There’s a new version of the Xbox Elite controller in town. As of Wednesday, the gamepad is available for pre-order in a two-tone color scheme, white with black grips, and this model is (technically) cheaper: Known as the Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2 - Core, the controller is selling for $129.99.
That’s $50 less than the MSRP of the existing all-black version, which launched in late 2019 for $179.99. There’s a reason for that, and the “Core” in the name of the product hints at it: The white Elite Series 2 gamepad doesn’t come with most of the accessories that are included with the black model. Instead, what you get for $129.99 is the controller itself, a braided USB-C-to-USB-A cable, and a tool that allows you to adjust the tension of the gamepad’s thumbsticks — along with the same extended one-year warranty that Microsoft began offering for the black controller in 2020, after reports of hardware issues.
Wednesday’s announcement confirms multiple leaks over the past few months of a white Elite Series 2 controller. Asked if there are plans to sell the black Elite Series 2 model in a cheaper Core package as well, a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that this offering is limited to the new white version of the gamepad at this time.
The $129.99 Core set may contain all that you’re really looking for, especially if you’re a price-conscious gamer: It gives you a high-end controller for much less than these devices typically cost. (And it’s a smart way for Microsoft to try to undercut Sony’s upcoming answer to the Xbox Elite gamepads, the recently revealed DualSense Edge controller for PlayStation 5, whose price Sony has not yet announced.)
Perhaps you don’t need four extra analog stick options, or four paddles for additional buttons, or a cross-shaped alternate D-pad. And if you do, you’ll have the option to get those accessories separately, in Microsoft’s new Complete Component Pack. Also available for pre-order starting Tuesday, this $59.99 package comprises the full set of accessories that currently come with the black Elite Series 2 controller, including the carrying case and charging dock.
Now, you may already have done the mental math and realized that buying the white Core gamepad and the accessory bundle together would cost $189.98 — $9.99 more than the black Elite Series 2 controller, which, again, already comes with the accessories in question (and has been discounted quite a bit lower than the MSRP on multiple occasions over the past year). Asked for clarification, the Microsoft representative confirmed to Polygon that there’s no bundle discount.
“The ‘Core’ controller was essentially designed for players who want the Core [Elite Series 2] experience,” the spokesperson said. “The Complete Component pack was designed for those who want to add more interchangeable parts to the Core at a later time or have additional spare parts for their existing black ES2 controller.”
That means that if you want a white Elite Series 2 gamepad as well as the accessory pack, you’ll have to pay 10 bucks extra. But soon, the Core package won’t be the only way to get Microsoft’s pro controller in white — or any number of colors, for that matter. The company also announced Wednesday that customers will be able to create their own personalized Xbox Elite Series 2 controllers in the Xbox Design Lab starting this holiday season. This has been the “number one fan request” since that program debuted in 2016, according to Microsoft. The company did not announce pricing; asked for details, the Microsoft representative told Polygon that further information will be announced “at a later date.”