LED lights, infrared and an “invisible reflective technology” are key to the Xbox One controller’s new pairing process. Microsoft said that it also allows the updated Kinect on the Xbox One to know who is holding the gamepad. The Xbox One team said that the technology also allows, for instance, a split-screen game to change screens if two players swap seats on a couch.
The Xbox One controller thumbsticks are redesigned to be smaller and have a "knurled" surface texture for an easier grip so players' thumbs are less likely to slip, and have 25 percent less resistance than on the Xbox 360, so they are easier to move. Players of first-person shooter games on the Xbox One will have an easier time aiming their gun's sights, Microsoft said.
The D-Pad on the Xbox One now resembles the original Nintendo Entertainment System's controller, and Xbox developers say it will provide greater precision. The Xbox One's new D-Pad also has a honed surface for sweeping motions necessary in sport and fighting games. The four main buttons on the Xbox One have an updated look that required a layered manufacturing process similar to 3D printing, and are located closer to the surface of the Xbox One controller allowing for quicker button-mashing, Microsoft said. And the Xbox home button has been moved up for easier access to the View and Menu buttons.
Impulse triggers in the Xbox One controller are loaded with four vibration motors, a tiny one behind each trigger adding “precise haptic feedback” to players’ fingers. For instance, a player taking a shot in "Call of Duty: Ghosts" on Xbox One might feel the shot on the corresponding trigger button. The second pair is a larger and located in each grip for large-scale tremors such as an in-game car crash or an explosion. In other words, Xbox One players racing in “Forza Motorsport 5” will get trigger feedback from tire break-down due to over-acceleration as well as drifting on the gas pedal. The roar of the car's engine and crashing into another player will cause the larger grip motors to rumble.
The Xbox One controller also has higher-quality audio for headsets than the Xbox 360 does because of an increased data transfer rate between the controller and the console itself. Microsoft claims that on the Xbox One, Live chats will now be clearer than speaking over a standard mobile phone.
In addition to the battery being built deeper into the Xbox One controller housing for a smooth back, the device will have a low-power state to conserve battery, and will no longer shut itself off. Players will no longer have to resync their controller after walking away from the device for a while. Microsoft previously canceled a roundtable media event originally scheduled for Monday to discuss the Xbox One. The Redmond, Calif.-based company is expected to reveal more information during the Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, which starts Tuesday, June 11.