Everyone has their own poison when it comes to game nostalgia. Maybe it’s the low-poly paradise of Final Fantasy VII’s character models, or the satisfying click of inserting real, physical, game cartridges. Or maybe, your nostalgia is just a little less nostalgic; more digital; a lot more apt to show Dorito dust stains.
For the latter group, Hyperkin is releasing its blast from the early 2000s: a new Xbox 360 controller designed for both PC and modern consoles. The Xenon, as it’s called (a nod to Microsoft’s codename for the Xbox 360), isn’t just a lookalike, it’s an officially licensed remake.
What’s new? — The controller is updated with modern amenities like a share button, USB-C connectivity, and a 3.5mm headphone jack to connect your headset of choice. Hyperkin is also generous on colors and is planning to release the Xenon in black, pink, and red, on top of the original Dorito dust-attracting white.
This isn’t Hyperkin’s first rodeo when it comes to reviving a piece of Xbox nostalgia. You may remember the Duke, a sendup of the Xbox’s original (and very beefy) black controller. It’s also dipped into Nintendo nostalgia with controllers like the Admiral — a wireless rendition of the Nintendo 64’s iconic trident-shaped contraption.
One of my personal favorites, if just for sheer wackiness, is the X91 Ice controller — an unholy marriage between Sega’s Genesis controller and Xbox. It’s see-through; it’s weird; it even works for the Xbox Series S and X!
While we haven’t seen the controller IRL yet, the Xenon looks like a very diligent remake of Microsoft’s original hardware. I, for one, wouldn’t mind reliving the tactile pleasure of the Xbox 360 controller’s smooth plastic, as opposed to the current generation’s matte feel. Maybe it will even get progressively greasier as you use it!
Price and release date — Design-wise, the Xbox 360 controller is much closer to the current-gen controllers most people use now, so the Xenon might even be less of a gag than other recreations, and more of an everyday use piece of hardware.
Unfortunately, there is no current price or release date for the Xenon yet, so you’ll have to use your imagination for now. Alternatively, if you’ve somehow held onto your Xbox 360 controller for this long, Microsoft’s backward compatibility actually works in your favor.