Although they look like they just play games, gaming consoles today are as complicated as PCs. They even share almost the same as desktop computers while functioning as an entertainment hub for games and other digital content. Likewise, game controllers have become more sophisticated, more complex, and a bit more general-purpose. It’s not surprising, then, that Xbox is lining up a few updates that will upgrade players’ experiences when using first-party Xbox controllers and when using an Xbox in tandem with a TV.
Those in the Xbox Insider program naturally get to experience new features before anyone else does, though that does come with the risk of running into bugs first as well. Those enrolled in this program, for example, will be able to get a firmware upgrade for Xbox controllers that will bring a few Xbox Series X|S controller features to older products. Dynamic Latency Input (DLI), for example, is coming to the Xbox One controllers with Bluetooth support, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, and Xbox Adaptive Controllers.
These controllers also support the Bluetooth Low Energy standard, which expands the types of devices they can connect to. With an upcoming firmware update, these Xbox Controllers will be able to pair wirelessly with Windows 10 PCs, iOS 15 or later devices, and Android devices. The controllers will be able to remember one Bluetooth device and one Xbox wireless host and can switch between the two by double-tapping the pairing button.
Insiders on the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring will also see improvements to the HDMI-CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) support on compatible Xbox consoles. They will be able to use their TV remote, for example, to control their Xbox dashboard, which makes sense when you’re using the console to watch Netflix. A single press of the Xbox controller button is also all that it takes to switch from the TV to the Xbox interface.
These are just some of the highlights that Xbox Insiders can look forward to in the latest update. As mentioned, however, there will also be issues that testers are expected to report in exchange for early dibs on those features.