Washburn coming at ya

Well, it’s that time again folks. With Gamescom 2018 taking place next week, that mystical Xbox Elite controller revision is once again the talk of the town. Is it happening this time? Or are we just once again the subjects of more speculation?

The Xbox One Elite controller was released nearly three years ago and is still a favorite among Xbox One and PC gamers. That’s to the swappable analog knobs, d-pad, rear-facing paddles and the fact that Microsoft went with a battery-less design. Well, the only thing that people didn’t love was the $149.99 price tag. That and it was prone to breaking really easily. There’s more than a few incidents where owners of the controller reported poor quality issues. Mainly with the bumpers and analog sticks. I wasn’t immune to this and I’ve my elite controller replaced twice. Outside of that, yes, it is my favorite controller.

Now we’re looking at the possible (eventually) upgrade to the elite, which is being dubbed the “Washburn”. This bit of news was first reported on by TheVerge’s Tom Warren. According to Tom, this rumor isn’t a rumor anymore and will be released this October 2018. As for the price, it will retain the same $149.99 price tag.

Following Tom’s tweet, more information started showing up regarding the controller. IGN was the next to follow-up on this and reported that this new “Washburn” controller may also include USB-C, Bluetooth, and an internal battery. Keep in mind that this is information that was heard before. Leading me to believe that IGN was just recapping previous news stories, on top of Tom Warren’s name drop.

You can check that brief announcement below.

Outside of that, there hasn’t been any real news regarding the eventually Elite controller successor. Of course, with Gamescom 2018 right around the controller, this is likely will change. That is if the controller actually does exist. I’m hoping this time around that Microsoft finally goes “I guess we kept you waiting long enough, didn’t we?”.  Between you and me, I just want to see this thing released. 

Alright, with that all out there, I’m not sure what to think about it all. Obviously, there are likely more updates to this supposedly new controller, stuff we don’t know about. For sure. However, an internal battery? Why would Microsoft release a new controller with a rechargeable internal battery? Especially since we’ve seen how fast Sony’s Dualshock 4 controllers die on a full charge. Regardless if its a new or older controller, they rarely last past 6 hours [in my experience]. Where my Elite and other Xbox One controllers with either the charge and play kits or rechargeable AA batteries can give me up to 10 hours, easily.

I feel that an internal battery is a wrong call here and I refuse to believe that the revision of the Elite would include one. Besides, if that battery dies, we’ll likely have to send it in to get swapped out. Unless MS has some super ingenious way we can just pop it out and replace it. Or, you know, just don’t include an internal battery in the first place. I’m also not sure about the USB-C being added either but I get that it’s all about future-proofing. Adding Bluetooth is definitely something I can get behind, especially as a PC gamer. If this ends up being true, then I’ll be able to use the updated Elite controller on my Windows PC without the use of an adapter.  Finally, let’s hope the quality is better than the current controller.

We’ll just have to wait and see what Microsoft announces at Gamescom 2018. But just in case, I have my $150 waiting right here for the pre-order. If I like what I see, of course.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.