Hello Master Malstrom,
I don’t know if you’ve seen this already, but if you find yourself in a situation where circumstances allow you to buy yourself a treat, I’d like to suggest the Xbox One Elite controller, the best gamepad ever made for PC gaming bar-none – after years of refinement, Microsoft finally got everything right:
I love ABSOLUTELY everything about this gamepad – the weight, the matte finish, the button travel distance, the d-pad, the adjustable sticks, the triggers, the battery life, EVERYTHING. plus Windows reads it as an Xbox One controller, so it’s pretty much useful for any game that calls for a gamepad. The one annoying thing is that if you want to play it
There is one legitimate complaint about it – the price (especially if you have to factor in the wireless adapter or other accessories) comes up to over $150 for one controller, which is admittedly a massive sum. I figure this is just how the market works; this is a luxury good along the lines of a quality set of headphones or earbuds or maybe even a Tempurpedic mattress – you pay considerably more, but the overall quality is so high that once you start using it, you immediately stop caring about dropping the price of a console on a single peripheral.
I find myself choosing to play games on my HTPC more than my PS4 these days (except for titles that support cross-save, since I am also that sad person who bought a Vita [I actually have loads of relevant words of praise about the Vita, but I think that’s another email]). Between this controller to handle 90% of the games in my queue and a Steam Controller to play games like Civ or Pillars of Eternity in an entirely serviceable fashion from my couch, I’ve come to absolutely adore Big Picture mode these days (although I totally understand where your opposition to Steam is coming for, of course).
Anyway. Just thought the Rolls Royce of gamepads might be something relevant to your interests; if not, then thank you for your time. Also, I seem to recall you openly pining for a next-gen Road Rash sometime in the past – if I’m remembering correctly and this was you, I can personally vouch for this game called Road Redemption; it’s not flawless since it’s still in early access mode, but this is a game I can absolutely find myself playing for hours. Ditto for Super Mega Baseball, which is like Baseball Stars 2 gameplay, but with a longer, more involved (but not too involved) management component to it; it is KILLING me that they canceled the Vita port because this is exactly the kind of game I’d love to be able to play any time, anywhere.
ANYWAY; thank you again for reading, and please keep up the great articles!
The Xbox Franchise doesn’t make much sense for Microsoft. The Xbox franchise is a blackhole of money, and it seemed Microsoft justified it to ‘take over the living room’ because Microsoft conquered the office but not the living room. What I thought would happen is Microsoft would focus on Windows, because that is what Microsoft depends on, and PC gaming is critical to Windows success.
People talk about Nintendo merging the handheld and home console, but I think Microsoft is further along merging their console and PC operating system.
I see the future as future Xbox consoles will be made, but the operating system on both the Xbox systems and Windows will be identical, and they will play identical games. The Xbox will then, culturally, be seen as The Casual Platform. Children play with the Xbox. Adults with jobs have a true gaming PC.
The Xbox One controller I see as part of that bridge.
Remember that the Xbox Franchise was originally designed to be a DEFENSIVE mechanism for Microsoft. PlayStation, which was trying to be a neutered PC, was making tremendous damage on Windows. All those PC game developers were coming to PlayStation and developing for PlayStation. This is what brought Microsoft to the market.