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Reggie Fils-Aime reveals Nintendo was once working on a controller that would work across Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X

nintendo switch controllers
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo once had plans for a universal controller, but whether or not it's still working to bring the idea to life is anyone's guess. 

How much you like a console comes down to a great many things. There's how it physically looks, what kind of power it's got going on under the hood, the game's available, and last but certainly not least, the controller. The PS5, Xbox Series X, and Switch all have controllers that look and feel distinctly different, but according to Reggie Fils-Aime, the former president of Nintendo of America, Nintendo once had plans for one that you could use with any console. 

"Imagine an adaptive controller that you could play with your latest Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo platform," Fils-Aime says in an interview with Inverse (opens in new tab). "That's what we were working on three years ago." 

According to the former Nintendo boss, its ambitions went beyond personal preference and convenience. The company set its sights on a more customisable controller that provided greater accessibility and planned to use Xbox's Adaptive Controller "as a jumping-off point to create something that would be platform-agnostic and adaptable by any consumer."

As he retired in 2019, Fils-Aime admits that he's not sure if Nintendo has continued to work on the project or if plans for the universal controller have since been scrapped. "My hope is that the effort has continued. I'm not sure if it has or has not," he says. "But also, my hope is that controller — and the ability for that controller to connect with all of the various systems — is launched and shared with consumers as quickly as possible." Aside from Fils-Aime's comments, we've not heard any plans for such a controller from Nintendo, but time, as they say, will tell. 

Last week, Microsoft's latest controller, the White Xbox Elite Series 2, appeared online in a 90-second unboxing video. As with the regular Xbox Elite Series 2 controller, the footage showed this unannounced white version comes with interchangeable parts. Nothing's been announced yet, but with Xbox confirmed to be in attendance at Gamescom, we could see an official unveiling then.

Find the controller that's right for you with our pick of the best Nintendo Switch controllers.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.