When it comes to colorful console designs, Xbox games have been around for years. Microsoft has released a number of interesting skins for its consoles since the Xbox One generation – including limited editions and the Xbox Design Lab, and that momentum hasn’t waned with the Xbox Series X/S consoles. At the same time, the range of third-party Xbox consoles is wider than ever, and brands like PowerA are delivering affordable prices in new colours of their own, such as the latest version of the Pastel PowerA Enhanced Wired Controller Kit AU$37.99 for Xbox and PC.
Released in March as a spring collection, it includes these new pastel colors of Enhanced Rope, Purple Camo, Lavender Swirl, Pink Lemonade, Soft Dream and Blue Marshmallow. Pink Lemonade seemed like the clear winner to me at first, with bright yellow to pink shades, but now that I’ve seen all five colors and handled them myself, I can officially declare that Marshmallow Blue is the most good-looking. It’s actually a little more sea foam than the name suggests, but it’s a bold, muted monochromatic on this console anyway.
But all five pastel designs look great overall, with gradients, mottled patterns and/or two-tone contrasts used on the front and back to give each a unique character. Of course, it’s a pity that these controllers are still saddled with outdated Micro USB connections, but I’ll give PowerA some credit for opting for at least one white detachable cable to better complete the light and airy look.
I’d still like to see a whole new version of the improved wired controller eventually upgrade to USB-C, and maybe hit some customizable back button without messing things up. But anyway, there’s a lot to love about the aesthetics of these bright new colors. The updated wired controller is our pick for the best budget Xbox controller you can buy, thanks in large part to its very reasonable price when it comes to installing the basics of a wired console. I can’t say these new colors make the good stuff better because they’re functionally similar but refreshing enough to make them better in some way.
These cool new pastels are now available at many retailers, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they start seeing their own discounts and sales like so many others in the PowerA range.It’s a breath of fresh air in the budget category and a great addition to summer games with new local multiplayer games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Revenge of the Destroyer (That’s a good reason to need additional, affordable consoles, as they support up to six players on Xbox and PC.)
Photo by Antonio JD Benedetto/The Verge