Microsoft Now Offering Parts And Repair Guides For Xbox Controllers

We’re big fans of repairable hardware here at Hackaday, so much so that when we see a company embracing the idea that their products should actually be serviced rather than thrown in the trash, we like to call attention to it. Yes, that even includes when it’s Microsoft.

This community has had a mixed relationship with the Redmond software giant, to say the least. But we’ve still got to give them credit when they do something positive. Not only are they offering a full selection of replacement parts for both the standard and Elite Xbox controllers, they’ve also provided written instructions and step-by-step video guides on how to install your new parts.

For those of you who stopped playing console games when the controllers still only had two buttons, this might not seem like such a big deal. But considering a new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller will set you back a dizzying $180, it’s not hard to see why some folks would be excited about the possibility of swapping out the guts of the thing for $50.

Of course, these parts were already available from third party sellers, and iFixit naturally has repair guides for all the different flavors of Xbox controllers. Nothing about what Microsoft is doing here makes the Xbox controller fundamentally any easier to repair than it was previously. But the fact that the company isn’t treating their customers like adversaries is a step in the right direction.

Valve has been similarly open about the internals of the Steam Deck, though their presentation was a bit dramatic, and even Sony provided an official teardown video for the PS5. We’re not sure why these companies are willing to pull back the curtain when it comes to gaming hardware. Whatever the reason, we’re certainly not complaining.

11 thoughts on “Microsoft Now Offering Parts And Repair Guides For Xbox Controllers

  1. “We’re not sure why these companies are willing to pull back the curtain when it comes to gaming hardware.”

    The message is clear. “We’re not like those phony ‘green’ jerks at Apple who glue everything shut to make it throwaway.”.

    1. While somewhat true, the real answer is that these companies are more interested in selling the much more profitable software licenses (eg. games and subscriptions) that run on the hardware than profiting off the hardware itself. Especially in this age of SoaS, season passes and microtransactions that prints money for them.

      It’s no secret that XBOX and PlayStation systems are sold at a loss just to make it as easy as possible to gain a locked-in software/subscription customer.

      So why stand in the way of those customers fixing their broken hardware at the risk of losing them as a perpetual customer?

      Apple and, to some degree, Nintendo do not share this position and I agree it’s because they are greedy. I just wouldn’t give MS and Sony too much credit. It’s not benevolence; It’s business.

  2. 2 pcbs + buttons + just the upper shell = ~$160
    Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 $139.99
    Exactly how apple program was designed, sell at such a high margin repair makes no sense.

  3. Fair play to them, though cynical me thinks all these ‘right to repair’ offerings just feel like ways to try and stop legislation being enacted because as far as I can see, none of them offer actual repair parts like chips, just sub assemblies.

    The Microsoft one at least makes controller repairs economically viable I guess, Apple’s is just a joke.

  4. So instead of redesigning the controller to fix stick drift (one of the biggest issues), Microsoft wants to fleece its customers for more money. They need to replace with electromagnetic sensors as other manufacturers have done. I’m all for self-repair, but why would I want to spend $50 on something that’s going to rapidly fail?

      1. They’re only using it on the less desired wired version of their controllers. All wireless still use analog from what I’ve read. Why Microsoft decided to only use hall effect on wired-only controllers is the big question?

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