Xbox Series X refuses to scrap this outdated feature

Microsoft rolls out changes to its next gen controller but keeps its AA battery compatibility

Xbox Series X controller
(Image credit: Microsoft)

The Xbox Series X has been revealed in all its glory since it was first unveiled last year. We got more details last month and Microsoft now has all of the specs for its next gen console listed on its official website. Sony has finally stepped up to delve into the innards of the PS5, with PlayStation lead system architect, Mark Cerny, doing a deep dive this week.   

One of the features that Microsoft has surprisingly decided to keep around as we head into the next generation of console hardware is the use of AA batteries in its controller, which seems massively archaic, but the company has defended the decision.  

Sony scrapped batteries in its controllers when it launched the DualShock 3 with a rechargeable battery pack. Aside from the general annoyance of seemingly never being able to find batteries when you need them, having a high end device use them seems out of place in a world of slick smartphones with wireless charging. Not to mention the cost. You can charge the PS4's DualShock 4 with a micro USB cable, or - if you value convenience without the clutter - a charging dock

The cables are cheap enough, and while the dock is more expensive, it's a one-time cost that will last the lifetime of your console if you treat it right. Microsoft, on the other hand, has continued to opt for battery-powered controllers this generation, which means gamers can continue to buy AA batteries for the lifetime of the console, fork out for rechargeable AA batteries, or buy a rechargeable battery pack. YouTuber Austin Evans got a hands on with the Xbox Series X and its controller , and he shows this off in the video below at around the 18.20 mark. 

It seems an odd decision to ship the Xbox Series X controller - a console that has made a huge technological leap from the Xbox One - with batteries; something we use to power remote controls, or kitchen clocks, and are a general annoyance. But Microsoft holds that this decision keeps the players and their needs front and centre. 

"The Xbox Wireless Controller uses AA batteries in order to offer choice to players," said a spokesperson from Microsoft. "As with all our work at Xbox, we place the player at the center of the gaming experience, and so we decided to maintain AA batteries for choice. 

"This way, gamers can choose whether they use disposable AA batteries, rechargeable AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack."   

While offering players a choice is admirable, keeping high tech, premium devices anchored to antiquated means of juicing them up seems a little off. Maybe even a bit cheap. When you set up that sleek, black, mini monolith in your living room, it's a bit jarring to then be rummaging around the recesses of your junk drawer, trying to fish out batteries before you can play. But let us know what you think!  

Source: Business Insider

Shabana Arif

Shabana worked at as News Editor covering tech and gaming, and has been writing about video games for almost a decade (and playing them since forever). She's had bylines at major gaming sites during her freelance career before settling down here at T3, and has podcasts, streaming, and video content under her belt to boot. Outside of work, she also plays video games and should really think about expanding her hobbies. If you have any tech or gaming tips, shoot over an email or DM her on social media.