Xbox controllers are still using AA batteries ‘because of long-term Duracell deal’, spokesperson claims

A spokesperson for battery brand Duracell has seemingly claimed that Xbox’s continued use of replaceable AA batteries is due to a long-running partnership between the two companies.

Xbox has used replaceable batteries in its controllers since Xbox 360’s launch in 2005, while most other peripherals have long since transitioned to rechargeable batteries. PlayStation has used rechargeable USB pads for its consoles since PS3.

Duracell batteries have come bundled with Xbox controllers since Xbox 360 and the battery firm has long promoted Xbox in its marketing. Xbox is listed as a Duracell partner on the company’s website.

Duracell’s UK marketing manager Luke Anderson implied in an interview with Stealth Optional this week that Xbox’s decision to stick with replaceable batteries was due to a long-standing agreement between the two companies, and claimed the partnership would continue “for a while”.

“There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox… It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place”.

Xbox controllers are still using AA batteries ‘because of long-term Duracell deal’.

He added: “[The deal is] for OEM to supply the battery product for the Xbox consoles and also the controllers’ battery. So that [deal is] going to go on for a while… it’s been going on for a while and I think it needs to go for a while [more].”

Any theoretical deal ensuring that Xbox controllers used AA batteries would now have run for at least 15 years.

In a statement provided to MCV, a Microsoft representative noted that Xbox users have several options for charging their controllers but would not discuss the nature of its deal with Duracell.

“We intentionally offer consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers,” a Microsoft spokesperson said.

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“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 in to the console or PC.”

Unlike traditional Xbox wireless controllers, the premium Xbox Elite Series 2 has an internal rechargeable battery and doesn’t require AA batteries.

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Microsoft is currently using a customer experience survey to ask Xbox Series X/S owners if they would like to see any PlayStation controller features made available for its consoles.

In a questionnaire distributed to customers who have purchased Xbox Series X/S consoles, one question appears to be canvassing interest in PS5’s DualSense controller, which also launched in November and has been widely praised for features including its adaptive triggers.

Earlier this week, Microsoft also said it was working on a fix for disconnection issues players are experiencing with the new Xbox wireless controller that launched alongside Series X/S.

The controller, which is compatible with consoles, PC, mobiles and tablets, loses connection in various circumstances, and for some people only when playing certain games, according to over 1,700 users on a 44-page thread in Microsoft’s help forum.