCube. Forcing a gap in the market and offering up a good amount of 'Xbox Exclusives', it gathered a large fan base thanks to such exclusivity in the games of Halo, KOTOR and games previously scheduled only for PC. To control their games though, they had to come up with something good - which that didn't manage at first with the original Xbox controller being a chunky handful dubbed the 'plate'. Eventually came this, the 'S' controller, a slimmer, smaller and sleeker model - being 3 of the possible identities behind its name - which was the original release in Japan (meaning the fatty was probably made to cater to chubby western fingers!), though offered no difference in gameplay other than size and layout. Most gamers know that Sony pretty much perfected the art of controllers with their Playstation's first release - which has remained unchanged (except introducing wireless technology) through 3 generation consoles. How did the 'S' compete? Well lets take a look shall we..
Coming in various colours related to the console, the 'S' comes in standard black, green and clear (crystal). The buttons are almost identical to that of a Playstation's, in that they have the same number and relatively similar concepts. The difference being the main 4 buttons, instead of being shapes, are A, X, Y & B in primary colours (+ green). Start & Back (Select) are lifted, as are clickable look & move analogue sticks, L & R triggers and the Directional Pad. Where the PS has 4 bumpers, the 'S' makes up for with the previously mentioned triggers and small black & white buttons. New models from several manufacturers would include wireless, turbo modes and even switches to enable/disable vibration, which is always on with this (a bit redundant as most games feature this choice in the options). Thanks to the preference of buttons over bumpers, the 'S' is more focused on using thumbs as only the triggers require index fingers. One thing that this has over its counterpart is its memory card slots - which are quite large and not much to brag about as most gamers didn't bother with the memory cards (what with xbox live) and so where only handy for transporting game saves/profiles. The length of the cable is around 2 metres - more than adequate (some time annoying as you must wrap it around the unit) - with a disconnector slot... which is another pointless addition as it bears no importance whatsoever. There are no flashing lights to distract, nor rubbery grips (except on sticks) that some variations include. Overal, the transition between PS and Xbox is practically seamless.
This is where the controller critically fails. Anyone who has held system link games with friends will know of the complications involved. Games with several people obviously require as many controllers and as such, someone may have forgotten or not own one and will either sit out of the fun or end up using a filthy 'glitchy' one. Here's a quick list of the common problems endured via general use of gaming.
- Analogue stick rubber peels away with use, revealing harsh plastic
- Analogue sticks break, no longer offering the choice to 'click'
- Analogue sticks can permanently be stuck, moving in one direction on screen slowly
- Wire case can easily dislodge from the model and reveal vital inner wires
- Buttons can stick inside the model if any sort of liquid hits them
- Triggers can collapse inside themselves
- Controller ports can break inside the console (even though there are 4)
With countless imitations and knocks offs, you'd think one company would be able to create a solid and stable version but no, I am yet to come across a decent model even after 10 years of use. Of course, because of the state these can get into, they are practically worthless unless new - then they are still over a tenner. So you need to treat them like gold-dust, knowing they are fragile and that even without any intese use, they will deteriorate over time.
I feel this was the first excellent controller released by Microsoft for the Xbox. The original Xbox controller seemed large and bulky and just didn't look that great. The newer crystal S version that was released appealed to me and I immediately bought one. It's a much improved controller and somewhat similar to the modern day Xbox 360 controller in design and features.
The controller is a 'crystal' one, not meaning it's worth millions but meaning it's translucent so you can partially see through to the machinery inside. Some may like this and others may despise of the design, but I personally think it's quite interesting.
The layout of the controller was slightly re-designed. The shape is similar but it's a lot smaller and fits in your hand better. It's still extremely comfortable to hold with nice round edges and it doesn't feel too small and awkward. Two handles extend from the lower end where you grip, and your fingers curve nicely round the back with your index fingers positoned perfectly to use the pressure-sensitive triggers. Your thumbs are free to use the two analogue sticks and action buttons.
There is a directional pad to the left side, which actually can be pressed in eight directions including up, down, left and right and the diagonal ones too. The anaologue sticks are very smooth and nice to use, with a soft covering. The start and back buttons have been moved to the left of the controller with the black and white ones on the right below the A, B, X and Y buttons.
The controller has two rumble packs built in to provide tactile feedback from games. These work very well and you can actually see them working (spinning) whilst using the controller. The six analogue buttons including the sticks have 256 levels of sensitivity for precise gaming. The controller also has ports for accessories such as memory cards in the upper part. It doesn't have wireless technology like the latest Xbox 360 controllers and the wire can get quite tangled in itself, which is annoying. A silver Xbox logo lies in the middle of the controller on a silver plaque.
The controller looks very smart and is certainly better than the original Xbox one. For around £10, you can buy one of these second hand off places like eBay and Amazon. I'd certainly recommend them as they feel a lot nicer to hold and are built for great gaming.
Thanks for reading!
When the XBox was first released in 2001, the console was a revelation. Microsoft had created a device that would offer original, exciting gaming with graphics surpassing all other consoles of its era. But there was always one problem: the XBox controller. Nicknamed 'The Fatty' and voted 'Blunder of the Year' by Game Informer in 2001, the original XBox controller was indeed overweight and very awkward to use.
