Microsoft has reopened the Xbox Design Lab, letting punters create their own custom Xbox Series X|S controller, mixing and matching all manner of colours and components along the way.
There’s a few changes that have been made since Microsoft halted the Xbox Design Lab production line last year. First and foremost, the template for the controller is now the new, subtly modified Xbox Wireless Controller, which has ever-so-slightly better ergonomic design, a share button and reduced latency. The controllers are all compatible with both Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles, as well as PC, Android and iOS thanks to having Bluetooth built in.
There will be 18 different colours to choose from, including the new Shock Blue, Pulse Red, and Electric Volt options which Microsoft has released Series X|S controllers in over the last few months. There’s also a new black-on-color ABXY button option, and black-on-white option for the View, Menu and Share buttons. You can also get the controller engraved with a short message at the bottom of the face plate.
Another important new change is that Microsoft has started to use recycled ‘post-consumer resin’ for their Xbox gadgets. The Xbox controllers now include 30% PCR, the plastic having been recycled from car headlight covers, water jugs and CDs. However, four colours – Robot White, Pulse Red, Zest Orange, and Regal Purple – do not include any PCR. Hopefully Microsoft can take this further in future. I think it’s quite safe to say that it’s quite important that they and other companies do so.
The Xbox Design Lab is available now, but availability will depend on regions – controllers bought by those in the UK will have to wait until 20th July, while US customers can get them as soon as they’re produced. Things are a little bit more expensive than a regular controller, starting at $69.99 / £59.99. A laser engraving is an additional $9.99 / £7.99.