Why the Navy Plans to Use 12-Year-Old Xbox 360 Controllers on Its Most Advanced Subs
Even though Microsoft has moved on from the
that the US
USS John Warner assistant weapons officer, Lt. j.g Kyle Leonard, told The Virginia-Pilot that the Navy polled junior officers about ways to make their duties easier. Many of the officers and sailors complained that the expensive military joysticks are clunky and heavy.
This is far from the first time the
Lockheed Martin reportedly came up with the idea of using Xbox controllers for Virginia-class submarine periscopes at their "classified research lab" in Manassas, Virginia, where sailors work with engineers to find ways to use commercial hardware and software-like Xbox Kinect and 360 controllers, touch tablets, and Google Earth-in Navy submarines.
The company says it refers to the lab as "Area 51," because, like the storied Air Force base in Nevada, the Manassas research lab was classified (at least, according to Lockheed Martin). But with all the gaming tech involved, the name is also reminiscent of the popular Area 51 arcade game .
And Lockheed Martin almost looks as if its trying to entice gamers with its promotional images of the classified lab that look like stills from a video game about the military using futuristic tech to fight aliens.
Microsoft did not immediately offer a response when reached for comment on military departments using their gaming technology.