US Navy to Use Xbox Controllers Aboard Submarines

by Leslie Wood September 20, 2017, 3:00
US Navy to Use Xbox Controllers Aboard Submarines

Gamers have debated for years over which controller designs may have been the best for playing games, but for the US Navy's purposes, it has decided that the Xbox 360 controller is what it wants to use.

You're probably familiar with using your Xbox Controller to play Call of Duty or Forza in your living room, but the government has come up with another (much cooler) use for the device.

More modern submarines use photonic based periscopes that have mast-mounted digital cameras to provide a surface view. The sailors' familiarity with how to use the controller is one of the reasons it has been chosen, as the Navy doesn't have to spend hours training them on how to use it, something they do have to do with the clunky helicopter styled stick that they have been using.

And then someone apparently suggested using an Xbox 360 controller instead.

The Navy has been working with Lockheed Martin to find everyday commercial products that can lower costs and incorporate sailors' existing skills.

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"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine", said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub.

At the time of writing, the US NAVY had not commented on whether its submarines would need an Xbox gold membership to unlock multiplayer modes, or if they would need an always on internet connection to get the most out of the new control system!

Prior to this, the submarines relied on Lockheed Martin's joystick controller which consisted of a joystick and a control panel that costs around $38,000.

According to the AP, the Xbox 360 controller setup will make its debut with the integrated imaging system on Virginia-class subs with the forthcoming USS Colorado.

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