About a month ago I mentioned that the remake of the original fat Xbox controller, dubbed “The Duke”, was getting a repolish and re-release for the Xbox One X. I was able to get my hands on one of those big guys, which was surprisingly not easy to find at a physical store in my area. As soon as I got home I cracked it open, snapped some pictures, and took it for a spin.
Right out of the box nostalgia comes flooding out from the seams. If you grew up with the OG Xbox, you probably remember stomping some grubs in Halo while holding a controller that was roughly the size of your head. Seventeen years later, and this thing is still almost as big as my head. As far as the details, hyperkin nailed the size, look and feel, about as dead on as possible. The notable changes to the controller are the addition of the new shoulder bumpers that have become a staple on current generation controllers, as well as the middle area of the controller, which now opens your dashboard menu and plays the original Xbox start up animation every time you press it. Despite my lack of super sophisticated cameras, or the ability to even hold one still, I took a video that shows this feature.
One other cool feature, is that the black and white buttons of old, now act as the bumper buttons as well. It’s not necessary by any means, but I thought it was a fun addition. One thing that is kind of awkward to get used to though, is the menu button (or start button as it used to be) placement. As far as replicating the original controller go, the buttons are where they should be, but after years of getting used to those buttons being above your D-Pad over the course of two console generations, trying to go back to them being below the D-pad is disorientating at first.
Overall, this controller IS who you thought it was, and it actually handles quite well in most games I’ve tried it with, despite spending nearly 15 years holding much smaller controllers at this point. This is a phenomenal replica, and a piece of nostalgia worth owning for collectors. The only downside is, while the nostalgia is great, and hyperkin knocked this remake out of the park, you’re paying $70 for a wired controller. On one hand, it lends to the authenticity, on the other hand, it would have been nice to have had the option to use it in a wireless capacity given the premium price point. Regardless, if you loved the original, you’ll love the new hotness.