Good news for gamers – Microsoft has announced that it will sell spare parts and repair kits for its standard and Elite Series 2 Xbox controllers. The components, including thumb sticks, buttons and covers, are now available online through the Microsoft store and iFixit.

This news follows a similar move made by Microsoft just a few months back, where the company announced it would make available replacement parts for its Surface line of computers, including displays, hard drives, batteries and more. At the time, Tim McGuiggan, a senior leader in the devices and product engineering division, remarked that the company had been “working to increase repair options by designing products that are easier to repair”.

The availability of replacement components signals another win for both the Right to Repair movement and consumers, as a broken button will no longer relegate the entire controller to e-waste. Likewise, gamers can avoid having to pay anywhere from $59.99 to $179.99 USD for a replacement device.

Our approach to repairability has been to expand the options for customers to have their devices repaired in a safe, sustainable manner.

Tim McGuiggan, Microsoft VP Devices Services & Product Engineering

Speaking from experience, I myself once attempted to salvage a much-loved last generation Xbox controller by hacking together pieces from two faulty units. With no real instructions to go off, the ordeal took considerable time, resulted in missing screws and a Frankenstein-like device that I was worried would fall apart at any moment. An official guide and access to genuine spare parts would have made life much simpler, and now that looks to be a reality for future repairers.

Could we be witnessing a paradigm shift, enabling the empowerment of end-users to hold on to their goods for longer? Repairability support from such a large player in the tech space, both from a consumer and enterprise perspective, is a welcome development. Hopefully this momentum continues, and we see even more upgradability options to extend the life of our devices and reduce e-waste.

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