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Video Games

US Navy hooking up Xbox controllers to new submarines

The familiar gamepads will control advanced periscope systems.

Josh Miller/CNET

No, multiplayer Halo tournaments are not coming to a submarine near you. But, the US Navy is working on integrating the familiar Xbox 360 controller (but not the newer Xbox One controller) with its newest Virginia-class submarines. According to the Virginian-Pilot newspaper, game controllers are being tested with modern periscope systems, which have long since replaced the traditional giant tube with a series of high-resolution cameras.

Sailors reported that the helicopter-style controls for the periscope cameras were unwieldy, so Navy officials and Lockheed Martin looked for ways to use simpler, off-the-shelf technology.

The first sub with the new Xbox controller is expected to be the USS Colorado, which will be commissioned in November. Xbox maker Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.