An agreement appears to be the reason Microsoft still isn't using lithium-ion batteries.
Microsᴏꜰt hᴀs ʏᴇᴛ ᴛᴏ cᴀᴛch ᴜᴘ wɪᴛh tʜᴇ ʀᴇsᴛ ᴏꜰ tʜᴇ ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟler wᴏʀld. Tʜᴇy're sᴛɪʟʟ ᴜsɪɴg AA bᴀᴛteries ꜰᴏʀ tʜᴇir Xʙᴏx ᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟlers, ᴀɴd appᴀʀᴇntly, tʜᴇre's a reᴀsᴏɴ ᴡʜʏ. Accᴏʀdɪɴg ᴛᴏ a Duraᴄᴇʟʟ sᴘᴏᴋᴇspersᴏɴ, tʜᴇ bᴀᴛtery mᴀɴufᴀᴄᴛurer hᴀs a "cᴏɴstᴀɴt ᴀɢʀᴇᴇᴍᴇnt" wɪᴛh Microsᴏꜰt.
The statement comes from Luke Anderson, Duracell's UK marketing manager. Speaking to Stealth Optional, Anderson said, “There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox… It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place."
"[The deal is] for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers’ battery. So that [deal is] going to go on for a while… it’s been going on for a while and I think it needs to go for a while [more].”
That's right, it seems the reason behind Microsoft's vintage charging methods is because of this Duracell agreement. It's no secret that the two companies have some form of partnership, Duracell has long provided the batteries that come with the controllers in new Xbox consoles. They also regularly promote the use of their batteries in Xbox controllers on Twitter. It seems bizarre that a partnership with a battery company would halt their move to the more widely-used lithium-ion batteries, but that seems to be the case here.
Tag the person you love deeply, trust fully, and play @Xbox games with constantly. #XboxElite pic.twitter.com/zcYbI2haYQNovember 9, 2018
Microsoft responded to a query made by MCV/Develop saying, “We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers. This includes the use of AA batteries from any brand, the Xbox Rechargeable Battery, charging solutions from our partners, or a USB-C cable, which can power the controller when plugged in to the console or PC.”
While they wouldn't discuss any deal they may or may not have with Duracell, they seem to be framing their use of removable batteries as a free choice rather than the result of an agreement.
While controllers might not be the peripheral of choice for many PC gamers, it's becoming increasingly common to have one as part of your gaming setup. When you don't need the precise aim of a first-person shooter, they can provide a more comfortable, relaxed experience. We've put together a list of the best PC controllers, for when your mouse and keyboard simply won't do.