Which is whe Microsoft quickly replaced the controller with the XBox controller S. Although more lightweight and more efficient, overall, this always felt to me like a rushed way of apologising for the bulky original XBox controllers. Although much closer to the design of the modern standard XBox 360 controller, the XBox controller S is still a flawed device.
For one, the design doesn't entirely remove all problems of the original. Buttons-wise, the black and white buttons are inexplicably and confusingly relocated to underneath the AB/XY buttons and are no match for the additional left and right buttons incorporated on the later 360 controllers. The controller still also doesn't mould that well to your hands - the designers have made the device smaller but not taken into account how it would fit in the palms of the gamer, and the controller S is, as a result, still uncomfortable to use. Secondly, the controller is wired - this wouldn't have been a problem at the time of the controller's introduction as this was the only option, but in an age where you can now get wireless controllers as standard, this is a step back. Lastly - and this may not be much of a problem to some - it just looks ugly, closer in resemblance to one of those cheap, unofficial knock-offs than an official XBox controller. This may be because I'm used to the nicer-looking 360 controllers, but, again, it's a step back.
For those who were original XBox users, the XBox controller S was a step forward, ditching the bulky awkwardness of the original XBox controller and going for something much sleeker. This was the best model for your money at the time of the XBox's heydey. However, for users now, the controller S feels like a bit of a step back. In comparison to the beautifully, efficiently, perfectly-designed standard 360 controller, the controller S is still slightly clunky to use, is still a wired rather than wireless controller and it sure aint easy on the eyes.
I used this controller for my original Xbox games console and it never let me down. It's odd as it's wired whereas nowadays, you get wireless Xbox 360 controllers along with wireless controllers for the Playstation 3 and Wii. However, it's pretty comfortable to hold and of great quality.
You can get it in black or crystal colours. The black one is simply opaque black and the crystal one has a translucent appearance, which is pretty modern where you can see through to some of the inside mechanics. The controller has a built in rumble, which functions in the two longer sides of the controller.
This S version is a slightly smaller version of the original controller but it still has that bulky feel to it. The controller has a 3 metre extension cable, which plugs into the front of the Xbox. It has the A, B, Y and X buttons, which are green, red, yellow and blue respectively to the right hand side. The black and white buttons are just below. There is an analogue stick to the right and another one to the left, which have 256 different sensitivities, depending on how much you push them, which is ideal for things such as racing games. The start and back buttons are to the left as well as a directional pad, which actually moves in 8 different directions (diagonally too).
There are also two triggers on top of the controller, which are ideal for shooting games as well as racing games, acting as an accelerator and brake. There is a plaque with the Xbox logo in the centre of the controller. You can get the black and crystal controllers from £7.95 and £10.65 respectively on amazon.co.uk, which is cheap if you still have the Xbox and are looking to play multiplayer games with friends or over Xbox Live.
Thanks for reading,
The Xbox Controller S was the replacement for Xbox's original controller. There were literally thousands of complaints to Microsoft about the size of the gamepad for the Xbox, and this was Microsoft's solution. It is now available fairly cheaply in most game stores, and definately online, due to it's age. The controller plugs directly into the Xbox console via one of the front ports.
The controller is compact and lightweight, and fits comfortably into the hands of almost anyone. User's of the Xbox 360 console will be immediatly familiar with the controller. The controller is wired, and has a lead which is around 1.5m long. There is also a connector in the middle of the lead is easily detached and reattached. This is helpful when switching teams in multiplayer games, and this also prevents any damage coming to the console or the end of the lead by accidently tugging too hard on the lead. The controller itself is also very durable, I played with mine for nearly 3 years, and there was only minimal damage to the controller.
The controller has 8 buttons, two control stick, one D-Pad and two triggers. The controller has been designed perfectly for First Person Shooter games, though it works very well with all game genres. All of the buttons press in easily, and the triggers and sticks are very sensitive and easy to use. The only complaint I would have is that the black and white buttons look a bit out of place, and are can sometimes be hard to reach, especially during fast paced gameplay.
There are a few different designs available for the Xbox Controller, the main one being the black one that comes with the console. There is also the crystal one that is pictured, as well as some limited edition variations that are harder to find, but should be easy to find on eBay, if not for a slightly elevated price.
Overall this controller is a very easy to use, and compliments the games that are available for the Xbox system well. It should be noted however that these controllers do not work with the Xbox 360 console.
The Xbox controller S is the redesigned controller for the Microsoft Xbox console.
After so many complaints about the brick that was the original Xbox controller, Microsoft came up with a redesigned pad called the Xbox controller S.
Firstly the pad is a lot smaller so it will fit into your hands much better. The black and white buttons have been moved to below the four main face buttons where they are much more accessible.
The controller also features two triggers which make it great for playing racing games and first person shooters. The layout is also very well set up for playing first person shooters, with one analogue stick raised over the other.
For the first time you will actually be able to enjoy playing your Xbox as you will not have to suffer pains in your hand.
You can get this controller in many different colours, the standard Xbox black, crystal which is see through and in green. All of these controllers function identically so just pick your favourite one.
This controller is much like the one for the Xbox360 which is probably one of the best controllers ever created, if you have an original Xbox you should make sure all your controllers are the Xbox controller S.
You can get one of these controllers for about 5 to 10 pounds so if you are still using the original pad with your Xbox definitely upgrade to this.