you already know that Xbox Design Lab Australia is finally a thinggiving Aussie players the chance to design their own beautiful Xbox wireless controller, but you may not know what kind of customization options are available.
Fear not, readers, because Microsoft gave Stevivor’s Steve Wright and Ben Salter the chance to design their own controllers before they hit the market. This is what the two came up with.
Steve’s Pride Controller
It’s June, it’s Pride Month, and so I went with a Pride controller of course† You can watch it above and below.
I chose a simple look, with lots of black and white accents to counterbalance the (deliberate) busy design that uniform Pride flags can bring. If there was an option to enable this, I did – and that means things like custom engravings and rubberized grips a la the Elite controller.
I’ve already gone and swapped out the white battery cover for a black one (thanks, one of the many other controllers I’ve got laying around), but I’ve made sure that the photos below represent the controller as it came out of the box.
Do I like my appearance? You can copy it below, with the following options selected:
- Back: Robot White
- Body: Pride
- Bumpers: Robot White
- Triggers: Robot White
- D-Pads: Robot White
- Rulers: Robot White
- ABXY: Black on White
- View, Menu, Share: White on Black
- Grips: Rubberized Black
- Back Grips: Rubber Back
- Engraving: STEVIVOR
The subtotal on my misguided Pride controller was $141.75 AUD (which Microsoft paid in full).
While Ben was allowed to use the design lab himself, I had to choose options through a proxy. It was still an easy service, although I’m sad about my all caps engraving after checking what Ben could do on his own.
Steve went all out with colored and textured rubber grips for his controller, but with Stevivor’s second custom pad on my way, I was caught between two designs.
I was very tempted to recreate the Xbox 360’s original – iconic – gray and white design with wonderfully colorful buttons. It’s like double denim and harder – for the longest time we thought it was ugly and outdated, opting instead for a sophisticated black to match the Xbox 360 Slim. But now it’s back!
While I’m definitely going to order a homage to the 360, I decided to go a little more personal and instead make a controller to match my gamertag.
Almost nine years ago, when I set up my Xbox One, I chose a profile color with little thought. I decided I didn’t want to stick with Xbox Green, that lacks a personal touch, but I was too excited to play (or update) so I didn’t venture too far and chose a shade of teal for my Xbox profile. A generation later, my profile hasn’t changed, and teal is a distinct Xbox color to me — I’m almost surprised when I see the wrong green in Xbox promotions.
This may not apply to anyone else, but teal, Xbox and my gamertag go together. So I made a matching controller, engraved with my gamertag.
- Bumpers: Robot White
- Triggers: Robot White
- D-Pad: Storm Gray
- Rulers: Carbon Black
- ABXY: White on Black
- View, Menu, Share: Black on White
- Body: Mineral Blue
- Back: Carbon Black
- Engraving: Gryllis (+$12.95)
The total cost for the above controller was $112.90 AUD (also paid in full by Microsoft). The controller itself is the same price as a regular one at AUD$99.95, including shipping. Engraving was the only optional extra on my controller, while Steve’s includes all the bells and whistles with the rubber grips. They are only available in black, and although I like them on my 20e anniversary Xbox controller, I find the plastic texture just as comfortable.
In the virtual design lab
The online design lab is super easy to use. You must sign in to your Microsoft account and from there make your selections in each of the categories described in our controller designs. As you make your choice, the virtual controller is created in 3D, so you can see it coming together from all angles.
I (Being) tested a number of different button configurations – and I’ll go full color for my Xbox 360 design – but in the end opted for white lettering on black for the face buttons and black symbols on white for the menu buttons, matching the bumpers and white joysticks. Strangely enough, Steve did the opposite.
I could have spent hours going through all the combinations, but in the end I had to make a final choice. With that, the order was in, and 3-4 weeks later, my very own Gamertag-inspired controller arrived at my door — about the same price as walking into a store and buying one off the shelf.
You can design your own controller here†
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