Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 [Console and PC]

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by BRiT, Jun 9, 2019.

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  1. BRiT

    BRiT (╯°□°)╯
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    I expect standard lifetime of an Elite controller to be at least 10 years. I expect battery life of play-and-charge to be 2.5 to 3 years. If an Elite 2 controller can't last the entire 10 years without having to send it in for replacing the battery, then Microsoft fucked up.
     
  2. turkey

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    Why can they not make it rechargeable and user replaceable? Mobile phones have managed this for a good while.
     
  3. Shifty Geezer

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    Many modern mobiles don't allow you to change the battery, and aren't expected to last 10 years. It's $80 to replace an iPhone battery through Apple?
     
  4. arhra

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    Most (higher-end) phones these days don't have user-replaceable batteries, for reasons that make perfect sense from an engineering standpoint.

    Making the battery replaceable adds cost and complexity to the manufacturing, since now you need to design and build a battery bay and contacts rather than hardwiring the battery and having a one-piece external shell, and will result in a larger device for the same battery capacity (or a smaller, lower-capacity battery if they prioritise size over battery), because the battery bay needs to protect the innards of the device while the user is swapping the battery. And for phones in particular, it also make waterproofing harder to achieve, but that's obviously not an issue for a controller.

    We don't know what they're defining as the "standard lifetime" of the Elite, but whatever it is, they're saying that by the end of that period, it will still at least match the battery life you'd get from a pair of AAs (40 hours). Given that a Dual Shock 4 lasts maybe 8 hours straight out of the box, 40 hours after many years sounds more than adequate for me.

    Also, as they mention in the Coliseum video, comparisons to phones aren't necessarily the most constructive - lithium ion battery chemistry prefers partial discharge to deep discharge, which better matches a controller's usage than a phone. Phones will typically be run down to almost zero nearly every day before being fully recharged overnight, whereas a controller will either have multiple small discharges with top-offs in-between (if you're putting it back on the charger after every use), rarely getting below 75% (most people aren't going to be gaming for >10h on a regular basis), or if people do fully discharge before recharging, those charge cycles are going to be significantly less frequent than they would be with a phone. Either way, the battery would last a lot longer than the same battery would in a phone.

    I'd personally prefer a user-replaceable battery, just in case, but it's not the end of the world.
     
  5. ToTTenTranz

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    No they didn't. They're simply following the needs and wants of 99.9% of their customers instead of following yours. Fuck up is what they've been doing until now.

    The absence of a battery charge IC in the previous controllers is a drag, a bother, a constant roll-eye reminder of how well we are right now compared to the nineties.
    I have a XBone controller to play on the PC, and even with the Eneloop Pros (because using non-rechargeable batteries except for wristwatches and IR remotes is frankly just stupid in this day and age) whenever they go out I keep thinking WTF what year is this?!

    The DS4's battery is completely fine. It lasts more than a handful of gaming sessions and it charges fast. The DS4 is really cheap too, they often go for $35 on sales. When one battery starts going out I simply swap out for another DS4 and put the first one in the dedicated charger, or just plug it into whatever USB port is around to charge it, or just plug it into the console to play while it's charging.

    With the XBone controller I need to stop playing, open the battery case, find if I have other batteries charged around, put them into the controller, close the battery case (in case I didn't lose it in the meantime), search the house for that 20 year-old AA battery charger, plug the bulky battery charger into the wall, put the AA cells in it, wait like 30 hours for those things to charge and then put them into some place where I won't forget about them.


    It's just stupid. It made little sense in 2006, even less sense in 2013 and it definitely doesn't make any sense now.
    Every single handheld/mobile device has a battery charging IC nowadays. Every wireless mouse, wireless keyboard, smartphone, tablet, laptop, daydream controller, VR controller, mobile router, portable bluetooth speaker, etc. has an embedded battery charging IC, even if they're using AA cells.
    Except for the XBone gamepad.
     
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  6. milk

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    yeah, why can't they keep the standard AA batery format, but embed the charging functionality in the controller itself?
     
  7. BRiT

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    All they had to do was include the existing play and charge kit. What they did was fuck it all up by not making it user servicable.

    All Xbox controllers include charging capabilities when paired with the play and charge kits, just plug in the USB cable and you're charging.
     
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  8. Shifty Geezer

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    The question is one of how long it can keep its charge for over years of use. To be fair though, I've not known it a problem on DS4 or DS3. The contorllers tend to die long before the battery really suffers in my experience.

    You've really stretched out a worst case scenario though. ;) I think you'll find the typical XB player has a better solution. They'll have a modern charger that can flash charge the AAs, and cycle a number of batteries so they've already got spares. Or they'll buy a massive brick of disposable AAs cheap and chuck the old ones into the battery recycling.

