Player 2 Vs The Australian Xbox Design Lab
It has been a long time coming, but Xbox’s very cool Design Lab has arrived in Australia. Thanks to the cool cats over at Xbox Australia, Both Matt and Jess have been lucky enough to get early access to the Design Lab, creating their own custom controllers in the process. But how did they find the whole experience? That’s what we are here to find out.
Matt: Well I must say I was both surprised and pleased to find out that Design Lab was coming to Australia. I have long looked on at the USA with much jealousy over their access to it. The fact that we can now create our own custom controllers is just super cool.
Jess: Absolutely, such an exciting turn of events! And the fact that we’re getting it just in time for the release of the custom pride controller plate is just icing on the cake. No longer will we have to miss out. Amazing colourful chaos can finally be ours. At least, that was my approach – it felt like a waste to be given free rein and not go wild with colours. What was your first thought when faced with all these customisation options?
Matt: Being, shall we say, artistically challenged, I found it quite daunting and I mucked around for quite a while trying to create a controller that wasn’t just colour vomit. But finally, in a self-promoting moment of inspiration, I decided on doing a controller using the Player 2 colour scheme and from then on I was good to go. Having an idea of what I wanted was certainly the way to go. But the fact I could recreate the P2 scheme was a wonderful surprise. How did you feel about the seemingly endless options and additions on offer?
Jess: I went in with the knowledge that I was going to be creating a pride controller, so from the start, I was ready to go all-in on the rainbow. I wanted to make something that represented me personally but that also kept that spirit, so I decided to see if I could customise mine with the colours of the bisexual flag, which I was thrilled to be able to do. Some of the matte colours gave me exactly what I was looking for, but I found that if I utilised a metallic finish in some strategic ways (on the triggers and d-pad), I could actually get even closer to the colours I wanted. So I ended up with a colour scheme that worked, as well as some cool textural variety across the different sections. Of course, I made my thumbsticks that Player 2 teal as well – it was impossible not to when the colour was so spot on. I chose not to put grips on mine, but I was tempted – I noticed you went with them on yours, and they look pretty slick!
Matt: I love the grips on all my controllers, it is perfect for those who have a tendency to get clammy hand syndrome. I also think they look the goods too. The little touches like the grips and the ability to put your name on the controller is a nice touch and adds that extra level of personalisation. In the end, I found the whole process pretty painless. So what about the final product? How do you feel about the physical controller now you have it in your hands, Jess?
Jess: I love it. You’re right – the process was seamless, and I feel like what I designed on the site is exactly what I’m holding in my hands, all the colours translated perfectly and the textures are really satisfying. It’s really special to be able to hold something that really expresses who I am, with each part feeling significant and like a really deliberate choice. That said, I put a lot of consideration into mine, but even if you don’t want to think too hard about it and just go wild with colour, you’ll have a lot of fun doing that too. I’m so keen for everyone in Australia to get the chance to do this – we’ve been waiting a long time!
Matt: That we have and frankly I love my P2 controller, Self-branding at its best. It is such a cool process overall I am seriously considering getting this for my boys for Christmas, I hope they do gift vouchers. I have always preferred the Xbox controller over other options, it just fits my hands better and now, thanks to the design lab, it fits my style better too. With the world of gaming chock full of custom cases, lights and accessories it is exciting to add custom controllers to that list as well.