The Xbox 360 has, in my opinion, the best video game controller going around. But that doesn't mean it can't be improved upon. That's just what Evil Controllers is attempting with a new set of mods that are designed to make the Xbox 360 controller more comfortable and integrates a rechargeable battery that should keep you playing longer.
The company has completely redone the backplate of the controller to make it easier to hold, but they don't completely change the feel of the controller. This is critical when you consider that the Xbox 360 has been out for some time, and gamers are accustomed to the way it feels in their hands.
The redesigned backplate helps make the controller lighter, which should help increase comfort during long gaming sessions. They also removed the bulky battery pack from the back, which was not the most comfortable thing to hold. This should help remove some hand cramping during extended play sessions. The battery on the default Xbox 360 is actually the reason I switched to a wired controller, but that opens another problem, which is obviously dealing with a wire.
Instead of using AA batteries or one of the play n' charge packs available, Evil Controllers opted to integrate a lithium-ion battery. The challenge that came with this is that when the Xbox controller is accidentally turned on, it will keep running until it detects a console. To combat this, a kill switch was added. Simply pressing this will shut the controller off, and keep the battery from running dry.
Another issue with the built-in battery is that they tend to get a little warm. Because of this, Evil Controllers included air vents that will allow the hot air to escape out of the controller. This should extend the life of the battery and make it so you don't need to purchase a new one during the life of the controller (you'll probably break it in a fit of rage long before the battery is no good).
The controller comes with a standard USB cable for charging. If you already have the official Microsoft play n' charge kit, fear not, because it's also compatible with those as well.
Evil Controllers is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. The goal is US$15,000, and that has already been reached. If you want to grab a controller for yourself, you will need to pledge $80. This includes an OEM 360 controller with the modified backplate, new joysticks and installation of the Evil D-Pad. If you want to install the modification yourself, you can fund $50 and a DIY kit will be sent to you. Evil plans to deliver the product to backers in January.
Evil Controllers' Kickstarter video pitch can be viewed below.