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The Xbox almost got an incredibly weird controller

We're glad they ditched these designs

The Xbox almost got an incredibly weird controller
27 June 2016

When Microsoft made its first foray into the games console industry back in November 2001 with the Xbox, it attracted one major criticism: it was MASSIVE. 

Bigger than the VCR/DVD combo it would inevitably be sharing a space under your telly with, the supersized console also came with a vast controller. Whilst comfortable, it felt large enough to play an integral part in manoeuvring an aircraft carrier.

However, things almost went a very different way. 

One of the Xbox's founding fathers Seamus Blackley has recently taken to Twitter to show off some of the controller designs that were being considered before Microsoft picked its black whale. 

The Bio

With only one joystick, we're not really sure how the Bio design would have worked for any game that required more than one direction of movement. 

The Exterminator

The twin memory card slots on the back of the controller would make it into the final design, but little else of the Exterminator made it off the drawing board. Good thing too - it looks like an evil mushroom. 

The X-Wing

Interesting to note that the d-pad, buttons and joysticks of this design are in a similar layout to that of the PlayStation DualShock, while the overall shape is a touch more unconventional.

Microsoft was apparently keen on a removable memory card/handheld unit - an idea they borrowed from...

An influence?

Sega's ill-fated Dreamcast had employed a removable screen in its controller. It also employed dual triggers on the rear of the controller that would eventually be mirrored by Microsoft's controller.

The Y

Similar to the X-Wing design, but with a more conventional controller shape, this design isn't too far away from that which they finally picked.