Unlike Nintendo and PlayStation, Microsoft is committed to backward compatibility. It's gone so far as to make older games for the Xbox playable on modern consoles like the Xbox One and Xbox Series S/X. However, it appears that Microsoft's goal of updating legacy software has extended to hardware as well.
In a recent announcement, Microsoft confirmed that it is giving Xbox One controllers an update so that they will have features that were previously exclusive to Xbox Series S/X controllers.
How do you update your Xbox One controller?
The coming update will allow Xbox One controllers to "remember one Bluetooth host (e.g., smartphone) and one Xbox Wireless host (eg., Xbox console). This way, you don't have to manually switch between two paired devices. All you need to do is to double-tap the pair button of your Xbox One controller and that's it.
In addition to a more convenient way to pair your Xbox One controllers with multiple services, the latest update also adds DLI. DLI stands for Dynamic Latency Input and is a feature that reduces console input latency when using older controllers on the Xbox Series S and X.
This definitely gives Microsoft a leg up over Sony when it comes to compatibility with legacy software and hardware. Although the PS5 supports the DualShock 4, owners will need the DualSense to play PS5 games. Otherwise, they can only play PS4 games on their PS5 if they are using a DualShock 4 controller.
With that said, the update wasn't all that necessary. Microsoft has improved its efforts to make sure that as many Xbox Game Pass games support touch controls as possible. Then again, some gamers simply prefer to game with a controller, so the update definitely comes in handy for them. This is especially true for those who haven't gotten a chance to get their hands on an Xbox Series S or Xbox Series X yet, or those that do not plan on doing so anytime soon.
Just keep in mind that the update isn't available to everybody, nor all Xbox One controllers for now. Microsoft has limited the update to Alpha Skip-Ahead and Alpha users at the moment. Meanwhile, only Bluetooth-enabled Xbox One controllers, Xbox Elite 2, and Xbox Adaptive controllers will receive the free update.