When it involves colorful controller designs, Xbox’s recreation has been on level for years. Ever because the Xbox One era, Microsoft has launched many enjoyable variations of its controllers — together with limited editions and the Xbox Design Lab — and this momentum has not slowed with the Xbox Series X / S consoles. Meanwhile, the third-party vary of Xbox controllers is more expansive than ever, and manufacturers like PowerA are hitting budget-friendly costs with slick new colorways of its personal, just like the just lately launched pastel range of the $37.99 PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller for Xbox and PC.
Announced back in March as a spring assortment, these new pastel colours for the Enhanced Wired line embody purple camo, lavender swirl, pink lemonade, pastel dream, and cotton candy blue. Pink lemonade appeared just like the clear winner to me at first with its smooth yellow-to-pink gradient, however now having seen and dealt with all 5 colours in particular person, I can formally declare cotton sweet blue as the most effective looker. It’s truly a bit extra seafoam blueish-greenish than its identify signifies, however regardless, it’s a daring but tender monochromatic hue on this controller.
But all 5 pastel designs look nice general, with various makes use of of gradients, mottled patterns, and / or two-tone distinction on entrance and again that offers each a singular signature. Sure, it’s a disgrace that these controllers are nonetheless saddled with outdated Micro USB connections, however I’ll give some credit score to PowerA for a minimum of opting for a white removable cable with each to raised complement the sunshine and ethereal look.
I’d nonetheless like to see a completely new model of the Enhanced Wired Controller that lastly upgrades to USB-C and possibly even squeezes in a pair extra rear customizable buttons with out cluttering issues up an excessive amount of. But gripes apart, there’s quite a bit to like concerning the aesthetic of those vibrant new colorways. The Enhanced Wired Controller has been our high choose for the best budget Xbox controller you can buy, thanks largely to its particularly reasonable worth whereas nailing the necessities for a wired controller. I can’t say these new colours go as far as to make a great factor higher, as they’re functionally the identical, however they’re refreshing sufficient to make them really feel in some way improved.
These cool new pastels at the moment are available at many retailers, and it received’t be a shock if they begin seeing reductions and gross sales of their very own like many others in PowerA’s lineup. They’re are a small breath of budget-tier recent air, and they’re a pleasant addition to a summer season of gaming that’s bought new native multiplayer video games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge (a great motive to wish further reasonably priced controllers, because it helps as much as six gamers on Xbox and PC).
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge