If you somehow weren't already aware, the standard controller for the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S still uses replaceable AA batteries. Xbox has previously referred to this as an intentional choice, allowing players to choose between the rechargeable Elite controllers or use replaceable batteries or even a rechargeable battery pack. This despite the fact that both Nintendo and PlayStation default to rechargeable versions. But according to a new report, it seems like the reason AAs are still required might have something to do with a deal with Duracell, the battery manufacturer.
"There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox… It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place," Duracell UK marketing manager, Luke Anderson, reportedly told Stealth Optional. "[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]."
The implication here seems to be that the reason the standard Xbox controller still requires replaceable batteries is due to this long-standing deal with Duracell. If true, that would seem to mean that Xbox will continue to require batteries for the foreseeable future. Microsoft, for its part, did not deny the existence of a partnership but neither did it discuss specifics when queried by MCV.
"We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement when asked about the report. "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."
Whatever the case may be, the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S are both now available for $499 and $299, respectively, if you can find them in stock. You can also check out our official review of the Xbox Series X right here. You can check out all of our previous coverage of Xbox right here.
Have you had a chance to play the Xbox Series X or Series S as of yet? What do you make of the controllers continuing to use actual batteries? Let us know in the comments, or feel free to reach out and hit me up directly over on Twitter at @rollinbishop to talk about all things gaming!