Unknown Duracell Deal Is Why Xbox Controllers Still Use Aa Batteries
While many companies have moved to internal rechargeable batteries for their peripherals, the Xbox controller still utilises replaceable AA batteries. Many have questioned this choice, but the decision to keep AAs going is reportedly due to a deal with Duracell.
Reported by Stealth Optional, Duracell UK Marketing Manager Luke Anderson explained that Microsoft and Duracell have had a multi-generation deal in place that keeps AA batteries in use, explaining why every Xbox controller coming with a pair of disposable AA Duracell batteries.
Theres always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox Its a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place, Anderson told the outlet.
for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers battery. So that going to go on for a while its been going on for a while and I think it needs to go for a while .
Following the original report, MCVUK followed up with Microsoft where a spokesperson explained that the company intentionally offers consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers.
We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers, Microsoft responded. This includes the use of AA batteries from any brand, the Xbox Rechargeable Battery, charging solutions from our partners, or a USB-C cable, which can power the controller when plugged in to the console or PC.
Dont Forget To Replace Your Rechargeables
Unlike Sonys DualShock 4 and DualSense controllers for the PS4 and PS5, Microsoft has stuck with replaceable batteries for the Xbox Series X and S. This means you can easily replace the battery pack in a few years when it starts to show its age.
If you notice that your controller isnt lasting like it used to, consider replacing your rechargeable battery with one of the solutions mentioned in this article.
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By sticking with AA batteries, you can choose what power option to use for your Xbox controllers, which is in stark contrast to Sony and Nintendo, both of which opted for rechargeable batteries in their controllers. The deal with Duracell simply means your Xbox controller will ship with Duracell brand AA batteries and that doesn’t look like it will change any time soon.
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Xbox One Controller Will Work On The Pc But Not Yet
Also included in the article is a section about portability for PC gamers. Though not directly from Alam, Kotaku say that a Microsoft spokesperson told them that there is still some work to be done. Essentially they say that in order to create a seamless experience for the user, they need to spend a bit more time tinkering to allow the Xbox One controller to work for supported PC or Mac games. Expect to be able to use them in 2014 is the message to take from it.
Xbox Series X Controller Longer Shelf Life
All of this came as a response to a statement made by Duracell UKs Marketing Manager, Luke Anderson, who argued that the main reason for Xbox to ship controllers with batteries and not a built-in battery like its competition was its deal with Duracell. “The deal is for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers’ battery. Its a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place. It needs to go for a while more” said Anderson in his interview with Stealth Optional.
Andersons theory, as absurd as it sounds, does make some sense because a deal between Microsoft and Duracell does in fact exist, which involves Duracell often tweeting about using its batteries in the Xbox Controllers. In 2020, Duracell also announced a promotion that allowed users of their extra powered battery, Duracell Optimum, to try the Xbox Game Pass for two weeks. The specifics of this deal are still unclear, but Microsoft has consistently denied that they ship controllers with AA batteries because of this deal, but do so to provide a choice to the consumer, which sounds reasonable enough.
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What You Need To Know
- Microsoft recently revealed every detail about the Xbox Series X controller.
- The device still uses AA batteries.
- The company decided to include them because it’s all about flexibility.
- The Xbox Series X is scheduled to launch in Holiday 2020.
Recently, Microsoft revealed the Xbox Series X controller. It’s quite similar to what we have with the Xbox One, but there are a number of refinements like textured triggers and more. However, it still uses AA batteries.
When this was announced, there was some outrage, but Microsoft feels that this gives gamers flexibility. Speaking with Digital Foundry as reported by VG247 Xbox’s Partner Director of Program Management said the following.
What it comes down to is when actually talking to gamers, it’s kind of polarising and there is a strong camp that really want AAs. So just giving flexibility is the way to please both people You can use a rechargeable battery pack and it works just like it does on the Elite, but it is a separate thing.
In my opinion, removable AA batteries also increase the shelf life of the controller. I have a PlayStation 4 DualShock 4 that can barely keep its charge even though it’s only four months old. This means that it’s essentially a wired controller unless I take it apart and slot in a third-party replacement, if that’s even possible.
Are you happy that Microsoft included AA batteries in the controller? Or would you prefer a built-in version? Let us know.
