Specifically, the patent which was filed last month is entitled "Thumbstick for user input device" and details a customizable tension mechanism for the thumbsticks on the controller.
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Casual gamers may wonder why that would be a necessary feature. However, aftermarket options for adjusting the tension on an Xbox One controller by replacing the internal springs are available for more dedicated gamers. Our top pick for the best PC controllers in 2020, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 2, features this ability as well.
Notably, the figure in the patent filing resembles the standard Xbox One controller and not the Elite Controllers, indicating that this would represent a possible change to the basic $60 controller and could carry over to the Xbox Series X.
Not only would this offer customization for those who prefer either a more rigid or looser thumbstick, but it would help extend the life of these controllers because the tensioning mechanism lets users adjust for a loss in tension over time.
As is always the case with patents, we can't know when or if Microsoft will implement these changes, but it would be fantastic to see this feature trickle down from the Elite controllers.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.