PS5 and Xbox Two under siege as shots fired by brand new Mad Box reveal

"Sexy is back!"

PS5 and Xbox Two rival Mad Box

Fresh off the back of a dramatic first-look reveal of the PS5 and Xbox Two next-gen console rival, the Mad Box, its maker Slightly Mad Studios has followed up almost immediately with yet another big announcement, with chief executive Ian Bell unveiling the system's controller concept design.

The design of the controller was unveiled on Bell's Twitter account, with the CEO posting a Tweet that said, "First look at the Mad Box controller concept. Enjoy!" along with four images of the controller and Mad Box, before posting two follow-up Tweets that said "Sexy is back!" and then, with a further controller image attached, "Sneaky additional image…".

Here are the revealing Tweets in full:

Looking at the controller images it appears that the Mad Box controller looks set right now to feature a screen built in front and centre, which can then show game-specific information and content, a bit like the Sega Dreamcast controller could when inserted with a VMU, as well as the controller's battery life and connectivity status. One image also shows an in-display keyboard, which indicates that the controller's screen looks set to be touch sensitive, too.

PS5 and Xbox Two rival Mad Box

One of the recently unveiled Mad Box controller concept images. Will the PS5 and Xbox Two's controllers be able to compete?

Other information gleaned from the images include the fact that the Mad Box controller looks set to feature "precision triggers" and "rear paddles", as well as light-up panels and a glowing Mad Box logo. In terms of layout and style, the Mad Box controller concept seems to carry a similar layout to the Xbox One controller, with two thumbsticks, a d-pad and four X, Y, B, A buttons, with each capable of being lit up by a surrounding circular light zone - a bit like Nacon PlayStation 4 Revolution Pro.

PS5 and Xbox Two rival Mad Box

Will "precision triggers" give the Mad Box an edge in the next-gen console war against the PS5 and Xbox Two?

As with the Mad Box system itself, which CEO Bell noted "might be slightly amended over time", we're guessing that what we're looking at here is not how the final Mad Box controller will look, and especially so considering that the system is not due to ship until "around three years time".

However, for Bell to be sharing these controller concept images, as well as those for the Mad Box console itself, which is being specced to be a PS5 and next Xbox rival, it suggests some confidence on behalf of Slightly Mad Studios that this is the sort of thing it is looking to bring to market.

PS5 and Xbox Two rival Mad Box

An in-controller screen looks set to offer game-specific content and touch functionality. Can we expect similar innovation in the PS5 and Xbox Two controllers?

Can the Mad Box break the slated next-gen console duopoly of the PS5 and Xbox Two? For now that definitely remains to be seen, however if Bell's earlier comments that Slightly Mad Studios are "not playing around here" and that it is "time to raise the bar, substantially" with a system that will truly be "beyond next gen", then anything is possible.

One thing is for sure, though, with the PS5 and Xbox Two currently called by industry analysts to be getting reveals in 2020, if the Mad Box does indeed come out in 2022 then it may be facing a market with two already established major players.

Robert Jones

Rob has been writing about computing, gaming, mobile, home entertainment technology, toys (specifically Lego and board games), smart home and more for over 15 years. As the editor of PC Gamer, and former Deputy Editor for, you can find Rob's work in magazines, bookazines and online, as well as on podcasts and videos, too. Outside of his work Rob is passionate about motorbikes, skiing/snowboarding and team sports, with football and cricket his two favourites.