Four years after Xbox's first pro-standard gamepad was released comes a new iteration of its Xbox Elite Wireless Controller - the Series 2. And we got to play with one at Gamescom in Germany to find out if it feels or behaves any differently.
We still use the original version with our Xbox One X, but are looking forward to pairing the console with the latest model as it has many more features that make it better suited to today's modern games.
For starters, you can now store up to three separate, custom profiles for different games, which are signified by three LEDs on the front of the controller. You can switch between them with a tap on a button above them.
Alternatively, you can also switch all three off and revert to the standard, default profile - meaning that you can have up to four separate configurations in total.
The Xbox Accessories app on the Xbox One offers multiple other customisable options, including button mapping and deadzone adjustment settings. And, the thumbsticks (of which there alternatives included in the box) now have adjustable tension, tweaked using a special tool. While the trigger response can be tweaked to fire faster through shorter hair trigger locks.
Bluetooth connectivity has been added, which makes us think that, as well as Xbox One and Windows PC support, the pad will be able to connect to iPhone and iPad (once iOS 13 has been released) and Android - just in time for the launch of Project xCloud.
The design has been enhanced, when compared to its predecessor. Not only is the top different - with a solid construction more in-line with the second generation Xbox One controllers - there are now rubberised grips all around and hatching on the bumpers.
Plus, you get a rechargeable battery built-in this time - it doesn't rely on AA batteries. And, USB-C is used now, along with an included charging dock, for faster charging. Xbox claims that the controller can store up to 40 hours worth of play, so that should be more than enough for a few sessions.
Naturally, just like the first Elite, Series 2 comes with several interchangeable accessories: six thumbsticks in total, four paddles and two D-pads. We also saw an extra circular D-pad during Gamescom that, sadly, won't be included. All green it came with "Gamescom 2019" emblazoned on it and, as far as we could tell, won't be available to purchase.
However, bar the colour and slogan, it is identical to the faceted D-pad you do get anyway, so is a purely cosmetic addition.
Hefty feel and price
As we've already said, we already use the original Elite controller so know how the heft works in the hand. It gives a more robust, heavier feel to Xbox gaming. The same is true with the successor.
It is heavy, but not so much that you will tire. It's a shame you can't change the weight through additional ballast, as with some other premium controllers on the market, but it does feel solid and comfortable - like a precision tool should.
Of course, the other hefty feature of the Elite 2 is its price, which might put some off. While the original was £120 - already a considerable investment for gamers - the new model will be a mighty £160 when it releases on 4 November ($180 in the US). Considering you can get an entire games console, the Nintendo Switch Lite for just £40 more, you will really have to be serious about your gaming to consider one.
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But, strange as it might seem, we suspect that there are plenty of people out there that are. After all, PC gamers think nothing of spending more than £100 each on a keyboard and mouse.
And, from what we've played so far during Gamescom, the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 certainly has enough new bells and whistles to justify consideration at least.
We await a full reviewable product in the near(ish) future and, then, we should be able to give you a better indication of whether it's worth the money.
Until then, we advise you abstain from buying the previous edition just in case.