    I think that's to do with the chemistry. AA batteries are either charging or discharging. You can't run them like LiPols charging and using at the same time, I don't think.
     
  9. milk

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    No problem, when the controler is plugged in, split the energy, some of it charges the batery, the other half powers the unit.
    The standard Xbone controllers already can run without bateries in it if it's plugged in. Doesn't even need to be the xbox itself.
    I play whith a batery-less xbone controller all the time in my house, plugged to my cellphone charger connected at the wall near the couch.
     
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  10. Shifty Geezer

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    Yeah, that seems to be what the play and charge kit does. I don't know what that adds to the cost though. Probably not much and probably worth doing, which makes it an odd exclusion. Although much more understandable when you see $20 to add that feature!
     
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  11. milk

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    My real question is, why the fuck isn't EVERY controller like that?
    If I had to chose between MS and Sony's solution, I'd go with sony, but even then, the ideal is the best of both worlds, which is perfectly possible, but nobody can be bothered... sigh.
     
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  12. BRiT

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    Why they don't make it work for AA-Batteries as well is a bit boggling and daft. That doesn't bother me, since I've been using some form of play-and-charge kit since around 2009.
     
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  13. London-boy

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    As a historic PS user, I find the concept of controllers with AA batteries really foreign. In my experience, I’ve never had to replace a Dual shock because of batteries. I’ve never had to replace one full stop. My partner goes through DS’s like they were cherries and I have no idea how he does it. But it’s never because of the batteries.

    They last many hours, and if ever I have to stop playing to recharge - because I haven’t stopped for a few hours - then that’s really a signal that I need a break.
     
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  14. BRiT

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    The existing play-and-charge gets close to 30 hours of gaming time, so I'm not sure why anyone would want to deal with less such as the DS or AA batteries, and having to recharge after 6 hours sucks.

    I've had to replace the battery in the play-and-charge every 3 to 4 years. The battery still works, but it has to charge every 8 hours. That's a huge falloff from 30 hours.

    We're used to better, so MS delivering potentially less after 3 years is a FrakUp. Maybe it's still better than Sony DS, but it's still a huge step down.
     
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  15. Shifty Geezer

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    DS3 had 30 hours of battery life too. DS4 has less due to that truly awesome, invaluable honking great light on the front.
     
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  16. BRiT

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    That's good to know they had 30 hours before their mandatory light eating battery design. I think the Elite Series 2 is said to have around 40 hours. Maybe they use better quality to not have the 30 hour to 8 hour dropoff after 3 years of use?
     
  17. ToTTenTranz

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    Probably because the several decades old AA standard for rechargeable batteries doesn't support high currents and voltages to for recharging, so any decent capacity amount takes over 20 hours to recharge.

    Which makes the choice of going with AA cells even weirder.
     
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  18. milk

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    There are brands that support faster recharge, sony is one of them by the way, but I imagine you can only use their special bateries on their charger and vice versa otherwise things might break. Nothing stops MS or sony from using such an above-spec charging system on their controler and dock and then tell the customer to only use the controler for recharging as you play with their own custom included bateries and not from other companies. One can still do it at their own risk, and you can always buy a cheap non-rechargeable pack at the convineince store in am emergency - I do that more than one would think, so that's why I value having that option.
     
    #38 milk, Jun 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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  19. BRiT

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    So pretty much the existing play-and-charge kit with a turbo charger enhancement?
     
  20. Silent_Buddha

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    The format of the battery isn't even a barrier. My Logitech MX Revolution used rechargeable AA Lithium Ion Polymer rechargeable batteries with the ability to charge them in the mouse itself. These came out over a decade ago.

    And mine is still useable...because I can replace the batteries easily. If this was made with a non-replaceable battery, I'd have had to throw it away years ago even though the mouse is still fine.

    The rest isn't a reply to you but to the general feeling of User replaceable batteries being a bad idea for some weird convoluted reason. I can understand not wanting it...I guess. But a bad idea? What?

    I can see why relatively cheap throw away controllers can get away with non-replaceable batteries, but the Elite 2 is a premium controller at a premium price with premium build quality. In theory it's meant to last a long time.

    Unfortunately, when paired with a non-user replaceable battery, I'll likely have to throw away the controller long before the controller goes bad. Or pay an exorbitant price to get the battery replaced or risk damaging the controller to try to replace it myself.

    After my experience with the iPhone 6S and the battery capacity going into unacceptable territory after only 3 years, I really REALLY dislike...no hate...the thought of a non-user replaceable battery in an expensive for its class device.

    Microsoft really F-d up here, IMO.

    Also coming from working in the recycling industry. Devices with user replaceable batteries are just so much easier to recycle safely. Heck consumers can safely and easily recycle the battery before disposing of the device unlike devices with non-user replaceable batteries.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #40 Silent_Buddha, Jun 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
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