Twinfinite’s Chris Jecks details how the new Xbox Series X controller’s smaller size causes a strained hand feeling after an hour or so of gaming.
The Xbox Series X controller is essentially the same as its predecessor, the Xbox One controller, but with a few minor additions and tweaks to meet the enhanced standards of Microsoft’s newest console generation. Plus, the Series X controller already comes in three colors. What’s not to love? For some gamers, the Xbox Series X controller is mostly everything they would’ve wanted, with a small problem – the controller is smaller, and it hurts their hands.
A console’s controller is in many ways just as important as the console itself. In Sony’s case, the generations-old DualShock controller retired alongside the PlayStation 4 in favor of a completely new DualSense controller, with a sleek white design much like the brand new look of the PlayStation 5. Plus, the DualSense comes with motion controls, adaptive triggers, and vibration. All these changes have actually made the DualSense noticeably bigger than the Series X controller and previous DualShock controllers. One would think the bigger size would result in some hand discomfort, but alas, it seems the smaller Series X controller is the problem.
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Twinfinite‘s Chris Jecks wrote in a review of the Series X controller that everything about it was a minor but mostly nice step away from the Xbox One controller. However, Jecks noticed that the new controller is smaller than both its predecessor and the premium Xbox Elite controller (sold separately). “It’s far more noticeable than I ever thought it would be, and not in a good way,” Jecks said. In particular, Jecks experienced some hand strain after about an hour or so of playing games like Rocket League, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, and Forza Horizon 4 with the new controller. Jecks did not notice the same pain when using the DualSense controller.
The Xbox One controller was known to be very comfortable in size, so why did Microsoft make the change? In a statement about the Series X controller’s new features, Senior Designer Ryan Whitaker said that Xbox wanted to accommodate gamers with smaller hands to improve accessibility for all. Specifically, designers at Xbox said they designed the controller to fit the hands of an eight-year-old, which made the controller usable by a broader group of gamers. The designers did so by rounding and reducing the outer components of the controller. Beyond that, the Series X controller introduced a share button on the front to make it easier to share gameplay clips and screenshots.
Although it may be frustrating to experience discomfort during long gaming hours, it is admittedly commendable of Xbox to put such great efforts into becoming more accessible. Plus, in the end, there’s really no way to cater to all sizes of hands. For now, anyone struggling to enjoy the Xbox Series X controller may be better off trying out the Razer Wolverine V2, the most comfortable Xbox controller on the market.
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