Microsoft's 35-strong hardware design team built over 200 Xbox One controller prototypes before reaching the final iteration.
In an interview with MCV today, design lead Carl Ledbetter talked about the work that went into perfecting the final hardware box and controller, over a three-year period. The company spent 500 hours testing the controller with 1,100 different consumers.
"Nobody says anything about the little things on the hardware," he said. "If somebody is using the controller and after 30 minutes is saying 'my hands are starting to hurt.' then that's a fail. But if after 30 minutes all they're thinking about is the game, then we're doing OK."
He compared the work on the controller and console to making an expensive sports car "and then you opened the door and the handle felt a little strange."
Ledbetter said that the company learned from previous mistakes. "An example of something we got wrong was the first Xbox controller. It worked, but it wasn't the right size for people."