At an event here at E3 discussing the future of Xbox and PC gaming, Microsoft also discussed the new Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 and answered questions about its durability.
I asked an Xbox spokesperson about gamers who have frequently complained that rubber would peel off of the controller or break in other ways.
“We built it from the ground up,” the spokesperson said. It’s a complete redesign, not a simple 2.0 iteration, I was told. Microsoft heard the feedback and claims to have kept it in mind with this new design.
The new rubberized grip wraps all the way around the handles, and I’m told those grips were part of the focus on durability.
The new design has some other upgrades, including Bluetooth support, an internal rechargeable battery, adjustable tension thumb sticks with new shapes (classic, wide dome) and a USB Type-C port. There are also three customizable on-board profiles with indicator lights. It will sell for $179.99 on November 4, though Microsoft is taking pre-orders now.
I also got to spend some hands-on time with the new controller, and it does feel solid. The rubber grips were comfortable, and I was able to try the hair triggers in a demo game Xbox had set up (which was suspiciously like junior Fortnite, but just for teaching people the controller’s features), and they felt great for rapid firing.
Is it really tougher than the previous version? We’ll find out for sure when the controller launches this fall and gamers get their sweaty palms all over it.