This Is Probably The Reason Why Xbox Controllers Still Use Batteries [UPDATED]

EDIT: Since the time of writing, Microsoft has issued a statement to Eurogamer denying the claims. Find more here. Original story as follows.

It’s been revealed during a recent interview that the reason why Xbox controllers continue to use AA batteries is probably due to a long-term deal made with Duracell.  

This is the reason why two AA Duracell batteries are always bundled with new Xbox controllers.

Xbox series x controller close up
Credit: Microsoft

I’ve often wondered why this is the case especially as Sony controllers have had built-in lithium batteries since the PS3 with the DualShock 3. Well now we know the reason why.

Ever since the Xbox 360 launched with its wireless controllers in 2005 they have been powered by AA batteries, unless you buy a rechargeable battery pack.

AA batteries in controllers have continued on through to the Xbox One and now with the Xbox Series X|S. Other than the Xbox Elite Series 2 controller which has an internal rechargeable battery.

Series X
Credit: Microsoft

The news of the long-term deal was revealed during an interview with Stealth Optional [via VGC] when speaking to Duracell’s UK marketing manager Luke Anderson.

There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox… It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place,” said Anderson.

The deal between Duracell and Microsoft has now run for at least 15 years and it seems that the deal will continue on for the foreseeable future. While it’s only been confirmed by Anderson and not by Xbox, it seems this is the reason why we get batteries in Xbox controllers.

Xbox game pass games
Credit: Microsoft

“[The deal is] for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers’ battery. So that [deal is] going to go on for a while… it’s been going on for a while and I think it needs to go for a while [more],” continued Anderson.

However just because there’s a deal with Duracell and Microsoft doesn’t mean that Duracell is your only choice. 

For me personally I only use Duracell batteries provided with a new controller and once they’re dead, I use a rechargeable battery pack.

YouTube video

In a statement provided to MCV, a Microsoft representative elaborated on Xbox user’s choice as to how they choose to power their controllers.

We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

This includes the use of AA batteries from any brand, the Xbox Rechargeable Battery, charging solutions from our partners, or a USB-C cable, which can power the controller when plugged in to the console or PC.

Personally I can’t wait for Xbox to scrap the batteries!

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Featured Image Credit: Xbox