Microsoft just released the new Xbox 360 controller, in the color green. The special thing with it is that the D-pad is enhanced, supposed to give more directional options than before. More info inside!
The new D-pad supports 16 directions, instead of the old 8. The only game released supporting that feature is PES09, and since I just got the game I haven't had too much time to try it. I've used it for a couple of weeks in other games though, and what's import to point out is that it *feels* exactly the same as the old ones when you use it.
My biggest complaint with the original D-pad is that it feels uncomfortable for the thumb to use it in longer sessions. After using it in PES, it was a complete relief to go back using the stick in the game. The problem with the stick is that you don't have anywhere close to the same responsiveness, taking on defenders was suddenly a bigger pain.
It's hard to tell if there is much difference in PES compared to the old D-pad. Though I've heard people saying that fighting games are a tiny bit easier to play with this, as well as using it for changing weapons/tactics in FPS. Those old games doesn't support the new 16 directions, but the controller might generally just be more responsive.
The color itself isn't half as bad as I first thought when I saw images of it, I personally absolutely prefer it to the white ones.
For me, the important thing for me was to see if there was any difference in the general feel when you push a direction, and as I said there isn't. That's my biggest disappointment, even though the new D-pad may come in handy when the developers starts using the 16 directions. How this all works is hard to know since Microsoft has been really quiet about the controller, except for stating that it's an "enhanced D-pad and a new color". I'll just continue dreaming of a completely new D-pad, or the courage to grab a piece of sandpaper and go wild on the old ones.
@GriftGFX: Gonna go eat lunch now. Thanks for the chat. It's always great to learn more about technology and its potential. I just wish there were any articles on the subject I could find. (39 minutes ago)
*about game engine graphics pipelines (40 minutes ago)
Then you start getting into proprietary software hell and potentially preventing other developers from writing innovative software solutions themselves. It's a WEIRD idea. (41 minutes ago)
and game engine graphics pipelines or even programming interfaces for their products. None of that is their role in the whole thing.. and it shouldn't be. (41 minutes ago)
@Sdarts: Nvidia and AMD already do help developers with optimization more than they should have to. Nvidia and AMD should be improving the hardware and driver end of the technology and not worrying (42 minutes ago)
Nvidia and AMD don't even provide the API for their graphics cards. That would be the next layer between the developer and the video card. DirectX. (42 minutes ago)