New Xbox Controller Update Aims to Make Switching Between Devices More Seamless

New Xbox Controller Update Aims to Make Switching Between Devices More Seamless
Photo: JOHANNES EISELE / Staff, Getty Images

Microsoft announced in a blog post that it’s testing out new firmware for Xbox controllers in order to ensure that the accessories people already have in their collections have cross-device connectivity akin to what the Series X|S controllers currently offer.

“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,” Microsoft wrote in the Wednesday update.

The new firmware is reportedly being tested for Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers, and will add Bluetooth Low Energy support, “which delivers better compatibility across devices and allows for better pairing experiences,” Microsoft said.

Crucially, the update will also add a cross-platform play feature, which will enable users to pair controllers with two devices simultaneously — think one Bluetooth host, like an iPad, and one Xbox Wireless host, like an Xbox console — for the very first time. According to Microsoft, this will improve the user experience by making switching between an Xbox console and an iOS device easier than ever before.

“Increasingly, the controller will be your common touch point to your Xbox games across devices,” Microsoft wrote. “We are invested in expanding Xbox gaming beyond the console, so Xbox controllers need to work equally well on both Xbox consoles and Bluetooth devices and moving between all these devices needs to be easy.”

The firmware update will also address lag issues by adding Dynamic Latency Input, which delivers controller input more efficiently to the Xbox controller itself to make for a more seamless and responsive gaming experience. According to Microsoft, the firmware update will be rolling out to Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha users today and will become available to additional flight rings in the weeks to come.