Xbox Series X Controller Uses Aa Batteries Because User Preference Is Split Even
Unlike PlayStation controllers, the next-gen Xbox still uses AA batteries.
The new Xbox Series X controller, like its predecessors, will use AA batteries instead of a rechargeable battery that is found in PlayStation’s DualShock controllers.
Xbox partner director Jason Ronald told Eurogamer that the Xbox audience is split nearly evenly when it comes their preference between AA batteries versus a built-in rechargeable battery. Sticking with AA batteries for Xbox Series X is an effort to please both camps, as people can still buy a rechargeable battery pack for the controller, Microsoft said.
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“What it comes down to is when actually talking to gamers, it’s kind of polarizing and there is a strong camp that really want AAs,” Ronald said. “So just giving flexibility is the way to please both people… You can use a rechargeable battery pack and it works just like it does on the Elite, it is a separate thing.”
“And so just by slightly shrinking some areas of the controller, we found that we can actually reach a lot more people and at the same time make it more comfortable for everyone,” he said.
Microsoft didn’t change the controller design radically for the Xbox Series X because people generally like it and are used to it. “They’ve got a lot of muscle memory in there,” Whitaker said.
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I have said a lot of controversial things on Twitter and yet this might be the most responses I got to a tweetever? Who knew battery preference was so controversial?
What I learned is that people have ton of opinions about battery charging and disposables versus reusables versus internal batteries and so on. Among the various things I heard:
Many people will have more than one controller, even on next-gen systems where there are frequently fewer and fewer couch co-op games, in order to be able to swap out one controller for another when the first one dies. The other one charges and they keep swapping.
PS5 Charging Cradle
Others wondered why I didnt just get a controller charging station, as you can just put the PS5 controller in a cradle and let it charge there overnight or whenever youre not using it. Of course both of the above options cost money for extra hardware.
Some agreed with me that they did like having batteries in their controller, but they were using rechargeable AA batteries that they could swap out instead of throwing them away.
Others still were indeed like me, and have giant piles of batteries sitting around somewhere for all their devices that still use them that they got from Costco or something, so swapping out disposable batteries is not really a big deal and its not all that expensive in the end. Though perhaps over the long term, that may add up. Annnnd its probably not the best for the environment.
Update: The Gaming World Reacts To This Story
Since we originally posted this article, Microsoft gave this statement to MCV: We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers.
This includes the use of AA batteries from any brand, the Xbox Rechargeable Battery, charging solutions from our partners, or a USB-C cable, which can power the controller when plugged in to the console or PC.
Furthermore, IGN and Eurogamer have both stated that their sources do not believe that Xbox and Duracell have such a partnership in place regarding AA battery support. Weve reached out to both companies for further comments, but havent received them at the time of this sentence being written.
Well be sure to update this article again if we hear more. Back in our original interview with Duracell, though, we did speak about some other things too
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Why The Xbox One Controller Uses Batteries & More
By now, Im sure many of you will have seen, or at least heard, about the Xbox One unboxing. A follow-up video that also featured Major Nelson was covered yesterday by Attack of the Fanboy, dealing exclusively with the new controller and its many tweaks.
One of the most common questions, and sticks used to beat the controller with, is why are Microsoft still using AA batteries in their controllers? Well, a Kotaku interview with Zulfi Alam, head of Xbox accessories and co-star of Major Nelson in the aforementioned video, delves deeper. The full article can be found here, but it is very long, so weve hand picked the best bits for you below.
This Is Why Xbox Controllers Still Use Aa Batteries
The Xbox controllers continue to use AA batteries instead of built-in batteries charged via USB due to an ongoing long-term deal with Duracell. This is in stark contrast to the competition. Both Sony and Nintendo have moved on to internal rechargeable batteries since the PS3 controller and Wii U Classic Controller respectively.
Theres always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox Its a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place, said Duracell UKs marketing manager, Luke Anderson, in an interview with Stealth Optional.
for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers battery. So that going to go on for a while its been going on for a while and I think it needs to go for a while , explained Anderson. This would mean that not only would Xbox simply support AA batteries but Duracell also supplies the necessary tech and components related to Xbox controller batteries.
All of this would suggest that any deal between Microsoft and Duracell to ensure AA batteries found their way into Xbox controllers may have been in place since the Xbox 360s launch nearly 15 years ago. The Xbox 360 was the first Microsoft console to use AA batteries.
