I remember my first console controller—the polished black batwing I used to steer my Xbox 360—as vaguely sticky. What do middle schoolers do to cover everything they touch in a thin, gummy worm film? Aside from eating many gummy worms? (In my case, at least.) Peripheral manufacturer Hyperkin is giving us all a good opportunity to find out. For the 360’s 17th anniversary, Hyperkin is releasing an officially licensed replica of the 360 controller, compatible with the Xbox Series S/X, and Windows 10 and 11.
The Xenon—as in the sci-fi codename the 360 had back in 2005 when it was still just whispers—appears to be an accurate recreation. It features the original’s simple slopes and button places, basically begging to be coated in Flamin’ Hot Cheeto dirt. Xenon will, however, also be studded in the contemporary features you’re probably now used to having, like Menu, View, and Share options, and a headphone jack. It’s also an officially licensed Microsoft product, so you won’t be receiving a back-alley knockoff.
But, less excitingly, you’ll only be able to connect the controller to your console or PC with a detachable USB-C cable. Unlike the original 360 controller, Xenon can’t be wireless. That’s a bit disappointing to me. I like to really lounge, stretch out, and imagine I’m reaching for distant Fruit by the Foot packets while I’m gaming, but I suppose they make corn syrup products for close range, too.
Hyperkin has not yet announced a release date or price, but based on its $70 remake of first generation Xbox controller, the Duke, I would guess that inflation will not spare anyone, not even Xbox 360 accessories. But Xenon also comes in pink (in addition to original white, black, and red), and I imagine nostalgia will shine enough light in my eyes that I’ll end up disorientedly swiping my credit card anyway.