Tech Review | Hyperkin’s Xenon Controller Updates Xbox 360 Nostalgia

In recent years, gaming has seen significant advancements in controller design and technology. However, nostalgia often has a powerful pull, and Hyperkin’s Xenon controller is proof of that. Designed as an officially licensed replica of the iconic Xbox 360 controller, the Xenon brings back the classic gaming experience with a modern twist. But does it live up to the hype, or is it merely a trip down memory lane that falls short of modern expectations?

The Xbox 360 controller was known for its comfortable design, and the Xenon faithfully replicates that experience. The placement of buttons, triggers, and thumb sticks feels familiar and comfortable, making it a joy to use, particularly for fans of the original Xbox 360 controller.

One noticeable improvement is the absence of the bulky battery pack that characterized the original Xbox 360 controller. This modification results in a more comfortable grip and adds to the overall ergonomics of the Xenon. However, there’s a trade-off for this comfort – the lack of wireless functionality. Like its predecessor, the Xenon is a wired controller, which may not be a deal-breaker for PC gamers but could disappoint those who have become accustomed to the convenience of wireless controllers.

One standout feature of the Xenon is the feel and motion of its analog sticks. They lack the tire-like texture found on modern controllers, offering a looser yet responsive feel. This difference is particularly appreciated in genres like shooters, where precise aiming is crucial. However, there is some concern about the sticks potentially wearing down over time.


The Xenon’s rumble feedback is another highlight, delivering satisfying vibrations during gameplay. While it may not match the latest haptic feedback technology, the classic rumble is undeniably enjoyable and adds an extra layer of immersion to gaming experiences.

The Xenon retains the Xbox 360’s signature cross-shaped D-pad, which was a point of criticism for the original controller. However, it manages to improve upon this design, offering a snappier and more responsive D-pad experience. While it may not be ideal for hardcore fighting game enthusiasts, it’s a marked improvement over the original and provides an acceptable D-pad experience for most games.

One of the Xenon’s more subtle advantages is its fully colored buttons. Unlike some modern controllers that opt for a more muted design, the Xenon’s buttons feature vibrant colors. This choice adds a touch of fun and excitement to the gaming experience, emphasizing that games are meant to be enjoyable and engaging.

The Xenon controller comes with a price tag that’s comparable to the modern Xbox Wireless controller. While it offers a faithful recreation of the Xbox 360 controller, the lack of wireless connectivity may deter some potential buyers. It’s important to consider your value for nostalgia and whether the absence of wireless functionality is a deal-breaker.

Hyperkin’s Xenon controller successfully brings back the nostalgia of the Xbox 360 era with its comfortable design, satisfying buttons, and classic vibes. However, the lack of wireless functionality and its price point, which often matches that of modern wireless controllers, may make it a niche choice for dedicated fans of the original Xbox 360 controller. Whether you opt for the Xenon or a modern controller, the choice ultimately comes down to your preference for nostalgia and your gaming setup.

When considering the Xenon controller, the decision ultimately boils down to your gaming priorities. If you’re a fan of the Xbox 360 era and have fond memories of its controller, the Xenon provides an opportunity to relive those moments with some modern improvements. The controller’s comfortable grip, satisfying buttons, and classic design are sure to evoke feelings of nostalgia.

However, it’s essential to acknowledge the absence of wireless functionality. For gamers who prioritize the convenience and freedom of wireless controllers, the Xenon might not be the ideal choice. In a world where most modern controllers offer both wired and wireless options, the Xenon’s wired nature may feel like a step backward.

On the other hand, if you primarily game on a PC or have a setup that doesn’t require extensive movement, the wired nature of the Xenon may not be a significant drawback. Its competitive price point and faithful replication of the Xbox 360 controller’s design could make it an attractive choice.

The Xenon controller serves as a reminder of how far gaming technology has come over the years. While it offers a comfortable and familiar gaming experience, it lacks some of the modern features and conveniences that today’s controllers provide. As the gaming industry continues to innovate, controllers have evolved to meet the demands of contemporary gamers.

Hyperkin’s Xenon controller is a commendable tribute to the Xbox 360 era, offering a comfortable and nostalgic gaming experience. However, its wired nature and price point similar to modern wireless controllers may make it a niche choice for enthusiasts of the original Xbox 360 controller. Ultimately, the decision to embrace nostalgia or opt for modern convenience depends on your gaming preferences and setup. Regardless of your choice, the Xenon controller stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of classic gaming hardware.

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