U.S. Navy To Use Xbox Controllers On Submarines

For almost two decades, the video game industry has essentially been a two-horse race between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation systems. Now, it appears that one of them will be adding military operations to its resume. Yes, you read that correctly. The United States Navy will begin using Xbox 360 controllers to operate the periscopes on some of their most advanced nuclear submarines. It actually won’t be the first time that Xbox 360 controllers have been used for military operations. The U.S. Army has used them for weapons, drones, and even a prototype laser gun designed to shoot down shells and drones.

Easier To Train Sailors

One of the major factors in the decision to move away from the traditional periscopes is the time and effort that will be saved by not having to train sailors to use them. Periscopes that are seen in old, war movies like The Hunt for Red October requires an individual to peer through an eyepiece and steer with a giant, clunky joystick. Due to the specificity and difficulty of the original joysticks, it would take hours to train a sailor to use them. With the Xbox 360 controller, military contractors found that sailors were able to figure out the controls on their own within minutes.

The USS Colorado will be the first high-tech, modernized submarine to use this innovative method. Instead of looking through an ancient eyepiece, these upgraded submarines will use high-resolution cameras to display the images on a big screen. At that point, the sailors will essentially control the weaponry like a video game. It appears that those all-nighters spent playing Call of Duty are finally going to pay off.


Considering the overwhelming amount of debt that the United States is in and the fact that it is primarily due to defense spending, the U.S. military was happy to find out how much they’d be saving by making this simple switch. Each traditional joystick and control panel used to cost $38,000; however, the implementation of the Xbox 360 control system will cost just $30 a piece, saving the government thousands upon thousands of dollars.