New Xbox controller could feature a touchscreen display

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(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A new Xbox controller could be in the works featuring a micro touchscreen display. This is according to a new patent that has surfaced online via GameRant

Originally reported to be a patent filed by Microsoft, the controller design actually comes from third-party accessory manufacturer Turtle Beach. So while the controller in question would not be an official Xbox product it would presumably be a licensed accessory for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S

The patent describes a controller that looks very much like the current Xbox Wireless Controller but with a small touchscreen display in the center. The exact size of the display is not directly mentioned, but it would likely fall on the micro side of the scale. 

A patent image for an Xbox controller with a touchscreen display from Turtle Beach

(Image credit: Turtle Beach)

The image attached to the patent shows the screen would be used to swap between in-game loadouts — essentially a player’s selected equipment and/or weapons — as well as access performance data, audio settings and potentially even social media. The image also suggests that the screen would display the controller’s current battery level.   

It also seems that this in-development controller would be compatible with more than just Xbox consoles, as the patent makes direct references to functionality with “external devices like mobile phone via an app.” This wouldn’t be hugely surprising as many Xbox controllers, both official and third-party, can also be used with some of the best phones. We would also bank on the controller offering PC gaming support.

Companies regularly file patents that ultimately never amount to anything.

It’s important to note that for now this is just a patent, and there are no guarantees this controller will ever find its way into the hands of consumers. Companies regularly file patents that ultimately never amount to anything, so while this concept sounds intriguing on paper, we can’t definitively say that it will see the light of day. It could forever remain a hypothetical Xbox accessory. 

Even if this Turtle Beach patent does eventually result in a tangible product, it wouldn’t be the first Xbox controller to sport a display. Earlier this year, at CES 2023, Asus unveiled the ROG Raikiri Pro controller. Designed primarily for PC gaming, but also compatible with Xbox Series X, this pad packs a 1.3-inch OLED screen for displaying secondary information. Asus has yet to reveal pricing and release information, although the controller was originally slated to launch in Q1 2023, so it appears to have missed its original release window.  

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.