The original Xbox went through numerous revisions before its release, from the alpha development kit in the shape of a PC tower, to prototype kits using slightly different hardware, to the final version that we know and love (or hate). The controller for the Xbox was no different, seeing multiple revisions, from the Hammerhead USB controller, to the ‘Duke’ retail controller, and even the later Controller S, which initially launched in Japan with some differences when compared to the final S model.
The Dakota prototype was made sometime between the Hammerhead prototype, and the Duke controller. It, for whatever reason, does not seem to function with a retail console, although there is the possibility that the breakaway cable changed between the near final Dakota and the ‘Duke’, but I can’t confirm that as I don’t have a Dakota breakaway cable.
As of right now, I am not sure what the Dakota was used for. The rumor has always been that it was shipped with development kits at some point. Ill be curious to test them out on my DVT3 beta kit, but as of right now I have yet to do so. Check out the pictures after the break, and some comparisons to the retail ‘Duke’ controller.
The front of the controller, showing off the jewel
The back of the controller, lacking FCC markings, and showing that the Dakota was made in Malaysia
A comparison between the Dakota prototype, and the final Duke controller. You can see that the Dakota is a ligher gray color, while the Duke is a dark green / black combination.
The end of the controller, where it would connect to the breakaway cable, is a different shape, and different color.
On one of my Dakota prototype, it has a different connector entirely. While three of the four Dakota controllers that I own have a retail style connector, seen on the left, one prototype has an entirely different connector.
A family of four Dakota controllers, resting peacefully.
See a few more pictures, plus all of the pictures above, right here :