The next-gen console war passed its first major milestone — the holiday season — and now enters the inevitable second stage of its long, exhausting battle: ripping off the competition. Judging from a new survey sent out to Xbox Series X / Series S owners, it certainly seems like Microsoft is already planning some potentially major changes to hardware, particularly its wireless controllers.
A recent questionnaire from the House of Xbox includes a number of standard asks regarding console quality, speed, and customization, but there's also a couple of particularly telling inclusions like if the new Xboxes feel "next-gen," and if users are "aware of features on PlayStation controllers that [they] wish were on" Xbox controllers, with an option of writing-in specific answers.
(Dual)Sensing out the competition — The survey questions certainly point towards Microsoft's awareness that, after initial reviews of both new Xbox and PlayStation consoles, the latter seems to have taken the prize in terms of controller updates (we think the same on multiple fronts). The key to the PS5's success there comes from its new DualSense features such as adaptive resistance triggers and haptic feedback, both of which help to create immersive gameplay experiences. As of right now, Microsoft's newest wireless controllers don't offer the same degree of tactile detail, although Series X and S editions did upgrade to incorporate things like textured triggers and a dedicated "Share" button.
Watch for Sony to do the same — Microsoft's blatant consideration of mimicking Sony's PS5 features is far from unique, seeing as how both companies did similar things for their previous-gen consoles: the PS4's DualShock controllers eventually updated to incorporate Xbox-like concave analog sticks, and both corporations' immersive tactile sensations can be traced back to things like the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con. While Sony has yet to indicate potential upgrades to its new consoles and controllers, you can bet there's already talk behind-the-scenes of what can be learned from its competition.
Microsoft's surveys also in no way guarantee that the changes will ever materialize, but it still would be surprising if nothing comes it. Until then, at least there's one thing both Xbox and PS5 players alike can agree on: Cyberpunk 2077 refunds.