New Xbox for 2024! New hybrid Xbox for 2028! But can we just take a second to appreciate Microsoft’s leaked Sebile driver?
The $70 pad could arrive in 2024 packed with the best of Sony’s DualSense, Valve’s Steam Controller, Google Stadia, and—hopefully—8BitDo.
Apparently it uses “precise haptic feedback from Sony DualSense”.
That’s right, here’s hope! It’s the thing I’m most excited about because it seriously adds a new dimension to some Sony games that just aren’t the same when you pick it up.
Check out our DualSense x-ray below, versus this is an xbox padto see the difference in their haptic engines:
Note that some controllers came with “precision” or “HD haptics” that didn’t have that much impact, even though they technically contained linear actuators instead of the old eccentric rotating weights like Xbox gamepads still have today. The Steam controller had pretty crappy haptics, and the Nintendo Switch’s haptics aren’t up to DualSense…
So what’s a good feature of the Steam Controller?
Can you believe that Microsoft’s “haptics double as speakers” has already been done? This always makes me LOL:
The Steam Controller could really Do it. Heck, Taptic Engine in your iPhone he can do it technically.
But I also really hope that Microsoft will gyroscope it’s not just the accelerometer in this thing, so we can have the same gyro aiming revolution that I’m experiencing on my Steam Deck as Zelda on the switch. His well for aiming bows.
What good could Google’s Stadia controller do?
This is why Sebile is such a big deal. Microsoft has positioned it internally as its first “Universal Wireless Controller”, theoretically capable of controlling the Xbox across console, mobile, PC and the cloud.
The driver can do this because it connects directly to the cloud, the documents show, in addition to Bluetooth and Xbox Wireless. Google Stadia pioneered direct cloud connectivity by connecting the controller directly to your home Wi-Fi, allowing me to seamlessly switch between playing games on my PC, TV and phone. Here is something I wrote in 2019 about Stage a Fate 2:
I started a session on the TV with a Stadia controller while we were just shooting the tiny minions, switched to the mouse and keyboard desktop when I needed better aim for a boss fight, and continued to play smoothly on the smartphone before going downstairs. to the hall to have a snack — all this while playing with a colleague over 5,000 miles away in London – without much trouble.
Amazon’s Luna controller also had a direct connection to the cloud, but… no one talks about Luna much anymore.
Ok, I’m reading between the lines here too much and I’m ready to be impressed, but Sebile has three wonderful ideas that catch my eye:
- “Rechargeable and replaceable battery”
- “New modular levers” with “improved life”
- “Sameless Pair & Switch” between multiple paired devices
First, Sony fans and Xbox fans have long argued about the merits of Sony’s short-lived but rechargeable internal lithium-ion unit over Microsoft’s slot for standard AA batteries… but controller specialist 8BitDo was happy to say, “Why not both?”
Yes, you are looking at 2x AA-sizes a rechargeable battery that can stay inside your 8BitDo controller charges via the USB-C port – and if it ever runs out mid-session, AA batteries work just fine too.
Second, many of 8BitDo’s controllers have a nifty slide switch on the back that lets you switch between up to four paired devices via Bluetooth—one click to go from Nintendo Switch to iPhone or PC. It sounds like Microsoft could do that with the app.
Third, while Top 8BitDo Bluetooth Controller unfortunately No come with this battery style or four positions does come with Gulikit Hall effect sensor joysticks which should hopefully eliminate drift bars – at a time when both Sony and Microsoft using the same drift-prone joysticks.
Raise-to-wake presence detection can be a big problem for battery life! Ex Polygon Editor-in-Chief (and current publisher) Chris Grant told me that the Xbox One controllers seemed to take forever if you had Microsoft Kinect set up—because the camera handled that presence-detection role.
How likely is any of this?
Leaked Microsoft documents show that Sebile isn’t some pie-in-the-sky project – it was already funded in May 2022. A leaked slide deck suggests it’s and a new Xbox controller that will be available in May 2024 for $70 and will be included with every new Xbox sold starting next fall.
It’s not the only new controller that has been discussed, with another version codenamed “Igraine”, a new Elite controller called “Actium” and a new deluxe controller called “Zarasai”.
However, the latter two had yet to achieve internal funding, and internal Microsoft documents also warned that “the vision for a full Sebile product” was not “currently approved”, setting out scenarios where a limited controller should ship instead.
Incidentally, Sebile and Igraine would reportedly ship with an add-on called “Bonnie” or “Bonnie Pro”. Is it the name of a rechargeable battery? Carrying case? Interchangeable stick or topper? Your guess is as good as ours.