Xbox 360 controllers are poised to make a comeback of sorts, as nostalgic gamers have begun to resurrect the classic model through Xbox Design Lab.
Revealed at the extended Xbox Games Showcase, which provided Microsoft with an opportunity to take a deep dive into their recent E3 announcements, the Xbox Design Lab is returning after a brief hiatus.
For those who are unfamiliar with this online service, it essentially allows you to order your own personalised Xbox controller. You can color-customize the D-pad, the face buttons, the thumbsticks, the bumpers and the triggers, while even engraving a 16-character inscription into the body.
The design lab was already available for the Xbox One controller (until it was put on pause back in October), but the service has now been expanded to cover next-generation consoles as well. This means that, for the first time ever, you can tailor your own Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S controller through a dedicated website, and then place an order for your bespoke creation.
At the time of writing, there were 18 color options (which can be combined in a number of different ways) and alternative button layouts to choose from. The items cost $69.99, with an additional $9.99 if you want one of those personalized inscriptions.
Gamers were immediately struck with artistic inspiration and have taken to social media to share their amazing designs. Here are some of the best we found.
Xbox 360 Controller Replica
As soon as the lab opened, the first thing fans set out to accomplish was recreating the old Xbox 360 controller. This design has a lot of sentimental value for many, especially those who grew up with Microsoft’s seventh-generation console, so it is hardly surprising to see it being resurrected.
Here at Newsweek, we have figured out how to get yours looking as close to the real deal as possible. For that authentic Xbox 360 controller look, you will need to choose the “Robot White” color for the body, triggers and bumpers. Then, select “Ash Grey” for the back and D-pad and “Storm Grey” for the thumbsticks. Finally, the face buttons should be “Black on Colors” and the menu buttons should be “Grey on White.”
GameCube Controller Throwback
It did not take long for people to take the next logical step and start recreating other beloved controllers in Design Lab. For instance, YouTuber Justus has made a rather convincing homage to the iconic GameCube controller. There is only so much you can do in Design Lab, so obviously it doesn’t boast the original M-shaped design, but otherwise the color scheme is absolutely spot on.
Pokémon Color Schemes
Twitter user @ArylinMarie showed off a series of designs themed around their favourite Pokémon. There is a “Lightning Yellow” version for Pikachu, “Zest Orange” for Charmander, “Electric Green” for Bulbasaur and “Glacier Blue” for Squirtle. They all look great on their own, but they work even better as a full set and would be a fantastic addition to any game room.
Miles Morales Style
Twitter user @Ejsponge61 has an entire thread devoted to their impressive ideas, from a Saints Row themed Xbox controller to an Overwatch design. A particular standout is their Spider-Man: Miles Morales version, which is styled with a “Carbon Black” body and “Pulse Red” bumpers to replicate the web-slinger’s iconic costume.
The Dark Side Design
Less intricate than the other designs featured here, @KyloKen_XA’s controller almost entirely comprises a single color. The Star Wars fan has gone very minimalist with their design, utilizing “Carbon Black” and a few hints of “Storm Grey” to evoke famous Sith Lords like Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. The “Dark Side” inscription near the base is a nice touch as well.
Mickey Mouse Colors
On the opposite end of the spectrum, @ryanadelman has created what is possibly the most wholesome controller we have seen yet. His Mickey Mouse design emulates the signature hues of the Disney mascot’s black fur, red shorts, and yellow shoes. It would surely be a terrific gift for any gamers you know who also happen to be hardcore Disney enthusiasts.
The Jimi Hendrix Kit
This is a bit like one of those Russian nesting dolls in terms of its influences, but @LikkitP has based their controller on the Seattle Sounders’ new uniforms, which are themselves based on the fashion choices of Jimi Hendrix. The soccer team unveiled their psychedelic new uniforms in March as a tribute to the Seattle-born musician and @LikkitP has mimicked the style perfectly. As a further mark of respect, they have also engraved an inscription that says “Jimi” near the bottom of the controller.