The latest news from Microsoft is that the Xbox Series X controllers will still use AA batteries.
After fan request, Microsoft announced that the Xbox Series X will still use removable batteries, something that competitor Sony has stayed away from.
During an interview with Digital Foundry (as reported by Eurogamer), Xbox Partner Director of Program Management Jason Ronald expanded on why Microsoft took this decision. The reason behind the choice was mainly to give the player various options. According to him, the split between those that want a built-in power pack and those that prefer removable batteries is about 50/50.
“What it comes down to is when actually talking to gamers, it’s kind of polarising and there is a strong camp that really want AAs. So just giving flexibility is the way to please both [sets of] people… You can use a rechargeable battery pack and it works just like it does on the Elite, [but] it is a separate thing.”
Sony’s PlayStation controllers have, in the past, used built-in battery packs which are charged via a USB cable. It is fully expected that Sony will incorporate the same system into the PlayStation 5 controller.
Although Microsoft controllers have always used batteries in the past, there have been rechargeable battery packs available for their controllers, whether they be official Microsft ones or third-party. Initially, this move might seem odd, but, as pointed out by John Linneman from Digital Foundry, being able to remove your controller’s batteries means that it should last longer than those with built-in power packs as their internal cells can fade over the years.
Microsoft seems to be sticking to their guns and refining the design we’ve all become accustomed to rather than trying to design something new. This is a smart move as many have agreed over the years that the Xbox consoles have some of the most comfortable controllers out there. We will just have to wait and see if this still rings true for the Xbox Series X when it releases.