The Original Xbox Controller Could've been Worse

By Gary Cutlack on at

One of the key men behind the launch of the entire Xbox division at Microsoft has treated fans to a bit of history, revealing a few design concepts for controllers to accompany the first generation Xbox -- including one that copied the Dreamcast's innovative plug-in miniature memory-card-with-a-screen idea.

They come from the Twitter account of Seamus Blackley, who gave us a bizarre flashback to a brief period of 1999 when Sega was sort of doing OK, explaining that: "These look as they do because at the time Dreamcast was king," and the designers wanted to clone the DC's device; although he stresses that none of these concepts were ever particularly close to being chosen as the actual controller for the Xbox.

This is the most Dreamcasty of the lot, and appears to show that MS considered the idea of cloning Sega's VMU plug-in memory system. Had Dreamcast not been a bit of a disaster, perhaps all games machines may have permanently beeping swappable memory today.

This one's called the Bio and is a very Microsofty one. It's the Microsoft 3D Analogue Games Controller 2000 Edition controller, with built-in Game Progress Check Screen Assistant. Imagine how heavy and awful it would've been. Had it been real.

This is the Exterminator. Had this been the controller, Xbox would've sold 200 units worldwide.

Another bonkers mess. If even us, with years of gaming experience, can't tell which way round you're supposed to hold it, chances are it wouldn't have taken off. Blackley also trotted out his old reason the Xbox was called Xbox, and it was a very Microsoft kind of decision. He said: "Our name for it was 'Direct X box,' a device that was designed just to run graphics and sound. It stuck, nearly." [Twitter via VG247]

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