These Xbox Controller Prototypes Are Absolutely Ridiculous

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The original Xbox controller isn’t exactly the most comely creation out there but holy shit, we can now see what might have been and it is horrendous. 

Seamus Blackley, one of the key players involved in the creation of the original Xbox, has shared some concepts on Twitter for Microsoft’s OG control pad.

Let’s take a look at the pad we all know and love first, before diving into altogether murkier territory.

Ah, soothing. I never thought I’d be happy to see that controller, but life is all about surprises.

Anyway, the designs in question date back to 1999, while the Xbox didn’t actually launch until 2001. As you can see, there was lots of room for improvement…

You may note that there’s a similarity between these designs and the controllers for Sega’s ill-fated Dreamcast console.

Each of the concepts seem to depict the same VMU (Visual Memory Unit) design that the Dreamcast used. Microsoft ultimately ended up borrowing the concept in their own way with the Xbox controller’s memory card slot.

Take a closer look at each design below.

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In other weird and wild Xbox news, it turns out Microsoft approached both Sony and Nintendo with the idea of teaming up and making a console.

Both companies said no. Who knows? Maybe they got a look at these controller designs and decided to sack it right off.


Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore

Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn't gotten out of his mid 00's emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.