For gamers in the Xbox family of consoles, there has been little change between console generations when it comes to the overall fit and feel of your favorite controller. Keeping things simple without changing too much over the past few generations, gamers have been accustomed to this layout for many years.
But the Xbox One & Xbox Series X|S controllers happen to house a special port that many gamers have wondered about for years. Located on the bottom near the right stick and D-Pad, a rectangular space has been left open for quite a few years now. What purpose does this serve, and does it have any use in today’s gaming space?
What Is The Rectangular Port On An Xbox Controller For?
Back when the Xbox One originally launched, it was missing a few key features, to say the least. And while it may have struggled through the previous generation of consoles, there were quite a few redeeming factors for it in the grand scheme of things. However, one change to the overall console and controller was baffling for many different gamers: the removal of the 3.5mm audio jack.
The first generation of Xbox One controller shipped without this seemingly essential part of the controller, leaving gamers to wonder how they would use voice chat in games. Well, the answer was simple, yet surprisingly complex. On the Model 1537 controllers, you would need to plug in an adapter that included a 3.5mm audio jack or purchase a specialized headset that also had this proprietary connection to be able to talk to friends.
As 2015 rolled around, Microsoft began to roll out a new model of controllers that had a key addition. The return of the headphone jack came only 2 short years after the console’s initial launch, due to many gamers not purchasing the separate adapter to utilize headphones. Since then, every controller that has come out for an Xbox Console has included this audio jack alongside the proprietary connector for those still using the original audio connector.
There are some benefits to gamers using this adapter, however. Having the ability to change the volume on the fly, adjust the game and chat balance and mute your microphone on the fly are quite excellent features. While many newer headsets support this feature directly on their cups or the included wire, it was a unique way to circumvent the loss of the 3.5mm jack on the bottom of your controller. To this day, there are still accessories that utilize this connector, including Chat Pads and other types of audio adaptors.
With the newest generation of controllers, it seems that Microsoft has found the perfect balance of style and substance. While the incremental upgrades to the newest model of the controller haven’t been mindblowing, this port lives on in infamy over its use or lack thereof.
- This article was updated on November 10th, 2022