A sailor tests using an Xbox controller at a lab in northern Virginia.
A sailor tests using an Xbox controller at a lab in northern Virginia. Photo Credit: U.S. Navy

U.S. Navy goes gamer in newest submarines

While it might cost billions to build a submarine, the United States Navy is adding a new piece of equipment that will set them back about $30: an Xbox controller.

The USS Colorado will be the first nuclear-powered submarine to incorporate an Xbox 360 controller to operate its periscopes. The Navy believes that the controllers will help because they are more familiar to younger sailors and require much less training.

The current joystick also costs about $38,000.

“That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only designed to fit on a Virginia-class submarine,” Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub, the assistant navigator of the USS John Warner told The Virginian-Pilot. “I can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world, so it makes a very easy replacement.”

The Colorado is scheduled to be commissioned in November.


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