Microsoft's next-generation home console has been designed to use wireless controllers by default, according to online reports which have been confirmed to GamesIndustry.biz this morning by developers working on titles for the system.
British technology news site The Inquirer reported yesterday that the new console will sport controllers very similar to the current Controller S design, but using wireless rather than wired connections to the console.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz this morning, developers working with prototype Xbox 2 hardware confirmed that while they have not seen final designs for the controller, Microsoft representatives have indicated that the pads will indeed be wireless.
A number of questions are raised by the decision to use wireless peripherals - most obvious being whether the pads will continue to support battery-draining rumble functions, and if they will be rechargeable or simply rely on replaceable AA batteries.
Microsoft will be the first console manufacturer to ship wireless pads as standard with its hardware, but not the first to ship an official wireless controller; Nintendo has already enjoyed significant success with the WaveBird, its wireless pad for the GameCube.