The Xbox One controller cost Microsoft more than $100 million to develop, according to a VentureBeat feature, outlining that the company experimented throughout the controller's development with features such as a built-in projector and olfactory output.
"We had a whole bunch of brainstorm sessions and built hundreds of models," Zulfi Alam, Xbox’s general manager for accessories, told VentureBeat. "We looked at concepts like adding displays to the controller. We looked at concepts like adding smell. We built small slugs of different types of smells that could actually come out of a controller, like, as you walked through a jungle, you'd smell the flora."
Alam went on to say that while they investigated and built prototypes, the experimental features weren't important as the "core base didn’t appreciate them." According to Alam, Microsoft spent "hundreds of millions" of dollars on the controller's development, later clarifying "it’s over $100 million for sure."
The final design of the Xbox One controller is the accumulation of 200 prototypes combining analysis of the Xbox 360 controller and research involving more than 500 participants across 20 studies. Since its previous incarnation, the next-gen controller features 40 design changes, such as the inclusion of dynamic impulse triggers, precision directional pad, integrated battery compartment and a Wi-Fi Direct Radio Stack.
For more about the development of the next-gen gamepad, check out our tour of the testing lab on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash. campus.