I woke up this morning to Duncan and Sabriena discussing the Xbox 360 wireless controller attached to his PC (our old desktop) - she ended up abandoning it and plugging in the wired one instead.
She replaced the batteries in it and it still wouldn't turn on - but what the fuck is going on? People reckon these batteries should last about a week for most gamers, and we were replacing them about every 3 days or so. I just replaced them last night, so that's less than an hour or two of playtime and less than 12 hours total on a brand new set of alkaline batteries.
Now that I think of it, maybe I should check the batteries we took out of it and see if they're flat at all. Diagnosing this problem is not helped at all by the fact Microsoft appear to have broken the battery indicator functionality at some point in the last year of Windows 10 updates, and don't seem too interested in putting it back.
Dodgy connections seems to be a recurring theme with these controllers, and sure enough I noticed that a sudden movement is enough to get the thing to disconnect. So far the solutions seem to be: a) take it back (short term benefit as the next one will likely do it); b) buy a rechargeable battery pack (that might be an idea anyway for economic reasons) or c) tinfoil.
So I tried the latter - folding up a small square and tucking it into the end of the battery pack. No rattles, that's a start. Controller come on first go, that's good progress.
After about 5 minutes of jumping around like an idiot in front of the TV trying to get it to shut off, it looks like it's fixed.
I opined a while ago that the 360 controller's triggers are far superior to that of the PS4's for driving games, but why is the build quality on the 360 controllers so trash? An accepted answer on the community forums for the wired controller spontaneously disconnecting is using a bread tie to keep the fucking cable in one spot! Ridiculous.
Update: We went to EB yesterday and bought a rechargeable pack and cable for it for $15AUD - could have bought two on eBay from Hong Kong for that price, but would probably have to pay the difference in batteries waiting for it to get here.
Brought it home and went to plug it in, and the damn thing won't stay on the controller! So we took it back this morning, and they swapped it out for another one which fits perfectly - it doesn't move a millimeter and has since reached full charge, so we'll see how it goes.