'Every change was validated by core gamers'
From a distance, the Xbox One controller may not look all that different from its Xbox 360 predecessor (or perhaps I'm just rapidly losing my eyesight). Sleeker, yes, but not radically different. There are actually some 40 improvements to be found -- some big, some not so big. General Manager of the Xbox accessories group Zulfi Alam walks through what's new in this video and discusses the thought process that went into some of the changes.
One of if not the biggest point of differentiation is the d-pad. Arguably the biggest flaw of the Xbox 360 controller, Microsoft has rightfully changed the design with its new gamepad. "Yes, the d-pad -- we received some feedback on," Alam attempted to say with a straight face. "Our core gamers were not terribly pleased with the height of the d-pad."
The addition of force feedback to the gamepad's triggers also sounds promising. The example given was that gamers could feel the difference between firing a rifle and a bazooka, or their vehicle's breaks in a racing title. I'm not crazy about the gamepad's price -- $59.99, or $74.99 with a play-and-charge kit included -- but on the whole it sounds like a worthy successor.