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Xbox controller

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Xbox controller
Here is the gargantuan controller, optimized for very big hands.
Developer: Microsoft
Release Date: NA: November 15, 2001
JP: February 22, 2002 (Controller S)
PAL: March 14, 2002
Successor: Xbox 360 controller
Generation: Sixth generation

The Xbox controller (nicknamed The Duke) is a video game controller that was originally bundled with the original Xbox console until the release of the Controller S in 2002.

Why It's a Big Fat Duke

  1. Despite being based on the Dreamcast controller, it is insanely big which makes it pretty hard to hold for gamers with small hands. And unnecessarily, because there were much smaller controllers of the sixth generation that were actually smaller than the Duke Controller.
    • The reason as to why it was so big was that the manufacturer for the Xbox controller circuit boards (Mitsumi Electric) refused to make a compact and folded design for the board (similar to what the Sony's PlayStation 2 Dualshock controller had) and instead made a flat and large design.
    • On top of that, the circuit board was being manufactured before the controller shell was designed, giving the designers little room to work with.
  2. The bulkiness of the controller also made it uncomfortable to hold even for players with big hands.
  3. It has a very weird D-pad that is shaped more like a circular pad, and it feels pretty mushy.
  4. The face buttons look stretched, making them also weird.
  5. It's overall an ugly controller due to its design flaws mentioned above.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The White and Black buttons are placed right next to the face buttons, which could have made the controller worth it for fighting games as they mostly use atleast six buttons for attacks.
  2. The Start and Back buttons, contrary to the Xbox S controller where they are placed on the bottom left corner, are also placed on the bottom middle part of the controller, which makes them easier to reach.


The controller has been criticized for being bulky compared to the other controllers. It was awarded "Blunder of the Year" by Game Informer in 2001, and as mentioned above, it received another award from the Guinness World Records for being the biggest controller of all time, though it has now been topped by the Wii U GamePad. Unboxing YouTuber TheRelaxingEnd called it "the elephant of gaming controllers" in his Hyperkin Xbox Duke Controller unboxing video.[1]

Craig Harris from IGN ranked the controller #2 on their Top 10 Tuesday worst game controllers list after the Atari Power Pad/Jaguar Controller. WatchMojo ranked it #10 on their Top 10 worst game controllers video.

Due to negative criticism towards the controller, Microsoft made a lighter and smaller version of the controller that would fix the issues that the original controller had, codenamed "Akebono", originally for the Japanese market, but popular demand made it release in other regions in 2002. This controller is named Xbox Game Controller S and became the next bundled controller with the Xbox.

Remastered controller

Video game peripheral manufacturer Hyperkin remade the Xbox Duke Controller as a third-party controller for the Xbox One and Windows 10. It features an OLED screen on a big home button on the middle that plays the Original Xbox startup sequence after the controller is connected to the console.


External Link


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