Microsoft has announced a new Xbox Elite Series 2 controller in black and white, offering less functionality at a lower price.
Refreshing the Xbox Elite 2 controller with a new cheaper Core variant is the way to go, as buying a peripheral costing 40 per cent of the console value may seem a bit steep, even if said controller is quite exceptional.
The new Elite Series 2 Core design is clearly based on that of its predecessor – the Elite Series 2 (non-Core) – thus it retains all functionalities but with a twist. The difference between the two will be centred around the provided accessories. No more rear paddles, charging station, storage case, or interchangeable sticks and D-pads. With an Elite Series 2 Core, there’s only the essentials, meaning a controller, a USB-C cable for charging, and a tool to adjust sticks’ sensitivity. These missing parts perfectly explain its lower cost.
These accessories are now sold alone for £54.99. meaning that the total cost for a completely functional controller with paddles will set you back £169.98, or £9.99 more compared to someone going straight up for the ‘older’ Elite 2. However, this extra £9.99 could be explained by the additional packaging and shipping costs.
This leaves only two potential buyers for this controller; people who don’t care about the additional buttons, or people that can’t afford the high price for now but would like to get the accessories later down the line. A controller usable through Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth, USB-C, and with up to 40 hours of rechargeable battery life is a good start, if you ask me.
Being pretty much a copy of the original, Core follows a similar layout to basic Xbox controllers, minus the dedicated share button. Talking of which, Microsoft missed an opportunity here to add that Elite 2 non-Core missing feature, as it is very useful for people who like sharing clips. But all hope is not lost yet since you can remap any button (apart from the one switching profiles) in the Xbox Accessories app.
Finally, we don’t know if Microsoft has fixed some of the issues found on the older Elite Series 2 such as joystick drift, double inputs, and in my case, an A button that doesn’t register if I click it from some angles. These issues may make the Elite Series 2, which the Core seems to be heavily based on, sound bad. However, I personally refuse to go back to the base Xbox controller. Well, at least as long as the Elite 2 batteries retain charge.