Xbox One Controllers Are Getting Next-Gen Features Thanks To New Firmware

Microsoft is testing a new firmware update for Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controllers, Xbox Elite 2, and Xbox Adaptive controllers that will grant them a range of next-gen features previously only available on Xbox Series X|S controllers.

Microsoft announced that it has begun testing the new firmware update in a blog post on the Xbox website. The firmware update, which is available to Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha users today, aims to reduce controller latency and improve cross-device connectivity.

In terms of the latter, the firmware update will allow the compatible controllers to support Bluetooth Low Energy, which allows for better pairing experiences between devices. The majority of Xbox One controllers are already able to utilize Bluetooth support when connecting to a PC or smartphone, but pair with Xbox consoles through the Xbox Wireless protocol. The Bluetooth Low Energy update will allow for a quicker switching experience between Xbox Wireless and Bluetooth devices as players will be able to do so at the double-tap of the pair button.

In line with next-gen controllers, the updated Xbox One, Xbox Elite 2 and Xbox Adaptive controllers will receive Dynamic Latency Input (DLI). This essentially allows for more responsive gameplay by delivering controller inputs more efficiently when connected to an Xbox Series X|S console. DLI is a feature that was previously only incorporated on Xbox Series X|S controllers, and while the firmware update isn't necessarily as useful for players using last-gen consoles, it certainly improves the versatility of the accessories overall.

In the blog post, Xbox elaborated further on its reasoning behind testing the firmware update on its controllers. "We believe it’s important to maintain backward compatibility with Xbox accessories people already have in their collection and to ensure we deliver the best gaming experience no matter how you choose to play," said Xbox.

In other Xbox news, Microsoft recently announced a new Forza Horizon 5 Limited Edition Controller as part of its Xbox Gamescom showcase. The upcoming controller features translucent yellow panels with an accompanying pink and blue color scheme and will launch on November 9 alongside its dedicated racing title. Fans can already pre-order the controller.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.

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