Arguments about whether Microsoft or Sony makes a better controller have raged for nearly two decades. Most gamepad disputes pit Xbox’s asymmetrical analog sticks against PlayStation’s parallel ones. But as the Series X and PS5 prepare to launch this year, battery design suddenly features prominently in the debate.
One Business Insider columnist torches Xbox for its decision to ship Series X controllers with disposable batteries .
The writer argues that the console is “missing a basic piece of tech that PlayStation has had for over 10 years.”
That argument completely misses the point. PlayStation’s rechargeable battery packs might appear “sophisticated,” but the Series X controller is clearly the better option for the average gamer.
There’s nothing worse than turning on my PlayStation 4 to find my controller dead. I’m forced to sit right up against the console and plug the controller in, meaning I can’t sit on my bed to play or stand up during a particularly tense session.
If my Xbox controller is dead, I can simply replace the batteries and keep on gaming. I have the option of a rechargeable battery pack, rechargeable AA batteries, or merely buying a pack of 24 that will last me for months.
That’s precisely why Microsoft chose to continue powering its controllers with conventional batteries:
The Xbox Wireless Controller uses AA batteries in order to offer choice to players. As with all our work at Xbox, we place the player at the center of the gaming experience, and so we decided to maintain AA batteries for choice. This way, gamers can choose whether they use disposable AA batteries, rechargeable AA batteries or a rechargeable battery pack.
With a PlayStation controller, I have no choice but to recharge the battery while sitting right next to the console. Xbox’s solution gives me an alternative.
I could sit next to my Xbox One and recharge it with a cord, or I could buy rechargeable AA batteries or traditional ones to replace every 40 hours.
The Business Insider columnist claims batteries are outdated. But what’s even more outdated than batteries? Attaching a cord to your controller and plugging it into your game console.
Xbox’s gamer-friendly strategy is incredibly similar to its platform-inclusive model. Gamers have the option to play on PC or console. The choice belongs to you, rather than the manufacturer.
Props to Microsoft for ignoring the tech bros and sticking to what works best.