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OK, so what's the worst controller?


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57 minutes ago, Ketchup said:

The mega drive had an analogue controller with two sticks.

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For the Dreamcast Peter Moore recently said they had to decide between a second stick for the controller or putting the modem in. It’s amazing to think how basic controllers were till recently, a pcb, a case and some rubber for the buttons. Where as now they have motors, motion sensors, wifi, lights, and more. So a second analogue stick would have added a lot of cost to the pretty basic Dreamcast controller.

 

For the N64 I’m sure Miyamoto said they considered a second stick but thought it was too confusing compared to previous controls and the n64 controller was the stop gap that was needed. Probably right as the Psone dual sticks really didn’t get properly used for any games on that console and games like ape escape were seen as a novelty or Alien Resurrection seen as difficult to control. Giles Godard recently said during the prototype phase of the n64 they wanted the controller to be symmetrical like the virtua boy rather than the c buttons. 

now we need thread of the hands that would make these controllers perfect. 

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14 minutes ago, Polmon said:

For me, it's the switch controllers as they are just ridiculously small and I get cramp in my hands after about 10 mins. Also, shout out to the PSP for just being awful in terms of controls right across the board. 

 

Someone on here or ResetEra suggested putting these on the JoyCon to make them more comfortable:

 

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Can't imagine I'd have got far in Skyward Sword HD without them.

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5 hours ago, Zio said:

For a real hot take though, in a way, it's been the Dualsense PS5 controller for me. Hear me out: the pad is a joy to use, it's weighty, it's ergonomic, the haptic feedback in the triggers is fantastic, but the two I have are both broken.


Save it for the ‘OK, so what’s the least reliable controller’ thread.

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1 hour ago, Marlowe said:

 

This is mental. How did you play any game that required the Z button? Stretch a finger across round the back? 

 

You took the most ergonomic, comfortable and precise way of playing 3D games in that era and made it torturous. 

Doesn't seem that convoluted surely?

 

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(not my hands btw) - the fingers on the right hand can still reach the Z-trigger, I guess the standard method of the left hand in the middle never felt comfortable to me.

 

Either that or this was an alternative...

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sixaxis:

- take a perfectly ok DualShock 2, though keeping the sticks in an uncomfortable position because you won’t really change the form factor for another nine years

- add pointless waggle that was barely used for anything, let alone gyro aiming

- replace perfectly good buttons with floaty unsatisfying triggers, ruling out more frequency games

- keep the utterly pointless pressure sensitive buttons

- scrap any haptics

- install a tiny tiny battery

 

at least the other mainstream controllers mentioned here remained key throughout the consoles life. This was replaced swiftly with the DS3, which was still shit but had haptics.

 

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The Sixaxis came about because Sony briefly looked like they were in violation of some patent for having haptics in controllers, so they figured they’d instead try and flog gyro controls as a replacement. They even claimed early on that the haptics would prevent the gyro controls from working properly.

 

As for analogue controls, they’ve been around for many years before the N64. I had an analogue stick for my BBC Micro in the 80s. I’d been begging my dad for a joystick so I could actually play The Empire Strikes Back properly and one day he came home with this thing that looked like it was meant to operate scientific equipment rather than play games. But I did get pretty good at shooting down probe droids and TIE Fighters with it.

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I love the N64 controller because of it's high precision thumbstick, actual gunshot trigger button and great ergonomics as a digital controller (there are plenty of games / apps that don't require your left hand to occupy the middle prong - making it somewhat of a stealth SNES controller with six face buttons). I ran through the whole of Bangaioh not too long back playing in digital 'twin-stick' mode, and it was testament to what a grossly underrated controller it is. The grinding plastic mechanism not being lubed with appropriate grease out of the factory is its only notable flaw for me. I'm a fan.

 

Moving on, I'm kinda cool on the GameCube as a whole but the controller has a tight thumbstick with next-to-no deadzone - Super Monkey Ball is a straight up lesser experience elsewhere because of other systems' inherently less refined analogue sticks. The unorthodox buttons and their placement don't bother me but the terrible placement of the GBA d-pad does (it's just so shitty to use on the already compromised stock GB Player). 

 

The Dreamcast controller's crampy ergonomics and lesser-feeling D-pad really hurt it. But unlike the susceptible-to-drift shite modern controller sticks suffer from after a relatively short period of use, I'd imagine most DC controller's analogue sticks remain working as excellently today as they did 22-odd years ago. The thing as a whole is seriously built to last and I respect that a lot. Like the N64 controller, it doesn't deserve the hate IMO.

 

As far as the worst controller, it has to be the Master System. All the nostalgia in the world can't save it, the certifiable form and function design classic NES controller made a mockery of it, and I'm glad I don't need to keep one on hand anymore for SMS games that don't play nice with Mega Drive controllers. 

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10 hours ago, MikeBeaver said:

Yeah, this monstrosity came out before the N64 pad didn't it?

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That’s me told with my own example.😁

 

What I meant is that in response to the N64 analog stick, Sony simply took their previous analog solution (the flight controller) and made it smaller. It kept support with available titles, was already implemented and thus was basically a no brainer to highlight the fact that the PSX could also do analog. 
 

For the consumer however, it looked like Sony did not one, but “TWO sticks! OMG!” Most likely that wasn’t even Sony’s intention. They just had a solution ready for a problem they didn’t even know they would have. Consumers simply didn’t know the flight controller even existed. (It was pretty rare in shops.)
 

Hence my original point: thanks to this stop-gap solution, Sony unwittingly created a template for years to come based on a controller “to make Ace Combat more fun.” 

