Xbox is rolling out a controller firmware update to Insiders, with the biggest new feature being the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy for older controllers. That will make it easier to pair with and switch from Xbox One consoles to different systems including Windows 10, iOS 15 and Android devices, the company announced. Microsoft has also introduced DLI (Dynamic Latency Input) to reduce console input latency on older controllers.
Most of Microsoft's existing Xbox One controllers, including the latest low-latency Xbox Series X model, use Bluetooth for PCs or smartphones and the Xbox Wireless protocol for Xbox consoles. With the new firmware, older controllers will remember your phone or PC and let you quickly switch over to them from a console, much as the latest Xbox Series X models can. To do that, you'll simply need to double tap the "pair" button.
Another key update is DLI, designed to cut the input latency on controllers paired with the latest Xbox Series X/S consoles. The new firmware means that older controllers will react as quickly as the latest models that ship with consoles, making gaming more responsive. "We believe it’s important to maintain backward compatibility with Xbox accessories people already have in their collection and to ensure we deliver the best gaming experience no matter how you choose to play," the Xbox team wrote in a blog post.
Microsoft is testing this feature with Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha Xbox Insiders today, but it should come to all users in the coming months.
Update 9/9/2021 8:09 AM ET: The post has been updated to clarify that the new features available in the firmware update are designed for older controllers and not the new models.