The Xbox Elite Controller has earned a reputation as the premier pro-level gaming controller since its first iteration launched back in 2015. Now Microsoft is developing the next generation – the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 – to take their premium controller to the next level.
As an advanced controller built for performance, customization and durability, the Elite Series caters to hardcore gamers who demand the best possible hardware. Over two generations, these controllers have provided adjustable components, swappable paddles, and profile management through a companion app.
With Sony recently unveiling their new feature-packed DualSense Edge controller, anticipation is high for Microsoft to counter with the Xbox Elite Series 3. Early rumors suggest the next Elite will match or exceed the DualSense Edge’s capabilities.
In this guide, we’ll break down all the leaked details about the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3’s expected design, new features, pricing speculation, rumored performance upgrades and more. Read on for the complete early preview of what could be the ultimate pro controller when it likely releases later in 2023.
Refining the Iconic Elite Controller Design
While specifics are still unconfirmed, reports suggest the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 will retain much of the core design that has defined the Elite line while introducing subtle refinements.
The overall button layout will likely remain the same, with familiar A/B/X/Y face buttons, directional pads, shoulder bumpers and triggers. The signature paddle buttons on the back are expected to return as well.
One design change rumored is the addition of a Share button in the center, matching the DualSense Edge and allowing convenient access to social sharing features.
The Series 3 is also expected to use USB-C charging rather than Microsoft’s proprietary port. This would allow connecting to a wider range of devices. Internal lithium ion batteries will provide wireless power rather than relying on AA batteries.
In terms of ergonomics, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 is rumored to have a new wraparound rubberized grip for enhanced comfort during extended gaming sessions. Textured triggers could further improve feel.
While the overall form factor looks to stay similar, small refinements like grip, Share button, USB-C charging and materials should elevate the new Elite to even greater comfort and usability.
Another design upgrade rumored for the Series 3 Elite has increased customizability and profile management through the Xbox Accessories app.
Users will reportedly be able to tweak and remap controls, adjust stick sensitivity and trigger stops, and configure the paddle buttons to their exact preferences, saving these settings in multiple profiles.
This takes the customization aspect of the Elite to the next level. Beyond just swappable components, using Xbox Accessories you may be able to finely tune the controller response and layout to perfectly match your play style for each game.
Support for Xbox Design Lab is also rumored, allowing for custom color schemes and patterns. Imagine matching your Elite to your Xbox and other accessories for a unified setup.
Durability and quality construction should be enhanced as well thanks to Microsoft’s years of experience producing Elite controllers. Refined manufacturing techniques and materials balance weight, rigidity and resilience.
While the Elite Series 3 will retain the core design ethos, it’s clear Microsoft plans to once again push the limits of what’s possible with premium controller components, customization and quality.
Enhanced Performance to Match Next-Gen Consoles
Beyond just design refinements, Microsoft is reportedly building in major performance upgrades with the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 to keep it cutting-edge. These should help it rival even the new feature-packed DualSense Edge from PlayStation.
One rumored upgrade is adjustable stick tension, allowing tuning the resistance to your personal preference. More precise dead zones and anti-drift technology could further enhance stick accuracy.
To match the DualSense Edge, rear paddle buttons are likely interchangeable. Trigger stops may be adjustable as well for faster actuation. Both would provide more ways to tailor controls.
Latency could be reduced to make the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 feel more responsive. Upgraded wireless protocol, Bluetooth compatibility, and USB polling rate all contribute to a tight, lag-free connection.
Haptic feedback is expected to be amplified for immersive rumble. Motion sensors like a gyroscope may be added to support steering wheels and other accessories.
Audio output could be improved to leverage the Spatial Sound in Xbox headsets. An extended battery life would enable longer wireless gaming sessions.
With performance gains across the board, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 aims to be the most advanced, customizable pro controller ever. It will set a new bar for speed, precision and innovation.
Diving deeper into the rumored performance improvements coming in the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3:
Adjustable Stick Tension – Tuning stick tightness allows matching resistance to game genres and play styles. Tighter tension improves accuracy in shooters while looser settings suit racing games requiring full stick motion.
Interchangeable Thumbsticks – Different height and shape caps cater to specific games. Shorter convex sticks excel for precise movements in competitive titles. Taller concave sticks benefit sweeping motions in sports games.
Reduced Latency – Advanced wireless protocol, improved Bluetooth connectivity, and high USB polling rates combine to slash lag and input delay. The response feels instantaneous.
