To many, the Xbox 360 controller is the pinnacle of console gaming controllers. For Microsoft, it was a tough act to follow, so much that it almost carried over its crowd-pleasing design to next-gen.
According to Xbox One designer Carl Ledbetter, Microsoft never asked directly for the Xbox 360 controller's design to be altered. "People were a little apprehensive", he said. "If it isn't broken, don't fix it."
Despite this, the Xbox One Controller is, in some ways, a radical departure from the Xbox 360's. Its fit and finish are arguably the best the world has seen for a console controller, but its bumper buttons haven't satisfied everyone.
If Microsoft decided to just use the Xbox 360 controller design with a few minute alterations, it wouldn't have been such a bad idea. Before the DualShock 4, the Sony family of controllers did little to evolve from one generation to the next. It wouldn't be something never before seen, anyway.
A controller is an important part of the console gaming experience, and Microsoft has gone from making one of the worst controllers in history (the Xbox controller) to making two that are among the best. Now that's impressive.