The US Navy plans to use Xbox 360 controllers for their Virginia-class submarines to control the ship’s periscopes.
Based on engadget, the joystick which is now being used with its customized control panel which was developed by Lockhead Martin costs about $38,000. While an Xbox 360 controller only costs for about $30 and can be bought almost anywhere.
John Warner’s assistant navigator Senior Chief Mark Eichenlaub told Virginian pilot, “That joystick is by no means cheap, and it is only designed to fit on a Virginia-class submarineI can go to any video game store and procure an Xbox controller anywhere in the world.”
Navy spokesperson William Couch told The Washington Post via email that the game controllers will be first used on the future USS Colorado which will thend be retrofitted to all other Virginia-class submarines. It was also noted that it helps to know that many of the young sailors grew up using the game controllers playing certain video games.
Couch added, “The controller is a part of the Navy’s effort to leverage commercial off-the-shelf equipment to improve our warfighting capabilities while minimizing costs.”