Rear Buttons – Paddle buttons on the back can be configured to any face input. Keep thumbs on sticks during critical actions mapped to rear paddles.
Trigger Stops – Mechanical stops activate earlier in the trigger pull for faster firing in shooters. It can be toggled on/off per game.
Higher Quality Materials – Components like sticks and D-pads use premium materials for enhanced durability and tactile feel. The Elite can withstand high-intensity gaming marathons.
Gyroscope/Motion – Tilting and rotating the controller adds a new dimension of control in racing/flight games. Matches Nintendo Switch Pro Controller capabilities.
With these upgrades, the Series 3 Elite cements itself as the peak of controller innovation and customizability for Xbox power users.
Fierce Competition from the DualSense Edge
A key motivator behind the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 is the new DualSense Edge controller announced by PlayStation. Set to release in early 2023, the DualSense Edge boasts many similar pro-level features as Xbox’s Elite. Microsoft is keen to match or exceed what PlayStation is offering to appeal to high-end gamers.
Some of the key features Microsoft is likely aiming to compete with include:
- Adjustable stick sensitivities and dead zones
- Remappable rear paddle buttons
- Ability to tweak trigger actuation distance
- Interchangeable stick caps
- On-controller profile switching
- Companion mobile app for customization
- Premium build materials for durability
To fully compete, the Xbox Elite Series 3 will need to parallel these capabilities and potentially go further. Adjustable tension on the sticks, rather than just sensitivity, is one rumored upgrade. Support for Xbox Design Lab custom color schemes is another exclusive perk for Xbox.
Pricing may be an area where Xbox can distinguish itself as well. The DualSense Edge is confirmed at $199.99. If Microsoft can hit a slightly lower $179 or $189 price point, it gives them an advantage.
By matching the DualSense Edge’s feature set and providing Xbox-specific advantages, the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 can stand out as the premium choice for Xbox faithful once both controllers are released in 2023.
Estimated Pricing and Release Timeline
Microsoft has not officially confirmed any details on pricing or launch timing for the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3. But based on leaks and precedents set by prior Elite releases, certain educated guesses can be made.
Pricing for the first two Elite controllers came in at $149.99. However, given the significant upgrades expected for the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 and competition from the $199.99 DualSense Edge, a higher $179 or $189 price point seems reasonable.
Higher-end components like adjustable-tension thumbsticks, rear paddles, and replaceable d-pads justify an increased MSRP. A built-in rechargeable battery also negates the need to buy AA batteries.
In terms of launch timing, Microsoft will likely aim for an announcement and release in 2023. The original Elite launched in fall 2015 followed by the Series 2 in fall 2019. A 4-year update cadence suggests Series 3 details could come by fall 2023.
Releasing in advance of the 2023 holiday season gives the Series 3 Elite momentum going into the gift-giving period. It also lets Microsoft get ahead of Sony, who won’t launch the DualSense Edge until early 2023.
Of course, timelines may shift and the global supply chain crisis could impact production. But 2023 seems a probable target for Microsoft to unveil the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 based on past release patterns.
As official details emerge, the pricing and launch timing will come into focus. But the Series 3 Elite is shaping up to be a major 2023 product release for Xbox fans eagerly awaiting the next generation premium controller.
Who the Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 is For
The Xbox Elite Controller Series 3 will carry a premium price point likely around $179-$199. For that price, who is Microsoft’s target user base for this elite-level accessory?
First and foremost, the target is highly competitive gamers who participate in esports and want every possible performance advantage. Adjustable-tension thumbsticks, interchangeable paddles, and reduced latency give them an edge.
PC gamers are also key buyers, as the Elite works seamlessly with Xbox Game Pass titles and offers more customization than a standard PC controller. The profile management and app integration suit the platform well.
Core Xbox fans invested in the ecosystem will be drawn to the Series 3 Elite as a status symbol and demonstration of Microsoft’s engineering prowess. It pairs perfectly with Xbox Series X/S consoles.
For Xbox One owners not yet ready to upgrade, the Series 3 Elite with its new features provides a cutting-edge accessory to use with their current console.
Casual gamers may not need this level of tuning and components. But competitive players, PC users, and devoted Xbox fans get full value from everything the Series 3 Elite provides.
Offering next-gen performance and personalization, the Series 3 Elite will be the choice for serious gamers who want to step up their controller game and gain an advantage.