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What You Need To Know About Xbox's New Red Controller

Why play a video game with a boring old black controller when you can play it in style with a color that compliments the console? Microsoft offers a small but steadily-growing roster of colored controllers, including all-white and blue. Soon, you can add red to your rainbow of peripherals.


Microsoft recently announced the Pulse Red controller for the Xbox Series X|S. Much like the company's previous release, the Shock Blue controller, the upcoming peripheral isn't monochromatic. The Pulse Red controller will sport a red faceplate, thumbsticks, and buttons; a white backplate; and a black d-pad, bumper buttons, and triggers. The result is a striking counterpart to the Shock Blue controller, so if you own one, you might be tempted to buy the other.

Since Microsoft has been making a push to blur the line between PC, Xbox, and mobile gaming, the Pulse Red controller is designed to take full advantage of that mindset. Each will feature Bluetooth functionality so you can games play on your Windows 10 and Android devices — or stream your Xbox games onto your PC or mobile devices via remote play. And you don't have to worry about continually pairing the controller because it can remember more than one connection. Furthermore, the Pulse Red will launch with all the bells and whistles that are standard with the previous Xbox Series X|S controllers, including a mappable share button and a 3.5 mm headset jack. And as an added bonus, Microsoft is offering a free 14-day Xbox Game Pass Ultimate trial with every Pulse Red controller purchase.


As with most Xbox controllers, the Pulse Red is bound to Microsoft's continued use of AA batteries, but you can purchase an optional rechargeable battery. Just remember to buy the correct one since this controller sports a USB-C jack. Then again, Pulse Red will cost $65, which is $5 more than the black and white controllers. Still, if you buy the red controller and don't want to spend the extra cash on batteries, you can always just plug it into your console or device.

Interestingly, Microsoft is opting for a staggered release window — a very staggered release window. The Pulse Red will be available Jan. 12 in China, but gamers in most other countries won't get their hands on it until Feb. 9, the operative word being "most." The controller should be available in the U.S. on that date, but Microsoft hasn't yet clarified exactly which countries fall into the "most" category, so you will have to keep your eyes open.

Odds are the Pulse Red controller will serve as the standard template for future Xbox Series X/S controllers. The only question now is: Which color will launch next?