The Xbox controller has become a staple of the gaming world, with its familiar layout and comfortable grip. But where did it come from and what went into its design?

The first Xbox controller, known as the Duke, was released in 2001 with the launch of the original Xbox console. It was designed by Microsoft hardware engineer Seamus Blackley and named after Xbox co-founder Nathan Myhrvold, nicknamed “Duke.” The Duke was a massive controller, with a large body and two large grips for the hands. It also featured a memory card slot and a headset port, which was a first for a console controller.

However, the Duke received a lot of criticism for its size and lack of ergonomic design. In response, Microsoft released the Controller S in 2002, which was a smaller and more ergonomic version of the Duke. The Controller S became the standard controller for the Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles and is still used today with the Xbox One.

The design of the Controller S was a collaboration between Microsoft and the design firm IDEO. They conducted research on how people hold and use controllers, as well as what features they wanted in a controller. The result was a sleek and comfortable design, with a textured grip, responsive triggers and buttons, and a directional pad and joystick for improved accuracy.

But the Xbox controller has also undergone some changes over the years. The Xbox One controller added Bluetooth connectivity, a headphone jack, and improved triggers and bumpers. The Xbox Series X controller introduced a share button, a redesigned directional pad, and a textured back for improved grip.

The mystery behind the Xbox controller is the extensive research and design process that goes into creating a comfortable and functional controller for gamers. From its humble beginnings as the Duke to its current iteration, the Xbox controller has evolved to meet the needs and preferences of gamers. It’s no wonder it’s become such a beloved and essential part of the gaming experience.