While most people associate Xbox 360 with a group of teenagers drinking Mountain Dew as they play one another late into the night, it turns out the U.S. Navy is now opting for the popular gaming device.
But perhaps more important than the cost is the fact that using an Xbox 360 controller is nearly second nature to the current generation of young sailors.
The Virginia-class USS Colorado will have its periscopes controlled by Xbox 360 controllers.
While older submarines have periscopes that allow just one user to look through it at a time, newer subs have high-resolution cameras and large monitors. Instead information from the periscope mast is displayed on a number of screens in the control room. While a bit more serious than using the controller to battle it out on Call of Duty, using the Xbox Controller to control an actual real-life submarine is a boy's dream come true. But despite this high-tech update, the Navy still used a complicated, traditional helicopter-style stick to operate the periscope.
"That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only created to fit on a Virginia-class submarine", said Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub.
After extensive testing, the controller-based system will make its debut with the USS Colorado, meant to be commissioned by November 2017.
After two years of testing Xbox controllers, the Navy plans to begin installing Xbox controllers in new Virginia-class subs starting around November. This system (which consists of a photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel, according to the Navy Times) was designed by Lockheed Martin and cost $38,000 to develop.
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