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The new Xbox Wireless Controller offers more than just custom colours

The Xbox One S might be impressive, but don't overlook the new Xbox Wireless Controller.

Nic Healey Senior Editor / Australia
Nic Healey is a Senior Editor with CNET, based in the Australia office. His passions include bourbon, video games and boring strangers with photos of his cat.
Jacob Krol CNET Intern
Jacob Krol is an editorial intern for CNET. He has a big love for all things tech, and is a huge Springsteen fan and also a native New Jerseyan. Jacob is currently a rising junior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA.
Nic Healey
Jacob Krol
2 min read
Nic Healey/CNET

While Microsoft led with the already-leaked Xbox One S console, the new look Xbox Wireless Controller also raised a few eyebrows at the Microsoft press conference at E3 2016.

While Microsoft hyped the customisation -- over 8 million different ways of making it all your own, apparently. -- there's a lot of difference to be found.

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Watch this: Up close with Microsoft's new Xbox One controller

Bluetooth: Currently gamers who want to use a controller with their PC have to get a dongle, and quite frankly it can become a hassle. But this long setup process is no more, as the updated Wireless Controller has Bluetooth connectivity built in. Not only will this let you easily connect the controller to the Xbox , but it can connect to your PC and many other devices. By going with Bluetooth you get an increased range of connectivity as well. Just don't necessarily expect all functions to work: headsets plugged into the controller's 3.5mm audio jack, and accessories like the Xbox One Chatpad mini keyboard., won't work on PC over Bluetooth.

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Textured grip: The new controller has a subtly streamlined design, with a textured grip on the rear. It certainly doesn't have the premium feel of the Xbox Elite Controller, but it also doesn't have the price tag either: it's starting at $79.99 (Australian and UK pricing still undetermined) but it'll go up based on the customization you want. It's light, but not so much so that it feels tacky and cheap. The thumbstick action is smooth, and the textured areas are actually quite noticeable and very welcome.

Headphone jack: The new controller also has a 3.5mm jack so you can plug your headphones straight in, a feature that only recently came to Xbox One controllers. The original controller needed an adapter, so that's a nice touch. Do note that you won't be able to use the 3.5mm jack with a PC when connected with the new Bluetooth connection, though.

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The will ship with one of the new Wireless controllers but you can get your own separately starting late August. The Design Lab customisation, sadly, is US and Canada only to start off with but will expand out to new regions soon after, according to Microsoft.

Watch this: Microsoft debuts new hardware, teases the future at E3 2016