I’ve had the Duke controller a few days now and I’ve had a chance to get to grips (literally!) with it. Before I crack on with my review, here’s some information about “The Duke”.
Hyperkin has recreated the original 2001 Xbox controller aka “The Duke” as an officially Xbox-licensed controller, compatible with the Xbox One family of devices and Windows 10 PCs. The Duke features a home button with an animated Xbox logo display screen, precision analogue triggers, a 3.5 mm headset jack, a 9 ft. detachable cable, and the return of the black and white buttons. The Duke is big, bad, and ready for action. It’s time for a hands-on history lesson!
Original (2001) Xbox-style Controller for Xbox One and Windows 10
2 analogue sticks and 4-way D-pad
Classic ergonomics, perfect for bigger hands or original Xbox fans
Precision analogue triggers
Animated logo display screen
Force feedback and impulse trigger vibration
3.5 mm headset jack
Re-enforced 9 ft. detachable cable
Classic X, B, A, Y, LB, RB, Black, and White button layout (including Menu and View buttons)
I have to say that I am thoroughly enjoying using The Duke. I was a little concerned that it would become uncomfortable after a long play session. However, it is actually very comfortable. For something of its size, the Duke is surprisingly light.
The LCD display, featuring the original Xbox startup animation, is one of the most appealing features of the controller. I know it would be a lot to ask but having the sound alongside the animation would’ve been great. My five-year-old daughter thought that this was a very cool feature!
The controller comes with a 9ft, detachable micro-USB cable. Removing the cable turns the controller off. Having a lead can be a limiting factor, however, it was
As would be expected, the Duke works really well with the Xbox One.
Pressing the home button brings up the Xbox menu. Also, everytime you press the home button, the animation plays. This could get a little repetitive for some people.
The LB and RB shoulder buttons allow you to move back and forth through the dashboard. Also, the triggers allow you to scroll up and down quickly through your game library.
A nuance I found was in the Devices section of the Xbox settings menu. The controller is shown, however, when you click buzz, the controller doesn’t vibrate. This isn’t an issue at all, it’s just something that I noticed.
A great feature of this controller is the trigger buttons, LT and RT. They felt extremely responsive and easily accessible. It did take me a little while to get used to the different layout on the A, B, X and Y buttons, but after some time it became second nature.
I’ve read some complaints online about the D-Pad. However, it wasn’t a problem for me. If anything, I felt that it was very good.
If I could ask for one feature that would improve this controller, it would be for it to be wireless. I understand why it isn’t though, and it’s quite nice not to have to worry about flat batteries.
The LCD screen is an exciting feature. However, it would be great if it could be used in other ways. For example, messages and achievements unlocked notifications. Perhaps this is something that will feature on future controllers?
This controller will not be for everyone. To me, it will be for two distinct audiences. Nostalgic gamers, who want a piece of Xbox history and people with big hands! I fall into both of those categories, so it’s perfect for me.
I’d like to say a huge personal thanks to Chris Gallizzi and Seamus Blackley. Without the two of them, this review would not have been possible.
You can purchase the Green Duke controller at https://www.game.co.uk/en/duke-controller-green-2447757.