8BitDo is releasing a wired version of its Pro 2 controller for Xbox consoles and PC on December 8th, 2021. It’s nearly identical in terms of features to the Bluetooth wireless model that my colleague Sam Byford reviewed, which supports Switch, mobile, and other platforms. Though, this new Xbox model’s wired-only connection means that it’s cheaper at $44.99. You can preorder it now.
This Pro 2 is clad in black, with an Xbox home button in its middle. Yet, in addition to all of the other Xbox-specific buttons you’re probably expecting (share, menu, view), it has 8BitDo’s other two buttons near the analog sticks, which can be remapped to your liking in its Ultimate Software app available on iOS and Android. Additionally, there are two buttons on the back of the Pro 2’s grips that can be mapped as you see fit. Through the app, you can also customize vibration, trigger, and stick sensitivity, as well as make a shortcut to adjust volume.
You might be wondering how this wired controller is able to communicate wirelessly with your phone. 8BitDo told The Verge that the Pro 2 for Xbox has a Bluetooth chip inside, which allows it to connect to your phone for the purposes of remapping the controls. However, the functionality ends there. The company said that it is not compatible with other systems wirelessly.
This controller seems to be made for people who aren’t married to the analog stick arrangement of Microsoft’s Xbox controller. This one’s stick layout is more similar to a PlayStation controller, though all of the necessary Xbox buttons are here. There’s also a 3.5mm port for audio passthrough if you have headphones or a headset to connect.
It’d be ideal if the Xbox-flavored Pro 2 was wireless, but $45 for a customizable wired controller seems like a good value. Given that 8BitDo’s build quality is usually higher than many other third-party accessory makers, this might make for a nice companion to your official Xbox wireless controller or as a replacement.