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Xbox World Magazine has unveiled a report that describes the controller for Microsoft’s heavily rumored Xbox 720 console and it sounds very…familiar.
According to XWM, the controller will be an HD screen surrounded by traditional 360 joysticks and buttons. If you think that sounds similar to the Wii-U controller then you’re not alone, because that’s just what it sounds like to us as well. While the technology seems like it could have some cool uses, one has to wonder just how much it will affect traditional gaming. The 360 controller is often regarded as nearly the epitome of video game controllers and the main thing that brings it that reputation is it’s shape and the way it fits into your hand. The two analog sticks fit perfectly for dual stick games and the triggers are extremely natural to use. Beyond that, it’s just very comfy to hold.
When we start looking at ways to fit an HD screen into a controller it almost always ends up large and blocky…just like the Wii-U controller. It’s not comfortable to hold and doesn’t feel as precise. Beyond that, costs are a major concern. We already know that the Wii-U will actually only use one “screen controller” per console. Will the Xbox 720 have the same limitation?
On the flipside, there are some potential exciting uses for a controller with a big, pretty screen in it. Microsoft wants us to imagine using the controller as a remote controller when watching TV or a web browser when you’re on the internet (which is ironic since the 360 doesn’t have a web browser at all). Further, they implant the idea of using it as a portable console when on the go, which signifies that Microsoft could make a real push into the mobile gaming arena next-gen.
With both Nintendo and Microsoft using controllers with screens in them, it seems almost a given that Sony will enable you to use the PS Vita as a controller for the PS4 if you should choose to.
Note for the dimwitted: The image above is a mock-up and not an actual shot of the Xbox 720 controller.