Xbox 360 controllers may operate periscopes on new Navy submarines

Crewmembers of the Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Hampshire (SSN 778) line the boat during its commissioning ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Oct. 25, 2008, in Kittery, Maine.

Jeremy Lambert/U.S. Navy via Getty Images

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.