Thursday, November 26, 2020
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Microsoft is pausing Xbox Design Lab on October 14th, before you get to unwrap your Series X

If you are planning to design your very own Xbox controller ahead of the Xbox Series X and S launch on November 10th, you might want to act fast. Microsoft is temporarily shutting down its Xbox Design Lab on October 14th.

Announced back in 2016, Xbox Design Lab brings a lot of flexibility and personal flair to the Xbox One controller. For $80, you have access to over 40 different color options for the various parts of the controller, adding up to over a million different combinations in total.

A couple years ago, I designed one for a close friend and was amazed how much customization I could do; it didn’t feel like I was just creating another color variant, but a truly unique personalized product. My friend loved it, telling me they thought I’d bought a rare controller online.

But starting October 14th until sometime in 2021, Microsoft says the service will be “offline temporarily so that we can bring you some updates.” The company didn’t say why or exactly when in 2021 the service will be back online, but it’s likely that Microsoft is preparing to expand the service to include customization features for the new Xbox controller.

Unlike the PS5’s DualSense controller, which strays away from the design of the DualShock series in terms of design and color scheme, the new Xbox Series X and S controller has a pretty familiar design. Microsoft says the controller’s “size and shape have been refined to accommodate an even wider range of people,” which makes it slightly smaller than its predecessor. The new Xbox controller also includes a redesigned D-Pad and a dedicated share button.

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