Soon you’ll be able to order the original Xbox Duke controller

If you’re particularly nostlagic and wishing that you could recreate the feel of playing games you used to own on the original Xbox console, you might also be searching for a Duke replica. The Duke was the nickname given to Microsoft’s original Xbox controller, and it was literally brick-like and enormous. Soon, you’ll be able to purchase a Xbox One-compatible Duke replica, although it’s not exactly the same controller you might have played with 16 years ago.

Created by Hyperkin, the Hyperkin Duke borrows some design elements from the newer Xbox One controllers, like the grip design, two extra trigger buttons, and the button layout for the function buttons. The Hyperkin Duke is slightly heavier than the original, and won’t ship with a wireless variant. Instead, you’ll only be able to order the wired version, with comes with a three metre-long USB cable. Hyperkin expects to ship the Duke in May 2018.

It’s also very expensive, with pre-orders sitting at £69.99 (approx. R1,100) in the UK. Previously the Hyperkin Duke prototypes had an OLED display in the center of the controller, which would play the original Xbox log animation when you turned it on, and could act as a second display for things like ammo counters and health bars, software permitting. Presumably this was a challenge for Hyperkin to include, because more recent renders of the controller just show a static logo built into the chassis.

Among Hyperkin’s other plans for this redesign were shipping it with a special display case, only doing an extremely exclusive limited production run with prominent numbering for collectors, and matching button layouts for original Xbox games played on the Xbox One.  When Hyperkin first showed off the Duke prototype at E3 2017, Microsoft’s just-announced Xbox Originals backwards compatibility program introduced button mapping changes that wouldn’t allow Hyperkin to match the original gaming experience with the Duke and original Xbox titles. Neither Hyperkin nor Microsoft have made any new statements about this, so hopefully they worked out a way to get the button mappings correct.

Now we just need someone to design an original Xbox chassis for the Xbox One X, and we’ll be fully retro.

Loadshedding is baaaaack on… off… you know what I mean