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Hands-on with Xbox One's new gamepad, 'impulse triggers' included

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You've already read our hands-on with Xbox One's new Kinect and wireless gamepad, but perhaps you noticed our inability to test the gamepad's new "impulse triggers?" Well, we're glad to tell you we've just mended that exception.

First things first, though -- we got hands-on with the new gamepad in a more finished state (which is to say "with the impulse triggers and the new Start / Back buttons). The most noticeable difference is one that most gamers will likely overlook initially: the new texture on the edge of the analog sticks. Head below with us for more!

Gallery: Xbox One hands-on | 41 Photos

If there's one thing we never realized, it's how much time our thumbs spend glued not to the top of the thumbsticks, but to the sides of it. The new texture and thickened edges on the analog sticks add a real grippiness to the sticks. If it keeps us from slipping and missing a heashot even once, that's enough to appreciate the difference.

Now, what you're really here for -- how do the impulse triggers feel? Well, they feel weird. They feel super, super weird. The only demo were were able to control was extremely brief. In it, a helicopter goes up, and then down. In that process, you can feel the impulse triggers vibrating wildly. Though they were identical in terms of rumble applied to each trigger, we're told it can applied by developers similarly to controller rumble. The rumble in the controller we used was extremely strong, and that makes sense given the placement of the rumble motors -- directly inside each of the triggers.

From the brief demo, we can't quite tell if rumble triggers will be a game changer, exactly, but it sure is a noticeable change from the past. Like any other game technology, the real test will be with games that take advantage of its promise (or not) -- we're looking to E3 to make that rest a reality.

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