The Xbox Design Lab is an exciting tool for Xbox One owners. The interactive website allows anyone looking for a unique Xbox One controller to design their own. Yes, there is a small cost increase for doing so, but there is something very satisfying about picking every aspect of a controller and getting it delivered to your house a few days later.
The Xbox Design Lab has been around for a little while now, launching in 2016, and although it may seem frivolous, it remains an oddly compelling option for Xbox One owners.
It costs nothing to jump onto the site and try out potential combinations and options for the controller. These can include variations of thumb stick colour, back bumpers, and D-pad, all the way to the ABXY buttons. It is refreshingly diverse in the choices you have to play around with, and while not all combinations will be amazing, it will be hard not to find something you will enjoy using. For the people that want that final level of customization, there is also the option of having your gamer tag (or any word) added to the controller for an extra cost.
For 2017 Microsoft has expanded the design lab considerably, adding metallic colour options for the D-pad and the triggers and the possibility to add rubberized grips, offering interested parties even more choice when building their masterpiece.
As with any custom item, you will be paying a premium cost for your work of art. While a standard Xbox One controller can be purchased for under $70, the Xbox Design Lab controller will set you back $99 at first, with the price increasing from there.
As the CGM staff jumped in to test out the Xbox Design Lab I was amazed at how simple everything was. It was obvious Microsoft and the Xbox team have put in real time to ensure they built an interface at a specific level of simplicity so anyone from hardcore gamers to kids jumping into gaming for the first time can build something that not only looks good on screen but also looks good when it arrives on the doorstep.
Xbox Design Lab Custom Controller for Xbox One (images via xboxdesignlab.xbox.com)
The custom controller we built for the office set us back $122, and that price included all the possible bells and whistles such as metallic triggers, D-pad, rubber grips, and the magazine name engraved on the front of the controller. While the final results are a stunning, truly custom part of your gaming setup, the final product will work no better and no worse than the standard device you can go to the store and buy.
It is amazing to see a console market where the Xbox Design Lab can exist and work so well. It gives consumers a way to build something unique, and with the process so painless it is great to just dive in and test it out. While it does come at a premium cost, the results are a great addition to any Xbox One gaming setup.