Gaming fans can now head back to 2001 as the classic “Duke” controller returns to shelves, but this time, it’s for the Xbox One.
Originally bundled with the Xbox in all territories except Japan, the hefty Duke became synonymous with the first generation of Microsoft’s best-selling console. Usurped by the smaller Xbox Controller S, the Duke was eventually phased out to make way for the more streamlined Xbox 360 controller and went out of fashion thanks to its incompatibility. However, as an icon of the gaming world, the Duke is finally back.
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Available now from Microsoft, the Hyperkin Duke Wired Controller is described as “big, bad, and ready for action.” For $69.99, gamers can feel all the nostalgic fun of the Duke while playing the latest Xbox One titles.Including the original Xbox startup screen on the home button, the Duke also features analog trigger and bumpers, a 9 ft. detachable USB cable, and a 3.5 mm headset jack. Just slightly smaller than the original (which was mocked for its size), Duke 2018 still has the same italicized lettering and squishy D-pad from all those years ago.
Coming to the Xbox One and Windows 10, Hyperkin’s Duke is an officially licensed controller and the first one to ever display the “classic” Xbox logo and design. The road to the Duke’s return has been a long one, with news that the hefty controller was coming back announced two years ago. Although Hyperkin’s model was available for pre-order, those who didn’t already put their names down can pick one up now. Sadly, there appears to have been a customs delay for GameStop shipments, meaning those who ordered from there will have to wait until May 15 to play with the Duke.
Both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One controllers have raised the bar from the early days of the Duke, but the original set the precedent for how Microsoft would move forward with its controllers. Admittedly not for everyone thanks to its large size, the Duke is a chunky cousin to today’s petite offerings. It is quite a bit more than the current Xbox One controllers and there is no wireless ability, but these niggles are a relatively small price to pay thanks to the Duke’s nostalgic feel.
Alongside iconic controllers like the N64, Sega Mega Drive six-button, and PlayStation Dualshock, the Duke conjures up images of retro gaming at its best. Although Microsoft is currently looking to the future and what could come after the Xbox One X, at least the company is committed to bringing the king of Xbox controllers back for another bout of button-bashing.
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