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Xbox Remix Special Edition controller

Microsoft reveals Xbox Remix controller recycled from leftover parts

Microsoft has unveiled a special edition Xbox controller made partly from recycled plastic, including surplus old controller parts that have been reground.

One-third of the green-hued Xbox Remix Special Edition controller is made from a mix of post-consumer recycled resins and "regrind" — a term for ground industrial plastic waste, in this case the company's leftover Xbox One generation controller parts.

These materials are mixed with virgin plastic to make the controller, an approach that Microsoft claims maintains the durability and performance of the product.

Image of the front view of the Xbox Remix controller in forest green with bright green D-pad and Xbox button
The Remix Special Edition controller is made of recycled plastic in many shades of green

The post-consumer plastics used include CDs, plastic water jugs and automotive headlight covers.

The Remix controller was launched ahead of Earth Day on 22 April, and takes its aesthetic cues from the planet's natural landscapes, featuring a patchwork of green and sandy hues.

The recycled, previously moulded coloured parts leave their mark on the casing, which Microsoft describes as featuring subtle variations, swirling and texturing that give "each Remix Special Edition controller its own look and feel".

The beige-toned bumpers, triggers and side grip areas have a textured pattern that nods to topographic maps while imparting the tactility that Microsoft says its users like on those areas.

Image of two Xbox Remix controllers, one from the front one from the back, showing different components made in different shades of green
The bright green buttons are inspired by lichen

There are also elements in bright lime green, a colour that was apparently chosen as a reference to lichen in the Pacific Northwest Forest as well as to add vibrancy.

"By incorporating these regrind materials, post-consumer recycled resins, and including the Xbox Rechargeable Battery Pack – Xbox is exploring ways to use less new plastic and reduce waste," Xbox Accessories senior marketing manager Daniel Ruiz said in a blog post.

"Our goal is to bring fans along with us on our journey towards greater sustainability across the Xbox product portfolio."

The production of hardware for gaming — which uses mined minerals such as copper, nickel, gold and zinc — is one of the key contributors to the environmental impact of gaming, although some researchers identify the energy requirements of cloud gaming to be an even bigger problem.

Microsoft's sustainability commitments include being carbon negative and zero waste by 2030.

The company started incorporating post-consumer recycled resins into its controllers in 2021 with the Daystrike Camo and Electric Volt, but the Remix Special Edition is the first to include regrind from other controllers. It also includes recycled plastic options in its Xbox Design Labs custom controllers.

Its other innovations with Xbox have included creating an adaptive controller and complementary packaging design for people with limited mobility.