The Duke 2.0 is Almost Here

Grizzy Mar 13, 2018 at 3:37 AM

  1. Grizzy

    XPG Administrator

    Mar 21, 2015
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    How much is nostalgia worth to you?
    Also, how big are your hands?

    Don’t worry I’m asking those questions for an actual reason: the Duke is back

    The original Xbox controller, nicknamed the “Duke”, will be back as a fully functional Xbox One controller. And except for a couple small functional details (and one large cosmetic addition!), it’s exactly the same as it used to be.


    Seamus Blackley on Twitter

    (Yes, that's the original Xbox bootup animation)

    This new release of the original Xbox controller will have the exact same shape and button layout (on its front) and will use the same materials to keep it completely true to the feel of the original. The new features will be the spiffy OLED screen, a USB hook-up, no memory card slot, and two small shoulder buttons. These shoulder buttons needed to added to function with the demands of newer Xbox 360 and Xbox One games.


    So why is this happening, and who is bringing it back you might be wondering. Seamus Blackley, who was the “father” of the original Xbox and who helped assemble the team that designed and built the device, was responsible for the design and the ensuing dislike of the controller that came from many people. Most thought it was ridiculously large and clunky, and Xbox started shipping their consoles with a slimmed down version of the controller shortly afterward.

    "The controller was the size of most kids' bedrooms in Japan! I saw this petition of Japanese game developers who said we had to make a smaller controller. When 'Controller S' got approved, I thought [the S stood for Seamus] -- I figured it was to mock me because they thought it would fail," Blackley says.


    Compared to Nintendo 64 or the Sega Dreamcast the Duke seems right at home with its size. But those consoles debuted in 1996 and 1999 respectively, and the Xbox’s main competitors (PS2 and Nintendo Gamecube) had much smaller controllers.

    But I really liked this controller! I remember playing the original Halo and thinking it was so cool that those black and white buttons corresponded to specific things (flashlight and grenade-switch) in the Master Chief’s arsenal. And apparently others liked it too, which is why it’s coming back.

    "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," Blackley says. "One of the guys who follows me on Twitter tweets that we should reissue it ... it got nearly 2,000 likes and retweets."

    The Xbox 360 controller is overall my favorite controller ever (I still use it everyday) but the Duke still has a special place in my heart. I'm just not sure if the nostalgia is worth 70 of my dollars....

    That's right, for just $69.99 the new Duke could be yours... It will be available April 30th according to GameStop (they're accepting pre-orders now, link below), but this could just be a place-holder date. It used to say April 1st!

    What do you guys think? Will you be picking this up? And what is your favorite console controller?


    Pre-order now available at Gamestop:
    Hyperkin DUKE for Xbox One - Wired Controller - Only at GameStop

    More info on the history of the original Xbox controller: The Duke, the original Xbox controller / doorstop, returns for $70 in March (hands-on)


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