All hail the Duke?
The Duke, Microsoft’s first Xbox controller is set to make it’s comeback this March. Thanks to Hyperkin, a favorite around these parts, they have faithfully recreated the original controller for use on the Xbox One and PC. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the love from Seamus Blackley. Many of you will no doubt remember him as being a pivotal figure in the creation of the original Xbox. Sure, he wasn’t directly involved, but without him and his drive, the system wouldn’t have existed at all. He was the man who assembled the team who went on to create the Xbox.
So, the Duke. I have a love/hate relationship with the bygone controller. I mean, this thing is loved by those with bigger hands and while my hands aren’t exactly small, I never found it comfortable. In truth, I preferred the Xbox S controller that was introduced later by Microsoft. Still, I won’t deny that the Duke is still loved by many and this is exactly why Seamus and Hyperkin have banded together to bring this beast back. And if you loved the Duke, you’ll be able to get one this March.
Slated to be released at the end of March 2018, and will be priced at $69.99. A bit steep for many, but not out of the range of new Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controllers. At this time, I haven’t found anywhere to pre-order the controller. But rest assured, once we get ahold of one, we’ll put it through its paces and see how it stacks up against the original Duke controller.
— Seamus Blackley (@SeamusBlackley) January 12, 2018
However, this Duke won’t be an exact replica of the original controller. Instead, it will be sporting a few nifty upgrades. The first being an LCD screen that plays the original Xbox boot animation whenever you press the “jewel” button. The memory card slot is missing and will include a USB cable to connect to the Xbox One family and PC.
But will it sell? Well, judging from the reception that I’ve observed on Twitter, Reddit and other places, I think it will. In fact, even though I may not be the biggest fan of the controller, I think I’ll pick up one as well. It definitely is a homage to the original Xbox and even if I never use it (I likely won’t), it would be a nice keepsake to remind me of days gone by.