The humble control pad has played it’s part in almost every gaming experience we’ve ever had and is often taken for granted. Just think how different many of you defining gaming experiences would have been were it not for the controller in your hands.
We at GamePointsNow decided to take a look at some of the best,worst and plain crazy controllers from across gaming history.
Xbox 360 Controller
Despite its gigantic size the controller for the original Xbox was so close to being perfect it’s no surprise that this slimmed down and fine tuned version that launched with the Xbox 360 is highly regarded amongst gamers today and still the controller of choice for many. Obviously designed with FPS games in mind, the wireless wonder was perfectly designed for those long nights blowing things up online with your buddies. While the original d-pad was it’s one let down, later iterations of the controller were released to correct this.
Sony Dualshock 4 (PS4)
You’ve got to hand it to Sony, they have an idea and they stick with it. Now in it’s fourth iteration the Dual Shock 4 is easily the best of the bunch and it’s biggest evolution to date. A slight redesign has done wonders for Playstations tried and tested design, the improved triggers, better grips and remodelled thumbsticks make the DS4 a true contender for the best controller out today.
Nintendo Wii Remote
No controller can lay claim to changing the gaming landscape like Nintendo’s Wii Remote. Despite a tendency to fly out of your hand and into the TV/wall/small child’s face, it really did change everything (after a wrist strap was added). From kids to grandparents everyone could use a Wii Remote, and while they may not have necessarily understood how it worked (is it magic??) never before had gaming been so open to such a wide audience. The further addition of Wii Motion Plus further down the line also made it incredibly accurate.
Super Nintendo Controller
Many still regard the SNES pad as the finest example of a controller to date, and even more argue that we wouldn’t have the pads we have today if it wasn’t for Nintendo’s well designed beauty. The first controller to feature shoulder buttons was as effective for playing Streetfighter II as it was tripping up your parents on its seemingly endless wire.
Keyboard & Mouse
OK, OK, we couldn’t not include the good old K&B in this list. While controllers have undergone some form of design overhaul as gaming has evolved the keyboard & mouse has pretty much remained as is at it’s heart. While there are some pretty radical versions of each out there, even the most basic of setups will see you sniping noobs with a precision not afforded to more console based gamers.
Sony Dualshock 3 (PS3)
It may be surprising to see this make the worst list, especially after our praise of it’s successor, but the Dual Shock 3 was a huge misstep for many. Despite being largely unchanged from the Dual Shock 2 somehow the DS3 just seemed to feel like a cheaper cut down version, and that’s without mentioning the fact it initially launched without vibration as Sixaxis due to a legal dispute at the PS3′s launch. With it’s distinct lack of weight, huge dead zones in the sticks and slippy triggers it’s easy to see why Sony decided a redesign was in order.
Atari Jaguar Controller
Just look at it!!! The Atari Jaguar controller really does prove that sometimes more is not always the answer. Why on earth would somebody think adding the number keys from a phone was a good idea in a controller is beyond us, especially when you consider this came out during the SNES/Megadrive era. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that this was the last venture into the hardware market for Atari with the much derided Jaguar selling under 250,000 units despite boasting “advanced 64 bit technology”
Sega Saturn 3D Controller
Just what Sega were thinking when they released this we’ll never know. The 3D controller was released for the Sega Saturn to go along with the release of NiGHTS into dreams but it really felt like some kind of weird protype. Despite featuring a whole host of features that we still use now its horrible design just made so difficult to use, couple that with the fact that it didn’t even work with most Saturn games made it even more useless.
Resident Evil 4: Chainsaw Controller (GameCube)
An example of pure style over substance. Third party Nuby Tech took themed controllers to the next level when they released this alongside Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube. Claims that it actually enhances the already fantastic game are however wide of the mark and it makes for a far more interesting display piece than it does a functional controller.
Nintendo Super Scope (SNES)
Nintendo have never been shy to experiment when it comes to add-ons for their systems but the Super Scope raised more than a few eyebrows when it was released for the SNES in 1992. The two foot long Bazooka shaped peripheral was even mentioned in a congressional hearing due to it resembling and “assault weapon”. While it proved to be pretty popular the major problem is that it was only actually supported by a handful of titles, and six of those came bundled with it.
Raildriver Desktop Train Cab Controller (PC)
As if playing a game about driving trains wasn’t enough, the fact you can spend a small fortune on a controller to replicate the console of an actual train is a little strange to us, but what do we know? Featuring prototypical levers and controls as well as 34 programmable buttons, the Raildriver DTCC promises the ultimate interface for computer based railroading and makes it feel like you’re driving a train, not a computer. Funny hat not included sadly.
The Power Glove (NES)
Contrary to public opinion Nintendo actually had nothing to do with the design and release of the Power Glove for the NES. It was instead developed by Grant Goddard and Sam Davis at Abrams Gentile Entertainment (AGE) who then licensed it to toy manufacturer Mattel. Despite launching to much fanfare and over the top 80′s advertising ( now you’re playing with power!!) the Power Glove was largely regarded as a huge flop. It did however later become a kind of cult classic, mainly due to its inclusion in the Nintendo produced movie The Wizard.
Long before Kinect Sega was trying to get us off our sofa’s and get more involved when playing video games, the Sega activator however may have been the most ridiculous reason ever though. In the adverts it looked incredible, implying that the octagon shaped ring which you stood in could translate your moves into the games you played allowing you to live out your dreams of being a martial arts master. Sadly it wasn’t to be, instead all the infrared based device did was associated your movements with predetermined button prompts juts like using a proper controller, but at least we were spared the embarrassment of our characters collapsing from exhaustion in games too.
Steel Battalion Controller (Xbox)
It seems like this bad boy makes it into every list we make recently but it always seems to fit so nicely. It’s a rare thing when a game is more known for its peripheral than its actual gameplay but Steel Battalion certainly falls into that category. The mega controller (complete with pedals) was the only way you could play the game so that meant stumping up the best part of £200 in order to be confused by which of the 40 buttons actually started your mech instead of washing its windows.
PrioVR MoCap suit
If you’ve ever seen actors in motion capture suits you’ll already be kind of familiar with what US based YEI Technology are offering with their PrioVR suits. The crowd funded technology is promising real time 360 degree motion tracking that will work pretty much anywhere, even with multiple users. Should it be successful when it launches later this year it could very well be the most interesting piece of gaming tech in years.
Boong-Ga Boong-Ga (Arcade)
It’s fair to say that the gaming scene in the far east is a little different from everywhere else. No more so is it demonstrated than by this arcade machine based on a Korean children’s prank that involves poking unaware victims up the bottom. Thankfully it was never released anywhere near Europe so at least we didn’t have to put up the the Daily Mail writing about it being a fingering prostitute simulator (yes that was part in the game!!)
Did we miss any? Do own any of the crazy ones? Let us know what you think in the comments below, on Facebook or via Twitter (@TeamGPN)