I made my own Pride-coloured Xbox controller at the Xbox Design Lab, now available in Asia
Note: This article was first published on 22 June 2022.
Microsoft announced last week that the Xbox Design Lab is now available for Asia-based Xbox gamers.
The Xbox Design Lab essentially allows you to order and create a customized Xbox controller and was launched way back in 2016. Initially only opened to selected countries, the service has now expanded to the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Norway, Slovakia, Switzerland and yes, Singapore.
Gamers from these newly added countries will now be able to choose and custom the colours for almost every part of their Xbox controller. You can even engrave a name or a gamertag on the controller if you wish to.
Thanks to Microsoft, I was given the opportunity to design my own controller at the Xbox Design Lab website to test. Customisation is a huge part of a gamer’s experience and lifestyle, so having the chance to create your own Xbox controller and inject your personality into sounds like a fun thing to do.
Like any good ecommerce websites, especially those that allow you to do customisation of a product, the Design Lab is for the most part straightforward to navigate.
You can mix and match various colours for most of the parts of your controller. The colour choices are limited to preset ones though, so you can’t exactly go wild with your own creativity. Nor can you add logos, icons or stickers. That said, the preset colours are by and far plentiful enough for you to create a controller that’s truly yours.
There are even seasonal patterns, I suspect. I originally wanted to go with a blue tone controller, but a “Rainbow” pattern drew my attention. It certainly looks jazzier and more fun than any of the standard preset colours – to me anyway. And since June is Pride month, why not?
Now, it’s also worth noting that patterns are considered premium colour options and require additional top-ups to the S$89.90 base (which is the price of a regular controller). Patterns are S$12.90 here while others, such as “metallic” colours are S$5.90. You also get to choose to have rubberised back and side grips, and these go for a combined S$15.80. I didn’t go for these grips because they are only available in black, and my experience with such materials is that they tend to degrade very quickly in our tropical climate (sticky rubber, anyone? Not me).
Once you are done selecting your colours, the website can render shots of your controller from all angles for your preview. It’s pretty cool. If you are satisfied with your creation, it’s a matter of clicking on the ‘checkout’ tab to complete your purchase. Going for the full custom bells and whistles will cost you S$143.30 including engravement. Luckily, shipping is free for Singapore-based address.
The big question here is, naturally, would it not have been better to purchase a limited edition or a mass-produced coloured Xbox controller than pay for a custom coloured one? Well, to me, it’s a good ‘why not?’ choice. Clearly, the Xbox Design Lab is targeted at a group of gamers who wants their ‘own’ custom controllers, or a those who have a practical need for rubberised grips for their sweaty palms.
But here’s the thing. By not going for premium colours and some of the more fanciful add-ons such as engravement, you can literally make your own custom coloured Xbox controller for the same price as a standard one at retail. So really, why not?
Shipping seems pretty fast too. My Pride-coloured Xbox controller arrived within the same week, although delivery might take longer now that the website is officially available to all (disclaimer: I got to design and checkout my controller weeks before the official launch).
Now, Microsoft, can you please allow customisation for the Xbox Elite controllers?