Navy to Use Xbox Controllers on Submarine Periscopes

Kelley Robertson
September 20, 2017

According to a report, the periscope on the new Virginia-class submarines will be controlled by the very same Xbox 360 controllers that the sailors operating it will have used while playing games as they grew up.

The U.S. Navy has revealed that after an extensive two year training program, it has officially adopted last generation legacy Xbox 360 controllers to operate the periscopes aboard its next generation submarines.

Xbox controllers aren't just for gaming anymore. While a bit more serious than using the controller to battle it out on Call of Duty, using the Xbox Controller to control an actual real-life submarine is a boy's dream come true. Large monitors display these images for everyone in the control room to see.

Interestingly enough when the Xbox controller was tested as a potential replacement, sailors were able to figure out the controls within a few minutes, that and given that each Xbox controller costs considerably less than Lockheed Martin's setup, this should save the US Navy money when it comes to replacements or repairs.

Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, who is the USS John Warner's assistant navigator, told the Pilot the lower price tag for hardware is an added upside to the change. The former photonic mast controls cost around $38,000, while the Xbox 360 controller costs $30 at GameStop.

At the time of writing, the US NAVY had not commented on whether its submarines would need an Xbox gold membership to unlock multiplayer modes, or if they would need an always on internet connection to get the most out of the new control system!

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