The original Xbox's oversized “Duke” controller has been revived, and returns this March

The original Xbox's oversized “Duke” controller has been revived, and returns this March

The original Xbox’s infamously oversized first controller – affectionately referred to as The Duke – has been revived, and returns this March.

Its shock revival is the work of Seamus Blackley, also known as the daddy of the original Xbox, and peripheral producer Hyperkin. But why resurrect a controller that is usually cited as one of many worst in console historical past?

In an interview with Cnet, Blackley has tried to reply that query, shedding some mild on the genesis on this very unlikely of initiatives. It all started, says Blackley, after he shared an outdated picture of The Duke on Twitter. “I discovered to my horror and fascination that The Duke was an object of nostalgia and comfort and happiness and childhood memories, and all these people with big hands saying it was the only controller that was comfortable”.

According to Blackley, “One of the guys who follows me on Twitter tweets that we should reissue it … it got nearly 2,000 likes and retweets.” And from there, the wild concept to revive this most vilified of retro controllers was born.

To the obvious shock of virtually everybody, Microsoft (thanks largely to move of Xbox Phil Spencer’s enthusiasm for the mission) gave its approval to revive The Duke. “It’s unlike anything that’s happened in games before,” says Blackley, “It’s f****** remarkable. I don’t know a lot of brands that would rerelease an unpopular product from the past … and Phil, I think correctly understands that it sends a message. He understands that it sends a message about how serious Xbox is about its heritage, and about the fans.”

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The new Duke’s shoulder bumpers (Image supply: Sean Buckley/CNET)

The new Duke that followers will quickly be capable to buy is not precisely the identical because the original, nonetheless; though the shape issue and button placement is near-identical, a number of tweaks have been made. For starters, it has misplaced the original reminiscence card slots, and now contains a USB cable to attach it to an Xbox One or PC. What’s extra, the brand new model has seen the addition of two tiny bumper buttons to make the controller suitable with fashionable games.

Its most notable addition, although, comes within the type of a brand new OLED display screen beneath the massive spherical “jewel” button within the centre of the controller. Now, everytime you press the button, the basic Xbox startup animation will play. This, says Blackley, is a characteristic he needed within the original Duke from the start.

The new Duke shall be suitable with Xbox One and PC at launch, which is anticipated to occur in March. And should you’re tempted to reacquaint your self with the original Xbox’s only-occassionally-beloved brick controller, it will set you again $69.99 USD or round 50.

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