Microsoft has announced a brand new Xbox controller. It’s called the Pulse Red, and it’s the same colour as the red of the Nintendo Switch. It’s actually quite a nice controller, and goes well with the one that you got with the Xbox Series X/S. It’s an incredibly swish-looking design, red all over with a white underline at the bottom. Pretty much everything on the controller is red, apart from the small section in the face buttons that has a reference for the original controller’s button colours. While it’s not a limited edition console design, it is a very nice piece of hardware that’s actually something worth considering.
The thing that gets me is how similar the red colour used in the controller is to the red of the Nintendo Switch’s. On the Neon Red and Blue version of the Switch, you get a Red Joy-Con that’s a very close colour to this. I reckon that Microsoft has seen how good the Switch looks, with the Neon bundle being the most popular, and is now attempting to capitalise on that fact. It makes sense. If I were to make a controller, I’d look at what was popular on the market.
This design feels almost too on the nose though. It’s like Microsoft is looking Nintendo in the eye while they explain an idea that Nintendo already told them, but are describing it as their own with a slight embellishment. It’s not to say that Microsoft is stealing the design or owes Nintendo anything, but it does show that there’s not much originality in the design.
I’ve always loved the design angle of Xbox Controllers because they’re so versatile. Microsoft even has a system that allows you to create your own, customising every single element possible. This controller is very basic when it comes down to the details though, and I don’t think that does the legacy of Xbox any justice. Hopefully, they’ll put out something that’s a bit crazier when they launch a limited edition console later down the line. If not, it’s time to start ordering custom controllers online again, avoiding all this pre-made stuff.