Third-party controller makers are continuing to pick up the slack from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo when it comes to making more durable, drift-proof controllers. Hyperkin is announcing the Competition, an Xbox-licensed wired controller for Xbox Series X / S and PC with a PlayStation-like symmetrical stick layout that you don’t commonly find on Xbox gamepads. But, more importantly, it uses both Hall effect sensors for its sticks and impact triggers to minimize long-term wear and tear.
The Competition was once quietly teased way back in the Before Time at E3 2019, but after a long enough delay, Hyperkin revised it to include the upgraded sensors. However, even after all that time, the launch date and price are still not finalized. It’s tentatively set for release in the first quarter of 2024 with an estimated MSRP of $49.99, but Terence Calacsan, Public Relations Manager for Hyperkin, tells The Verge, “This is subject to change.”
Hall effect sensors use magnets to detect movement, meaning there’s no internal friction or impact between surfaces when you’re turning an analog stick or pressing a trigger. Potentiometer-based modules, like the ones used in all first-party gamepads, from Nintendo Joy-Cons to Sony’s DualSense Edge and Microsoft’s Xbox Elite Series 2, can all fall victim to drift over time.
Hyperkin’s Competition may sound a bit similar to GameSir’s recent G7 SE, which was the first Xbox-licensed gamepad to use the superior stick technology, but the Competition aims to separate itself with its unique (for Xbox) stick positioning. We’ll have to see if it competes on price as well. Though if more and more gamepad makers go Hall effect, it will hopefully convince the console makers to eventually follow suit — even if it takes a whole new console generation.