I’ve been playing Bionic Commando Rearmed on the 360, and let me tell you, even with the relatively superior (emphasis on relatively) d-pad on the wired controller, it is a serious pain: when I crouch I get spun around, when I want to fire my grappling hook diagonally it fires forward – we all remember how horrible Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting was? Yeah, it’s still just as bad.
So it comes with great, great relief and welcome that reports from the Leipzig show floor are coming of a new, redesigned 360 controller with an improved d-pad. The rest of the controller seems to be look the same, but the d-pad has been re-engineered to have eight-way input (hello shoryukens), and in general just feels smoother, more responsive, more tactile – better in every way. Hardcore Street Fighter IV players will obviously still want the arcade stick, but at least we know we won’t be completely gimped if we’re ever forced to use the controller.
According to IGN the controller will come out at the same time as Pro Evolution Soccer 2009 – which means autumn for Europe, but leaves us Americans clueless for now.