Unknown Duracell deal is why Xbox controllers still use AA batteries

January 7, 2021
Xbox Series S controller Duracell Xbox Controller

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While many companies have moved to internal rechargeable batteries for their peripherals, the Xbox controller still utilises replaceable AA batteries. Many have questioned this choice, but the decision to keep AAs going is reportedly due to a deal with Duracell. 

Reported by Stealth Optional, Duracell UK Marketing Manager Luke Anderson explained that Microsoft and Duracell have had a multi-generation deal in place that keeps AA batteries in use, explaining why  every Xbox controller coming with a pair of disposable AA Duracell batteries.

“There’s always been this partnership with Duracell and Xbox It’s a constant agreement that Duracell and Microsoft have in place,” Anderson told the outlet.

“[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].”

Following the original report, MCVUK followed up with Microsoft where a spokesperson explained that the company “intentionally offers consumers choice in their battery solutions for our standard Xbox Wireless Controllers.

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

That much is true. While all Xbox controllers are paired with Duracell disposables as default, Microsoft and third-party companies do sell rechargeable plug and play accessories. Users may also invest in rechargeable AA batteries if they wish.

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However, the recent Xbox Elite Controller 2 made a large change for Xbox controllers as the first Xbox pad to come with a built-in rechargable battery. While the Xbox Series controller didn’t follow suit, more rechargeable batteries could be seen in future Xbox tech.

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