NORFOLK, Va. — The U.S. Navy plans to use Xbox 360 controllers to operate periscopes aboard its newer submarines.
The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, reported Saturday that the Navy’s Virginia-class subs don’t have a traditional rotating periscope. They’re being replaced by high-resolution cameras and large monitors.
They can be controlled by a helicopter-style stick. But the Navy plans to integrate an Xbox controller into the system because they’re more familiar to younger sailors and require less training.
They’re also cheaper. A controller typically costs less than $30 compared to the $38,000 cost of a photonic mast handgrip and imaging control panel.
The Xbox controller will be included as part of the integrated imaging system for Virginia-class subs beginning with the future USS Colorado. It is supposed to be commissioned by November.