Report: Next Xbox controller to feature 'improved ergonomics'

By Andrew Yoon, Mar 20, 2013 3:45pm PDT

Microsoft has remained oddly silent about its next Xbox console, codenamed Durango. However, an apparent leak of the system SDK reveals some new tidbits about Redmond's next-gen effort.

Documentation posted by VGLeaks reiterates the Kinect requirement we heard about months ago. "Every Durango console will be sold with a new high-fidelity Kinect Sensor, which will be required for the system to operate," the help file says.

Although the next Xbox will ship with an upgraded Kinect, you'll still use a controller with buttons to operate the system. As with PS4, it appears the move to the next generation means you'll have to pick up new controllers. Durango will feature a new controller that will "make the best-in-class Xbox 360 controller even better." According to the documentation, "it will have low-latency wireless connectivity to the console, and improved ergonomics." Whatever that means.

"System interactions that use the controller will be simplified to make them easier for noncore gamers," the file points out, emphasizing Microsoft's expanded focus for the Xbox brand.

Intriguingly, it appears that although the next Xbox will include a Blu-ray drive, "all games will be installed on the hard drive. Play from the optical disc will not be supported." While you will still be able to buy games at retail, discs will be used solely to install content onto the hard drive. "During gameplay, games will not use content from the optical disc. An installation system is being designed that will allow gamers to begin playing while the game is being installed on the hard drive rather than waiting until installation is complete."

Rumors have persisted that the next Xbox will block the ability to play used games, and some theorize that the installation requirement could reflect such a policy. However, the original Xbox 360 was also plagued with many hard drive issues--including failing disc drives. By mandating hard drive installations, Microsoft could also extend the life of the next Xbox by removing one of the main sources of wear and tear on the disc drives.

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