E3 2015, Xbox One Elite Controller Hands On

The Xbox One Elite controller might seem like an overpriced money grab, but the enhancements made to the feel and precision are surprisingly real, and quite useful in fact.

Xbox One Elite
Xbox One Elite

The small changes made to the Xbox One Elite controller add up to some very tangible differences that competitive players and nearly everyone could potentially enjoy.

Of course $150 for a controller seems a bit crazy, to anyone. The stock controller included should be just fine, and for the most part it does the job just great. But the moment you wrap your hands around the soft-touch material and feel the cold steel of the new trigger system below, then you'll understand why it might be worth it.

The weight has increased to a point where it feels far more substantial in hand, but not so much that it could get tiring. I only had around 10 minutes to use it while playing Gears of War Collection, but it disappeared in the hand. The materials used are decidedly premium too. The metal pieces are nice touches, but also helps to keenly differentiate what you're touching on the backside. Maybe a small touch, but it's important nonetheless.

The triggers themselves are well machined with obvious actuation points. The shoulder buttons also feel much tighter built, built to far higher tolerances with far less mushiness to them. Once you find the amount of pressure to fire your weapon, it's easy to turn that into muscle memory. It just feels far better.

The Xbox One Elite controller is one of very few devices that let you explore the digital world before you, it needs to be ergonomically sound and allow us to seamlessly interact with what we're seeing. The build quality and small details can sometimes be very important, especially if they end up becoming a substantial upgrade like this. We need good controllers.

$150 for a controller might seem absurd, and it does certainly border on that, but perhaps the improvements will be something that you appreciate. Not everyone will make use of the better made controller, or even care, but if you think you might need a more precise shoulder button and trigger buttons on the back, then it's definitely worth checking out.

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