The long-awaited reveal of the Xbox Series X yielded answers to many questions surrounding Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console. However, the company’s decision to stick with AA batteries on the power supply front baffled some gamers. Yet the reason behind this engineering decision is extremely straightforward, as Microsoft told Eurogamer.
It’s all about consumer choice
Namely, the Xbox Series X is a console designed to both keep Microsoft’s existing player base and attract some Sony PlayStation loyalists. That’s precisely why its controller will continue offering a feature that its rival abandoned long ago. Xbox Series development chief, Jason Ronald, explained the intent was to allow versatility and widen the array of options available to consumers – gamers, that is. Why buy a controller with a built-in cell that’s bound to degrade if you can simply keep switching AA batteries instead, even if you’re using the rechargeable kind? The move dovetails with Microsoft’s “player-friendly” philosophy as the Series X controllers are remaining mostly unchanged compared to the previous generation, thus offering a rather familiar experience to players.
Besides, the Xbox Series X controllers are made with cross-platform usage in mind, so that players can connect them to a PC or even the original Xbox One. In other words, they can also draw power via a USB cable, Ronald confirmed. As for the generational differences between the two gamepad series, the Xbox Series X controllers will be slightly smaller with the aim of offering improved accessibility. Likewise, a new matte finish covering the trigger buttons and bumpers will be aiming to allow for a much firmer grip. Under the hood, the Series X controller has enhanced Bluetooth capabilities and a more intuitive d-pad, Ronald claims.
Microsoft’s Xbox Series X and Sony’s PlayStation 5 are both set to hit the market during this year’s holiday season. Until then, the next-gen console wars are expected to continue ramping up, with both industry giants being likely to share much more information about their new gaming hardware in the coming months.