Xbox co-creator embarrassed by the console’s controller design

Brad Stephenson

Xbox One Console and TV

One of the co-creators of Microsoft’s original Xbox video game console, Seamus Blackley, took to Twitter earlier today to share his thoughts on the creation of the Xbox’s first controller and didn’t hold back when it came to discussing its obvious design flaws and some of the politics that lead to its creation.

“It was embarrassingly enormous,” Blackley admits in a tweet before revealing that Microsoft completely ignored public opinion on the controller’s look. “Politically I had no juice to fix it; they ignored focus tests; I understand you can land a helicopter on it. The guy in charge of the controller picked a vendor that couldn’t make the electronics small, so they made the design huge to fit around it.”

Interestingly, Microsoft’s eventual change to a newer smaller controller was motivated by the console’s launch in the Japanese market. Blackley explains, “The Japanese were alarmed by the huge controller; the feedback was taken and the team did an amazing job shipping the smaller version.”

Microsoft would continue to evolve the design of the controller both with the launches of the Xbox 360 and Xbox One consoles but also within each console’s generation as well. The Xbox One, for example, launched with its own controller but Microsoft soon release an improved one, the Xbox One Elite, and in August of this year launched yet another iteration with the refreshed Xbox One S console that looks similar to the original Xbox One controller but featured Windows 10 PC compatibility and a variety of color options.

Do you have a favorite Xbox controller? Let us know in the comments below.