Microsoft hints at new pad

Thursday 9 November 2006
Microsoft has surveyed a smattering of Xbox Live users to ask for their response to a number of possible peripherals for Xbox 360, including a black controller with back-lit buttons, rubber grip and a "slightly improved" D-pad; a plug-in controller keyboard and an arcade-style joystick.

The survey featured questions such as "How interested are you in purchasing a wireless joystick?" and "How interested would you be in buying an Xbox 360 branded mini-keyboard plug-in device for your controller to make text messaging and chat easier?".

Suggested prices were also given, with the 'premium' black controller touted at $60-70 (or roughly %26pound;31-36), the keyboard add-on at $20-30 (%26pound;10-15) and the wireless joystick, "designed for many of the most popular Xbox Live Arcade titles," at $30-40 (%26pound;15-20).

While this isn't a confirmation of intent, Microsoft is clearly interested in producing new accessories for 360. The "slightly improved" D-pad on the black controller would also please Pro Evolution Soccer 6 fans who found the standard controller imprecise and difficult to use.

Microsoft was unavailable for comment at the time of writing but we'll be chasing up the official word and fresh info.