Xbox Clarifies Its Love for AA Batteries for Controllers

Published 01/09/2021, 4:32 AM EST
A pair of Microsoft home video game consoles, including an Xbox Series S (L) and Xbox Series X, taken on October 27, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)


The hardware and the exclusive titles are usually the primary factors in deciding between the PlayStation and Xbox consoles. One thing buyers probably do not look at is the batteries used in each of the console’s controllers.

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Since the Xbox 360 launched, Microsoft has been bundling AA Duracell batteries for its controllers. Even as PlayStation has switched to rechargeable controllers, Microsoft’s decision to use AA batteries feels a little bizarre. Even bizarre was the rumor that said this decision is due to a long-standing agreement between Xbox and Duracell.

Living room with a Microsoft Xbox Series X home video game console alongside a television and soundbar, taken on October 9, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

A recent statement by Duracell’s UK marketing manager Luke Anderson sparked said rumor. “There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox… It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place,” said Anderson.

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This led to people assuming that Microsoft has no choice but to supply AA Duracell batteries due to an old agreement. However, Microsoft has nipped these rumors in the bud.

Microsoft chose AA batteries for the Xbox due to consumer preferences

Eurogamer went deep into the history of the issue to make sense of the rumors. The website found out how these rumors have no basis as Microsoft, on multiple occasions, has clarified why it chooses replaceable AA batteries for its Xbox controllers.

The first evidence comes from a Digital Foundry interview last year with Microsoft veteran Jason Ronald. The Partner Director of Program Management at Xbox talked about the choice of battery for the Series X|S controllers.

What it comes down to is when actually talking to gamers, it’s kind of polarising and there is a strong camp that really want AAs,” he said.

This is why Xbox offers a variety of power options for its controllers.

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A 2020 Microsoft Xbox Series X wireless controller, taken on October 9, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

While this was a while ago, Microsoft has issued a fresh statement on it. It further clarified how the decision to back AA batteries for the Xbox controller was based on consumer preference.

We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Eurogamer. “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 into the console or PC.

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Eurogamer put the rumors to bed by contacting Microsoft. It seems that sometimes the vintage ways are all customers want and Microsoft does not want to upset them.

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Shwetang Parthsarthy

858 articles

Shwetang Parthsarthy is an eSports author at EssentiallySports. His love for arguments and games has led him down two paths: being a law student and writing about the world of gaming since 2017. What started as a teenage hobby in the relatively small mobile gaming world with FPS games like Critical Ops and Call of Duty: Mobile, has grown into a professional pursuit with EssentiallySports.

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