So, PlayStation has entered the 'Elite Controller' game with the announcement of the PS5 DualSense Edge. Sony's effort, for all intents and purposes, lifts what Microsoft created with the Xbox Elite (and before that the likes of SCUF) and moulds those features into its DualSense frame. It's an impressive looking pad and will likely take the Xbox Elite head on.
Microsoft has built two iterations of the Elite Controller at this point, with 2019's follow-up adding adjustable stick tension alongside improvements to the grips, profile options, trigger stops and more. However, persistent build quality issues remain, and rumours of an Elite 3 have been circling in recent months.
With all this in mind, we began wondering what we'd like to see from an Elite Series 3. There's plenty of room for improvement with Microsoft's premium controller option, even two iterations in. So, here are five features we'd like Microsoft to add.
Themed Controller Faceplates
Xbox's Elite pad takes customisation to the extreme - after all, that's half of the appeal. However, that hasn't extended to the look of the controller really, outside of extremely limited collector's edition variants.
We recently picked up a SCUF controller for Xbox, and for a few iterations now, the company has incorporated magnetic faceplates that easily allow users to swap to a different design. We'd love to see Xbox do this in some fashion, especially given that a lot of the controller's parts are already magnetic. Dropping game-themed faceplates to celebrate new launches would also prevent us from feeling extremely jealous whenever a new limited edition drops...
Xbox Design Lab Integration
Now, this follows on from our last point on customisation and alternate designs, but in a more nuanced fashion. We'd love to see the Elite 3 launch as a Design Labs option, where you'd be able to change the colours of pretty much every controller component.
We understand this could be tough to make work, especially given the cost and complexity of Microsoft's Elite pads. However, it seems plausible, and when users are spending this much on a controller, there should be more customisation options to explore. Design Lab for Elite pads - make it happen, Xbox!
Additional Audio Features
Plenty of headsets on the market these days have extra audio features, especially from the likes of Astro, Turtle Beach and other high-end options. However, that could easily extend to controllers, in fact, it already has.
Turtle Beach's Recon controller does just that - adds in the company's "Superhuman Hearing" mode brought over from some of its headset options, along with other things like a button for changing the EQ mode on the fly. Xbox could easily add such a thing to the Elite 3, maybe even build it in tandem with new or existing official Xbox headsets.
Swappable Analog Stick Modules
Back in the 360 days, we once tried out an MLG controller for Xbox that allowed you to swap certain modules around. This enabled users to change the entire layout of the controller by moving around the d-pad, analog sticks and such.
We'd really like something similar to be added to an Elite 3 - after all, these controllers are all about personal preference. For our money the asymmetric stick layout works best for most games, but with some games the PlayStation layout just feels right, and it'd also be a great option for players who play across both platforms.
Much, Much Better Build Quality
It's getting on for three years since the Elite 2 launched now, but we're not in a real rush to see a third iteration. We want it of course, hence this wishlist, but building it properly this time is a much bigger priority on our end.
The fact that build quality issues continued to plague the 2nd controller, four years on from the first one, was hugely disappointing. These things are mad expensive if we're honest, and they should last an entire generation of gaming, if not longer. Microsoft, if an Elite 3 is coming, make sure it works properly this time!
Well, that's our list! But, what would you like to see in an Elite 3.0?
Let us know in the comments below!