Smell-o-Vision, Screens and Speakers Among Rejected Xbox One Controller Technologies

By Gary Cutlack on at

Microsoft's Xbox One controller may have had the ability to generate the smell of burning rubber and spent bullet casings, had it not been for worries about other family members complaining about gamers stinking up the lounge even more than usual.

And, according to Xbox general manager Zulfi Alam, a speaker system similar to Nintendo's was also considered. Alam told Kotaku: "We put speakers on it. The best speakers in the house are the ones associated with the TV and you essentially drown it all away, so it's not a useful investment. It's essentially almost distracting."

Microsoft also experimented with a Wii U-style (or Dreamcast-style) display on the controller option, but decided it only served to distract gamers, with Alam saying: "If you're trying to read, for example, your kill ratio on your controller during active gameplay that's not fun. You'll lose the game, essentially. If you focus on the controller and not on the game, you will eventually be dead. That was one of the things we looked at and said, 'Hey is this is probably not helpful.'"

And most bizarre of all, they tested smell-emitting systems, which would've used disposable cartridges to stink-up your real-world environment. Alam explained: "Essentially you can have a couple of predefined cartridges like gunpowder, burning rubber, smoke, flowers. For example, a core scenario could be, 'Hey, I'm walking through a forest. As I'm walking through a forest, I'll smell foliage.' We can have that scent predefined."

But MS decided that the mums and wives of gamers wouldn't be happy about it overpowering the Glade plugins, so smelly features failed to make the cut. [Kotaku]