Xbox One controller: Button-mashing goodness designed to last a decade

Microsoft has been testing the controller and says that it'll last up to 10 years, if not longer.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
The Xbox One controller.
The Xbox One controller James Martin/CNET

Microsoft's Xbox One controller will be one hardened piece of hardware.

Speaking to tech news site Pocket-lint in an interview published Wednesday, Microsoft accessories and hardware manager Bob Brown said his company has been testing the Xbox One's controller by pressing its buttons "over and over, between 4-5 times a second." Twenty controllers are being mashed with 2 million button presses each, according to Pocket-lint.

As each button is pressed, a computer analyzes its function to ensure it's sending a signal back to a console. If it doesn't operate correctly anymore, its errors are analyzed and the device is improved upon for the next prototype. The controller's thumbsticks are also tossed around and the controller is dropped to see how it responds to shock. All of that information is used to build a better controller.

According to Pocket-lint, those efforts have paid off: the latest controller prototypes can handle 3 million button presses before they stop functioning. Microsoft estimates that this gives the controller more than 10 years of life. Given recent console upgrade cycles, that means the controller will last long enough for people to buy just one controller and then move on to their next console.

Microsoft announced the Xbox One earlier this month. The company is expected to provide more details on the console at the E3 gaming conference in June.