Xbox co-founder Seamus Blackley has officially confirmed that the original Xbox controller is going to be making a comeback for the Xbox One. Affectionately (and unofficially) nicknamed the Duke, the first ever controlled for the Xbox quickly became legendary among gamers for its sheer size, feeling a little more like a steering wheel than an actual console controller. After its release with the first Xbox back in 2001, the unwieldy and slightly ridiculous controller was slimmed down over the next few years, slowly becoming a much more reasonable size.
It’s time for a little nostalgic game-playing, though, as Xbox co-founder Seamus Blackley has now revealed that the Duke will be making a comeback – presumably in time for the 2017 holiday season. The remake will include a few improvements, of course, but the announcement has been met with some good-natured amusement (and more than a little nostalgia) as gamers remember how cumbersome the Duke really was.
The annoucement came on Blackley’s Twitter, where he posted an image of the controller with the caption “#NewDuke has gone to tooling and is approved by @Xbox THIS IS HAPPENING!” He confirmed in another tweet that there would be some changes to the new model, but it would have “the same old feel,” and also tweeted a video of his mock-up for the new model with the caption: “I can finally show my miserable OLED mockup. #DUKE #XBOXE3 everyone should thank @Hyperkin @XboxP3 @Shpeshal_Ed.”
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) September 20, 2017
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) June 12, 2017
The new controller is being made by Hyperkin, who also took to Twitter to tell gamers to keep an eye out for pre-orders, although no specific release date has yet been announced. These tweets confirm only that Microsoft has approved the return of the Duke, and that it has gone to tooling.
Xbox fans are left wondering what the unspecified “improvements” are going to be, with the addition of bumpers seeming to be a necessity for many recent games. Other improvements reportedly include a nine-foot breakaway cord, and the fancy new screen was shown off to good effect in Blackley’s video – although this short clip does not show what the full capabilities of this screen will be. The addition of the screen does help explain why anyone would need such a massive controller again, as it will presumably be able to do some pretty cool (and helpful) things for the player. However, there is no doubt that part of the reason the Duke is back is to capitalize on the nostalgia factor, as gamers who originally owned the massive piece of hardware will enjoy feeling like they’ve returned to the early days of Xbox.
The remodeled Duke is predicted to be in stores for the holidays.