One of the most important distinguishing features of the Xbox Series X in comparison to the PlayStation 5 is backward compatibility within its controllers. With the exception of the original PlayStation and PlayStation 2, Sony consoles have never contained backward compatibility within their controllers, meaning console owners have been forced to invest in unique controllers for each generation of the system. While some PS4 accessories will work with the PS5, controllers are the exception. The reason for the lack of flexibility within Sony controllers has to do with distinguishing features that separate each generation from the next. The PlayStation 4 controller, for example, gained a trackpad on its predecessor, and as it pertains to the current generation, Sony has stated an unwillingness to have PS5 games played on hardware not designed for them.
What Sony has gained through innovation with its controllers, Xbox has more than made up for through continuity. The Xbox 360 controller has a user-friendly interface that fixed several issues the original Xbox controllers had, and added features (such as the guide button) that have since become a staple in the modern controller. For this reason, the original Xbox 360 hardware continues to cooperate with the modern Xbox consoles. Rather than reinvent the wheel by adding new features through the years, Xbox has instead opted to make subtle improvements to its controllers, such as altering the texture of the controller’s shell and making improvements to the analog sticks and d-pad.
For this reason, gamers can take advantage of one of the Series X’s three USB 3.0 ports to plug in their original Xbox 360 controllers if they wanted to. Moreover, the continued support for Xbox 360 controllers is indicative of how timeless of a design the Xbox controller is.
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