GameSpot – For nearly twenty years, Microsoft’s Xbox has been a constant force in gaming, nestled alongside Sony’s PlayStation as one of the most popular gaming brands. With the coming shift that the upcoming Xbox Series X will bring, fans have been clamoring for more details on what’s to come with next-gen. While the console itself features some impressive features, the one thing that players are especially excited to see more of, and to get their hands on, is the controller itself. The many controllers throughout Xbox’s history have placed themselves among the pantheon of gaming’s most iconic devices, and the Xbox Series X’s controller looks to continue on a tradition of having an accessible and engaging peripheral to get a grip on.
With this in mind, we wanted to take a look at the history of the Xbox’s key controllers and upgrades. Many of these controllers would possess features and innovations that would go on to become trailblazers for more exciting and accessible ways to play for the audience. In this video, video producer Jay Julio takes us back to the beginning with the Xbox’s original controller–often known as The Duke–and explains how each device paved the way for what came next.
Few video game genres instill power and satisfaction as easily as the shooter. While players can’t raise hell in titles like Call of Duty on the same scale as they can in games like Civilization, the immediacy of the former’s gameplay has proven time and time again to be far more efficient of an endorphin rush. Decades after players were first able to do so in Wolfenstein, unloading one’s clip into an unsuspecting enemy is still sublime like few other experiences in the medium; an unequivocal act of domination bereft of drawbacks or emotional trauma.
But every now and then, a shooter goes against the grain, and attempts to subvert these very foundations upon which it is built. Spec Ops: The Line was one such game. Released in 2012 on consoles and PC, The Line began in an unassuming fashion, casting players as the leader of a three-man team tasked with investigating the fate of a rogue colonel in a sand-swept version of Dubai. Those who kept with it, however, quickly discovered that underneath its modest premise laid a hellish odyssey, one that forced its protagonists into disturbing predicaments at every turn, and repeatedly questioned the ethicality of how they chose to solve them.
Like many subversive games before it, The Line received critical acclaim upon its release, but disappointed at retail, selling well below other, contemporaneous first-person shooters. Almost everyone who was involved in its production, however, was almost relieved that it didn’t end up becoming a massive hit – for bringing it into being had been its own personal hell, and nobody was ready to go for a second round.