The Xbox One Controller Might Get Updates to Its Triggers, According to Patents

The Xbox One Controller Might Get Updates to Its Triggers, According to Patents

New patents from Microsoft are hinting at possible improvements coming to the Xbox One controller, most improvements to the triggers.

While the gaming community may currently be fixated on the next generation consoles, it appears that Microsoft may not be done with making slight updates to the Xbox One hardware just yet. A couple of patents were granted to Microsoft in December, with these patents pointing to improvements to the Xbox One controller.

One such patent, per Windows Latest, was granted on December 6, 2018, titled “INPUT DEVICE WITH LINEAR GEARED FEEDBACK TRIGGER.” The patent focuses entirely on feedback improvements for the controller triggers, with the abstract detailing the following:

A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a rack gear interfacing with the user-actuatable trigger, a force-feedback motor including a drive gear interfacing with the rack gear, and a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis. The force-feedback motor is configured to drive the rack gear based on a force-feedback signal.

A second patent is titled “MOTOR-DRIVEN ADJUSTABLE-TENSION TRIGGER,” and was granted on the same ay as the aforementioned one. Essentially, this patent details a feature in the controller that will allow for adjustable resistance and tension when pressing on the triggers—or as the patent abstract describes:

A user-input device includes a user-actuatable trigger configured to pivot about a trigger axis, a rack gear, a return spring operatively intermediate the user-actuatable trigger and the rack gear, a force-feedback motor and a posture sensor configured to determine a posture of the user-actuatable trigger about the trigger axis. The return spring is configured to forward bias the user-actuatable trigger toward an extended posture. The force-feedback motor is configured to drive the rack gear based on a force-feedback signal and thereby adjust a spring force applied by the return spring to the user-actuatable trigger,” the patent description reads.

It’s all a lot of technical jargon, but the basis here is that Microsoft is experimenting with some new feedback features for controller triggers. Whether or not such features will make it to the Xbox One so late in its lifespan is unknown, but it’s certainly something the company can think of for their next console.

Controller innovation is harder to do at this point—the Xbox 360 controller was already held in such high regard that it’s difficult to determine what new add-ons and features would be exciting. I doubt most players realize the “Impulse Triggers” on the Xbox One controller or the touchpad on the DualShock 4.

At this point though, we can probably trust Microsoft with whatever controller they come up with next, as the Xbox Adaptive Controller proved.