While Microsoft has not divulged the nature of its contract with Duracell, it did state that Xbox users have multiple options for charging their controllers.
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Got A Play And Charge Kit Charge Smart
The Xbox controller comes with a single set of disposable batteries. The easiest way to upgrade your controller to be rechargeable is to purchase Microsofts official Play and Charge Kit . The kit includes a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack and charging cable with a USB-C connector .
These batteries take around four hours to charge completely and contain around 1400 mAh. That should last for around 30 hours of gaming, although your mileage may vary depending on factors like rumble usage and whether youre using a headset.
Youll get a longer life out of lithium-ion batteries using partial discharge cycles and avoiding full discharge cycles. That means using 20-30% of the batterys capacity, then charging it back up. At the same time, you dont want the battery to spend too long in a fully charged state either. That means plugging in your controller frequently, but not for too long.
You can check your battery status in the Xbox dashboard by pressing the Xbox guide button and looking in the top-right corner of the screen. Unplugging your controller before it reaches 100% capacity could extend its life, as could avoiding letting the battery get too low on charge. Its better to charge for an hour while you play a game than it is to leave your controller plugged in all weekend.
If youre still using an Xbox One controller, then youll need to use a Micro USB cable instead .
Xbox Series X Controllers Do Not Use Batteries Because Of Duracell Deal
Microsoft has clarified that a longterm deal with Duracell has nothing to do with why Xbox controllers still use replaceable batteries.
Due to conflicting reports, Microsoft has clarified that the use of replaceable batteries in Xbox controllers is completely independent of a deal with Duracell rather, replaceable batteries are away to give customers more flexible options. Recently, a report made the rounds suggesting Xbox was essentially forced to use batteries to satisfy the terms of a deal with the aforementioned battery manufacturer. Despite Microsoft previously stating otherwise, said news still gained traction.
After confirming the return of removable batteries for Xbox Series X last year, Xbox Partner Director of Program Management Jason Ronald was asked why Microsoft continued to rely on that particular charging solution. Speaking with Digital Foundry, he simply noted the company wanted to ensure Xbox players had options in this regard since the community was split when it came to what users preferred. But a recent interview with Luke Anderson, Duracell’s Marketing Manager, brought the conversation back to the fore.
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Duracell Teams Up With Gareth Bale
In a bid to stay down with the kids, Duracell has sponsored its first ever esports team Gareth Bales Ellevens Esports. With most under 15s probably having yet to encounter a AA battery in their day to day lives, you can see why Duracell are opting to put their iconic rabbit behind a promising new esports team.
Weve got bunny as a brand ambassador that you see attached to football all the time, so with Ellevens being a FIFA team and having a really cool character like Gareth Bale, its a good brand fit for Duracell.
Anderson adds, You know, there are loads of batteries out there, you can go to any supermarket and see loads of batteries. So I think where the relationship with Ellevens helps Duracell is to become more relevant again to the younger audience the younger market.
Next, I decide to grill Anderson about the issues that really matter Bale/Bunny relations.
Gareth Bale is a very busy person, so, I dont think hes met the bunny in person just yet. But you know, Im sure therell be opportunities in the future for bunny to come down to the pitch. Im sure theres an opportunity waiting.
There you have it another Earth shattering Stealth Optional exclusive. While it hurts me no end, Im soon dragged away from the world of rabbit mascots and footballers and back to the land of lithium.
Xbox Series X Controllers Won’t Ditch Aa Batteries For A While Yet Here’s Why
Money from the Duracell bunny
Xbox has always been known for sticking to its guns when it comes to traditional battery packs. As far back as the Xbox 360, players have been given the option of powering their gamepads using AA batteries, and its an outdated feature that has also found its way into the next generation of consoles. Yes, Xbox Series X controllers still take AA batteries but theres a reason, we guess.
Unlike PlayStations DualShock series of controllers, which have always used an inbuilt rechargeable battery, the Xbox controller range has, at least, given players options when it comes to how to power their controllers. But the real reason for Microsoft dragging its feet on batteries lies in a long-lasting deal struck with Duracell.
In an interview with Stealth Optional, Duracell UKs marketing director, Luke Anderson, suggested theres always been a partnership with Duracell and Xbox. He said: Its a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place for to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers battery.
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