The Hyperkin Xenon is a recreation of the original Xbox 360 controller designed for modern consoles. Not only does it work on the Xbox Series X/S but it also works on PC and even on the Xbox One. Named after the original motherboard from the Xbox 360, the Hyperkin Xenon follows in the footsteps of the Hyperkin Duke. Just like with that controller, Hyperkin has done an excellent job of recreating the best parts of the Xbox 360 controller while adding a few modern conveniences like a Menu, Share and View button alongside a USB-C port at the back.
The Hyperkin Xenon sells for $49.99, which is certainly more than other wired Xbox controllers from 8BitDo, PowerA and PDP. Still, it’s available in several different iconic colors and the nostalgic feeling of playing on a faithful recreation of the original Xbox 360 controller might be worth it if you grew up playing a lot of classic titles on Microsoft’s second console. Our Hyperkin Xenon review will help decide if this retro-style, wired controller is one of the best PC game controllers and worth picking up for your Xbox Series X/S or PC.
Hyperkin Xenon review: Price and availability
The Hyperkin Xenon is available on both Amazon and on Hyperkin’s website for $49.99. In addition to the controller itself, you also get a 10 foot USB Type A to USB-C cable to connect it to your Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One or PC.
Hyperkin Xenon review: Design
The Hyperkin Xenon looks exactly like the original Xbox 360 controller in terms of design. While the red, white and pink versions of the controller have a two-tone look with either gray or white on the bottom, the black version is just one color.
As this is a recreation of the original Xbox 360 controller, the face buttons are smaller than those you’ll find on the Xbox Series X/S controller. Likewise, the thumbsticks don’t have any grip at all and the Xbox button at the center of the controller juts out as opposed to being recessed like it is in Microsoft’s latest controllers. Also, instead of having a green ring around the Xbox button that indicates which player you are, there’s now just a single white LED above it.
At the back of the Hyperkin Xenon, you’ll find a sticker with the Hyperkin logo and the name of the controller in the exact same place it was on the wired version of the Xbox 360 controller. In order to allow you to easily connect one of the best gaming headsets or even a pair of headphones while using the controller, the company has added a 3.5mm audio jack in the middle.
The Hyperkin logo is carved into the top of the controller in between the two bumpers and underneath this, you’ll find a recessed USB-C port. However, it still sticks out far enough that I was able to use third-party USB-C cables without any problems during testing. There are also analog triggers on either side that are quite snappy and take a bit more force to push all the way down than the ones on the Xbox Series X/S controller.
The USB-C cable that ships with the Hyperkin Xenon has the same color as whichever controller you pick up. This is a nice touch and I also like how Hyperkin includes a matching cable tie to keep the cable wrapped up nicely when you’re not using the controller.
While a wireless version of the Hyperkin Xenon would have been great, just like with other 3rd-party controllers for the Xbox Series X/S, Microsoft won’t allow them to use its proprietary Xbox Wireless technology. In fact, the only 3rd party controller that’s wireless for the Xbox Series X/S is the 8Bitdo Arcade Stick for Xbox, though it uses an included dongle to get around Microsoft’s limitations when it comes to wireless controllers.
Hyperkin Xenon review: Features
In terms of features, there really isn’t anything that stands out with the Hyperkin Xenon. It works exactly like the Xbox 360 controller does but with support for newer consoles and PCs running either Windows 10 or Windows 11. While rear paddles or back buttons would have been nice, adding them would take away from what Hyperkin is trying to achieve with this controller.
Besides removing the light ring around the Xbox button, adding a USB-C port and a headphone jack, the only other way Hyperkin has changed the design of the original Xbox 360 controller is by adding the View, Share and Menu buttons found on Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S controllers. These new buttons have been placed in a way that makes sense and they don’t detract from the Hyperkin Xenon’s design. Hyperkin did something similar with the Duke, but the company did add a display at the center which shows the original Xbox’s boot-up animation. You won’t find anything like that here for better or worse.
Hyperkin Xenon review: Performance
As the Hyperkin Xenon is an officially licensed controller, I was able to plug it into my Xbox Series S and it worked immediately. I had no problem playing older Xbox 360 titles as well as newer Xbox Series X/S optimized games. I also liked the added convenience of having the 3.5mm headphone jack for when I wanted to play with headphones at night.
While testing the Hyperkin Xenon, I played several Xbox 360 games available on Xbox Game Pass, though most of my time was spent playing Skate 3. Playing EA’s skateboarding game with the controller felt just as good when I played the game when it first came out for the Xbox 360.
As I originally played Rocket League using an Xbox 360 controller on PC back in 2015, I decided to boot it up on the Xbox Series S and play a few matches using the Hyperkin Xenon. This also felt just like it did all those years ago and I really enjoyed playing Rocket League with the controller.
Compared to the Xbox Series X/S controller, the Hyperkin Xenon is a lot lighter due to it being a wired controller without any batteries. It’s surprisingly comfortable and I actually really liked the fact that the face buttons are a bit smaller. I did miss the grip the back of the Xbox Series X/S controller has due to the etchings on its handles though. However, the matte finish on the front of the Xenon, as well as the glossy finish on its bumpers, triggers and on the underside of the controller, made it easy to hold in my hands for long periods of time. I also found the Hyperkin Xenon’s rumble to be a bit stronger than the Xbox Series X/S controller while playing certain games like Skate 3.
To finish my testing, I plugged the Hyperkin Xenon into my PC and loaded up Gamepad Tester. The controller’s joysticks had an average error rate of 1.3 and 1.2% (which is very good) and all of the buttons as well as the rumble motors worked using the tool. I was surprised that despite being a remake, the Hyperkin Xenon showed up as an Xbox 360 controller in Gamepad Tester.
Hyperkin Xenon review: Bottom line
The Hyperkin Xenon is exactly what the company says it is: a recreation of the Xbox 360 controller with a few modern conveniences. Unlike the Hyperkin Duke, which has a micro USB port, the USB-C port on the Xenon is much more convenient and the included cable is more than long enough if you want to use the controller while playing on your couch. The buttons are responsive and the joysticks, triggers and even the raised D-pad are nearly identical to those found on the original Xbox 360 controller.
Whether or not buying the Hyperkin Xenon makes sense for you depends on how much time you spent playing the Xbox 360 and if you have fond memories with the controller. If you want to recreate the feeling of playing Halo 3 at launch like you did in 2007, then picking up this controller is the closest you’ll get to playing the Xbox 360 in 2023 as it’s highly unlikely that Microsoft will make a mini Xbox 360 anytime soon. The nostalgia alone helps justify the Hyperkin Xenon’s higher price.
If you don’t have any connection to the Xbox 360 and its catalog of games but still want a wired controller for your Xbox Series X/S or PC, you’ll likely be better off picking up the HyperX Clutch Gladiate or a similarly priced controller. Still though, Hyperkin has managed to successfully recreate a classic controller yet again and playing modern games on the Hyperkin Xenon will certainly be easier than trying to do so with the Hyperkin Duke.