Navy Plans to Use Xbox Controllers for New Periscope Systems - NBC10 Boston
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Navy Plans to Use Xbox Controllers for New Periscope Systems

They're more familiar to younger sailors, require less training and are also cheaper

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images, File
    This November 21, 2013, file photo shows pPeople playing video games with Xbox One remote controllers at Plaza de Colon in Madrid, Spain. The controllers, familiar to young sailors, are being integrated into the future USS Colorado's periscope system.

    The U.S. Navy plans to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate periscopes aboard its newer submarines.

    The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, reported Saturday that the Navy's Virginia-class subs don't have a traditional rotating periscope. They're being replaced by high-resolution cameras and large monitors.

    They can be controlled by a helicopter-style stick. But the Navy plans to integrate an Xbox controller into the system, because the controls are more familiar to younger sailors and require less training.

    They're also cheaper. A controller typically costs less than $30 compared to the $38,000 cost of a photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel.

    The Xbox controller will be included as part of the integrated imaging system for Virginia-class subs beginning with the future USS Colorado. It is supposed to be commissioned by November.