One of the most cumbersome and sturdy controllers ever made was the Duke for the original Xbox some 17 years ago. The controller was a real handful, and now it's making a comeback for the Xbox One thanks to the folks at Hyperkin, and now you can find out when you can get your hands on the old-school controller for Microsoft's new-school console.
According to CNET, the Duke will be available starting in March of 2018 for $70. It's going to be $10 more than the traditional Xbox One controllers, which are typically available on the market for $59.99.
The article details how the original father of the Xbox, Seamus Blackley, decided to bring The Duke out of retirement. The controller was originally replaced with the Xbox Controller S shortly after its debut due to its size, heft and being quite uncomfortable for a lot of players. The design had a giant Xbox logo in the center of it, with the six face buttons on the right side, including the 'A', 'X', 'B', and 'Y' on one side and the white and black buttons above that. The menu button and start button were down at the bottom of the controller, with the digital pad just next to them on the left, and the left analog just above it.
The newer Xbox controllers have a much more ergonomic design, with the left analog stick positioned further off to the upper left of the controller while the digital pad is located closer to the center of the controller. The right analog hasn't changed position much but that giant Xbox logo has been removed and replaced with a much smaller Xbox logo that also works as a guide button. The white and black buttons have also been replaced and changed into left and right bumpers, similar to the PlayStation DualShock controllers.
Nevertheless, if you've really found yourself being fond of the old Duke design, the controller is scheduled to arrive this spring. According to Blackley, the design will be exactly like the original controller from the early 2000s, except the logo in the center of the controller actually works. That's right, you can press it and the OLED will mimic the original boot up sequence for the OG Xbox.
Blackley mentioned to CNET that interestingly enough, the original boot up sequence for the OG Xbox wasn't a video file but was actually a procedurally generated sequence based on the OG Xbox's Nvidia GPU.
For the revival of the Duke controller, Hyperkin had to make a few adjustments so that the controller could be properly compatible with current Xbox games, so there's a second set of bumpers on the controller in addition to the white and black buttons, so you can follow the prompts correctly, since it's likely tough to figure out if white or black means left or right in most games.
The Duke is infamous in gaming for being both cumbersome and sturdy. A long-lasting controller that doesn't give an inch. Nevertheless, after Twitter campaigned to bring the controller back for the Xbox One, Hyperkin has been more than happy to oblige, so you'll see it made available this March for $70.