Well, there went two hours of my morning. Microsoft announced the Xbox Design Lab at E3 2016, and TechnoBuffalo readers probably have a firm grasp on what it offers, especially if you’re familiar with Motorola’s MotoMaker.
Essentially, Microsoft built a site that lets gamers design and purchase a brand new Bluetooth Xbox controller that works with Xbox One or Windows 7/8.1/10. These are new controllers that sit between the original Xbox One input and the Elite controller. Buttons can be remapped, the back features a bumpy design for grips, and it also offers the relatively new stereo headset line-out jack.
Before we get into the process, let’s talk pricing. Microsoft sent us a code to check this one out for free, full disclosure, but the standard offering will cost $79.99. You can add an engraved name or message to the controller for an additional $9.99. Microsoft says that all orders placed by late August will begin shipping in September, 2016.
Look, even if you don’t actually purchase a controller, the Design Lab is a neat little time spender. Microsoft says, with all the customization points and colors available, there are more than 8,000,000 varieties of Xbox controller possible on the Design Lab. I must have shuffled my way through 2.5 million of them this morning.
You can change the color of the front of the controller, the back, the d-pad, the analog sticks, the option buttons, the triggers and the face buttons. The site is smooth and responsive, so the actual process of selecting colors and rotating the controller feels smooth instead of clunky.
My only complaints are that you can’t change the light color of the Xbox button and that there aren’t enough choices for the face buttons. I also really would have dug the ability to use stock patterns with color tweaks. I want my red and black tiger-striped Xbox controller, folks. I need that in my life.
Once you create your controller, you can name it, save it and share it on the public gallery. You can even go all social media and share your creation with friends, if that’s your jam.
Of course, you can get way, way more detailed and custom with sites like SCUF for Xbox controllers, but you’re also going to pay a lot more. The Xbox Design Lab is a great entry point that offers affordable customization.
We’ll have tons of pictures for you to gawk at once our controller arrives. The gallery above shows off what it looks like on the Design Lab. Like it so much you want it? Here’s the link.