Xbox's new Elite controller might just be the one for you, especially if you've been waiting on a more affordable option.
The Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 is getting a new 'Core Edition' which comes in a slick white finish – a stark difference to the original's solid black. And unlike the launch edition, you can buy the new controller as a standalone, without all of the accessories that come bundled with the black Elite Series 2. So it's a drastically cheaper option, so long as you're not fussed about the extras.
A release date hasn't been announced just yet, but the the price tag is $129.99 / £114.99 / AU$137.44. Still, you can go ahead and pre-order the white Core Edition Elite Controller from the official Microsoft store right now if you want to beat the rush.
That's a saving of $50 / £45 / AU$113, which is a big price saving compared to the original Series 2 pad's $179.99 / £159.99 / AU$249.95 price point. But if you factor in all of the extra accessories – like the carry case and spare back paddles and thumbsticks – which are now bundled separately in the Complete Component Pack it comes out at around the same price. The pack will run you an extra $59.99 / £54.99 / AU$79.95, bringing the overall cost back up to roughly the same as the black Elite Series 2, which comes bundled with all of that as standard.
Elite for the masses?
If you couldn't care less about the extras in the component pack, and are hoping to make a saving on the black Elite Wireless Controller, you're out of luck. Microsoft has confirmed that, for now at least, it's just the white Elite Series 2 that will be available as a standalone Core edition. However, a Microsoft spokesperson told us they'd have "additional information soon" regarding this. So the Core edition branding might expand to other Elite pads in future.
The official announcement of this white variant of the Elite Series 2 controller has come not long after it was spotted in the wild, along with its packaging. It seemed a safe bet that the pad was indeed real, but I'm happy Microsoft hasn't left us out in the lurch on that front for too long.
Sure, there's no significant differences compared to the original Elite Series 2, besides the color scheme. But offering the pad on its own at a reduce price point is a smart move. It gives players on a stricter budget the chance to try out the excellent Elite controller, with the option to buy the accessories separately should they so choose.
I'm hopeful that this new Core edition branding will eventually make its way to other controllers in Microsoft's Elite range; ones that are available now and in the future. Not just for cost effectiveness, but for the potential of more colors, too. I really like the new white design, but such a plain color scheme surely won't be everyone's cup of tea.
Microsoft's announcement of the white Elite Series 2 comes relatively soon after the unveiling of the DualSense Edge. Sony's pro pad debut yet lacks a price and release date. But I'm curious to see how its customization options and overall feel will compare to Xbox's Elite pad.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.