Retro STrife wrote: My recollection is that the controller had a battery compartment and, for an extra cost (like $20), you could buy a separate recharging kit that added a rechargeable battery. So it's a dicey area. Hard to call it a good design when it required a separate purchase, but also heard to credit the PS3 when it wasn't doing anything too novel either. Wireless controllers were around since the Atari 2600, but just took til the 2000s for the technology to be practical.
XBox 360 controllers, for all I've owned and seen, come with a battery compartment for 2AA. Personally, I found that the controllers ate standard Duracell or Energizer alkaline batteries pretty quickly (circa 15-20 hours). I considered buying a rechargeable battery pack or two, but got burned previously buying some Nyko Wii controller battery packs that lasted several charges before failing to provide power for more than an hour or two. Nickel Cadmium batteries are awful, and for the few (third party of course) battery packs available, they usually didn't advertize what type of cell they used. My Wii and Wii U still see a fair amount of use, and my solution was to buy rechargeable alkaline AA batteries. They have been charged maybe 3 times for the 4 pair over the last several months since I purchased them, which is better than a lot of cheaper disposable alkaline batteries. Ultimately, I'm still a fan of the rechargeable lithium ion batteries used in PS3 controllers. I'm at the point now where my 2006 Sixaxis controller is only holding a charge for 8-10 hours of use, sadly. My guess is it's been charged nearly 1000 times. Highly debatable feature, the battery pack inclusion.