The first controller for the original Xbox was huge. It was so big it picked up the nickname The Duke. While some loved it, it seems more like it was designed with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Andre the Giant in mind. When Xbox co-creator Seamus Blackley was asked about the enormous peripheral on Twitter yesterday, he had a lot to say.
“It was embarrassingly enormous,” Blackley said. “Politically I had no juice to fix it.”
“They ignored focus tests; I understand you can land a helicopter on it,” he continued, echoing the sentiments of many Xbox fans that led to the release of the much more svelte Xbox S controller.
“The guy in charge of the controller picked a vendor that couldn’t make the electronics small, so they made the design huge to fit around it,” Blackley explained. “The Dreamcast was our favorite console at the time, and it had a big controller that docked a tomagachi [sic]. So that made it seem less insane!”
Blackley said that Japanese “were alarmed by the huge controller,” and that their feedback finally pushed the smaller one through. Blackley said that he “took such a volume of s***” about the controller back in the day that he couldn’t help but rant a little.
Even so, some of the design decisions from the controller, such as the unaligned analog sticks and the circular Xbox logo at the center, still carry through to this day, so they were onto something.