Xbox Design Lab functions a lot like the now-defunct Nike iD program, in that it allows users the ability to customize their own controller, selecting between a range of colors, add-ons, and other finishes. Design Lab was first introduced in 2016 but took a one-year hiatus last October, so that Xbox could focus on the roll-out of the Series X and a new wireless controller. The program was revived this summer and today a number of new options were announced.
So how does Design Lab work exactly? Fans can color-customize basically every external part of their controllers, including the body, back case, D-pad, bumpers, triggers, thumbsticks, ABXY, view, menu, and share buttons. Laser engravings for messages up to 16-characters are also available. With this level of personalization users can tell a story or just recreate a colorway that they never got to get their hands on.
The additional options that were announced, aside from the existing choices, include the following:
- Black rubberized grips available on both the back case and side grips for added comfort and control
- 19 new metallic finish colors for D-Pads and Triggers including: Sterling Silver, Pewter Silver, Gunmetal Silver, Abyss Black, Retro Pink, Deep Pink, Oxide Red, Zest Orange, Gold, Electric Volt, Velocity Green, Glacier Blue, Dragonfly Blue, Mineral Blue, Photon Blue, Midnight Blue, Regal Purple, Nocturnal Green, and Warm Gold
- 3 new color options for controller parts: Dragonfly Blue, Nocturnal Green, and Velocity Green
- New “Inspired by” controller designs from Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Battlefield 2042, Forza Horizon 5, and Riders Republic
Made to order— Custom controllers made through Design Lab start at $69.99 and scale up based on additional options. Once orders are placed, the controller is built and then delivers within 3-4 weeks.
While the added customization does signal a concerted effort towards increased personalization within the gaming space, Input’s Alejandro Medallin still makes the case for simplicity. Regardless it is nice to own something that cannot be replicated.