Video game consoles have evolved over the years and along with them the controllers too have been given major and extreme makeovers. These video game controllers act as a link between us and the guy shooting and slashing his enemies to pieces. Connection with a character becomes more realistic as it allows us to control the characters every movement and provide us with a complete and wholly immersive feeling. This is why controllers have evolved so as to provide better enjoyment and more engagement within the game.
In the early days, gamers were only allowed the basic buttons that were needed at that time which were the directional keys for forward, backward, up and down along with the start and select button and the A and B button whose mappings were different from game to game like the NES controller. This was fair in those days as games never really required the player to perform many functions excepting jumping and punching their way through a barrage of levels. These controllers were light and fulfilled the purpose of having unlimited fun.
The next step was when these controllers evolved by the addition of two additional buttons to support added features in certain games which is available in N64’s controller. The D-pad or directional pad however remained the same with hardly any improvements made to it except for smoother look and feel. These controllers had very sharp and boxy features attached to them and wouldn’t really fit so cosily in the hands of the player which affected gameplay and somehow proved to give aches and pains.
Then there were the arcade style joysticks that allowed the player to pull off crazy stunts and combos which otherwise he couldn’t in games like Street fighter and so on. The paddle also made its move on the market around this time but lost out in the big game as it did not catch up with the players and gaming community. Soon enough players were introduced to the wonderful world of advanced controllers with the PlayStation and Xbox controllers which had a major impact on the market and industry. These controllers had sharp controls with standard buttons along with two buttons at the rear end complete with analogue movement in the form of little sticks. Plus they fit so snugly in a player’s hands.
Since the launch of the PlayStation and Xbox controllers the controller era went into overdrive with many neat advancements which featured vibrations, movement related functions, wireless controllers and other buttons for added functions. Some of the consoles had specific controllers for specific games like the drum set and the guitar which could be attached to the console to play games like Guitar hero and the likes. Even the steering wheel caught on which gave racing games a realistic feeling to it. Later came the Playstation eye and move controllers along with Xbox360 Kinect which studied the player’s movements and replicated it upon the screen. This gained a lot of popularity. Some games include the feature of touch like the PS Vita system that has a touch screen and a track pad at the bottom.
Along with these advancements the next generation of consoles boasts of even higher and better features like the PlayStation 4 controller that has a combination of the all PlayStation 3 controllers put together. You too can check out the Razor’s Orbweaver Elite Mechanical Gaming Keypad which is so advanced that it uses light pronounced tap to provide tactile feedback to the gaming console. But in the end it comes down to the preference of the user and how comfortable they feel with it. And until the day that perfect controller is not released, the world of controllers will keep evolving to fulfil our wildest dreams.