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34 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:

in response to the N64 analog stick, Sony simply took their previous analog solution (the flight controller) and made it smaller. 

Source? As I've said, we had analog controllers (not dual shocks) from early 1995. And they were in the TRCs for ps1 games in 1994. Which, from what I can find, is before Nintendo announced the design of the N64, and its controller - late 1995 from what I can see. 

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24 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Source? As I've said, we had analog controllers (not dual shocks) from early 1995. And they were in the TRCs for ps1 games in 1994. Which, from what I can find, is before Nintendo announced the design of the N64, and its controller - late 1995 from what I can see. 


I don’t have a source, but based on other console war stories, I assume Sony caught wind of Nintendo’s concept with the “Ultra 64” and moved accordingly. 
 

The analog controller was indeed released before the Dual Shock (with glorious concave sticks, I might add) and support for games was minimal due to it being a flight controller first and foremost. That only changed when Sony pivoted on game design itself. 
 

I don’t really get where the irritation comes from. Sony was “first” if you want to hear that (and even that is debatable considering prior analog solutions). But it was Nintendo that popularized the idea of the stick. 

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13 hours ago, El Spatula said:

And yet it's still probably more useable than the DC, Gamecube or N64 controllers...


You’ve just listed three excellent controllers, which makes no sense in the context of the thread.

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23 minutes ago, Cyhwuhx said:


I don’t have a source, but based on other console war stories, I assume Sony caught wind of Nintendo’s concept with the “Ultra 64” and moved accordingly. 
 

The analog controller was indeed released before the Dual Shock (with glorious concave sticks, I might add) and support for games was minimal due to it being a flight controller first and foremost. That only changed when Sony pivoted on game design itself. 
 

I don’t really get where the irritation comes from. Sony was “first” if you want to hear that (and even that is debatable considering prior analog solutions). But it was Nintendo that popularized the idea of the stick. 


The thing about the Dual Shock is it was a perfectly serviceable analogue controller, as long as you didn’t want to play a game that required precise control, like a first person shooter.

 

Of course, Sony neatly solved this problem by never having any FPS worth playing with it.

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The N64 controller makes sense if you consider it as a hedge against whether analogue controls, along with 3D games, would really take off and supplant 2D games - it’s a controller that can support both control schemes.

 

In retrospect, that seems a bit silly, but it wouldn’t have been as clearcut when it was originally designed.

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25 minutes ago, Halo said:

The N64 controller makes sense if you consider it as a hedge against whether analogue controls, along with 3D games, would really take off and supplant 2D games - it’s a controller that can support both control schemes.

 

In retrospect, that seems a bit silly, but it wouldn’t have been as clearcut when it was originally designed.

That's true but the same can be said for the Saturn 3D pad and that's much better in terms of layout. 

Actually, the same can be said for the Dualshock too. 

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6 minutes ago, JamesC said:

That's true but the same can be said for the Saturn 3D pad and that's much better in terms of layout. 

Actually, the same can be said for the Dualshock too. 

The DualShock/Analogue and Saturn 3D pads were both released as peripherals, at least initially, while the N64 shipped with its pad.

 

Also, the DualShock design is terrible. It took a genuinely great 2D pad and awkwardly bolted on two analogue sticks in a way that makes them aggressively uncomfortable to use.

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3 minutes ago, Halo said:

Also, the DualShock design is terrible. It took a genuinely great 2D pad and awkwardly bolted on two analogue sticks in a way that makes them aggressively uncomfortable to use.

 

Indeed always struggled with the DS design the symmetrical layout of the sticks feels uncomfortable after a bit playing - especially with games that require the sticks to be clicked on a regular basis. Latest PS5 is the best of them though but still not ideal for me.


Guess that is the case in point here... designing a pad must be incredibly difficult as everyone holds things in a slightly different way and has different size hands etc so designers need to go for average measurements. 

 

Think the best pad I've ever used is the 360 pad. Just fits perfectly in my hands and my thumbs fall naturally onto the analogue sticks. I can play hours on that in comfort. Probably why I keep going back to the 360 to play. Although the D-Pad is terrible... 

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1 hour ago, Cyhwuhx said:

 

I don’t really get where the irritation comes from.

Mostly because it's an oft-quoted "fact" that simply isn't true. 

 

But also because I think there tends to be this attitude amongst what I'll call "certain kinds of gamers" to avoid using "fanboys" that Nintendo is the only company that can do any kind of innovation and everyone else just copies them. And this illustrates it quite nicely "Sony to one-up Nintendo's N64 controller by shrinking this monstrosity down to the first twin-stick controller" is saying "Sony saw what Nintendo did and copied it" and they didn't. They had designed, and produced, a controller with analogue sticks on it before Nintendo announced they were doing one (again, from what I can see. I can't find anything about the final design of the N64 pad before about November 1995). Granted, given the history of how PlayStation came about, it's not inconceivable that Nintendo has told Sony that they wanted an analogue stick on the controller and Sony just ran with it when their deal fell apart.

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”Nintendo more strongly embraced analogue controllers than Sony did in the three-year period from 1995 to 1998” is less exciting but a lot more accurate than the seeming accepted narrative of “Sony wouldn’t have even made an analogue controller if the N64 didn’t have one”.

 

They’re analogue sticks, not the fucking Protomolecule. They were already optional controllers for most systems before the N64 and PlayStation even existed, and were probably going to be standard input devices by the year 2000 regardless.

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I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but for me the worst official controller is the original Megadrive one. Overly plasticy, unresponsive and a horrid D pad. The later 6 button pad is great but the original was a huge step backwards from what had gone before (despite it still looking cool). 

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7 minutes ago, ScouserInExile said:

Mostly because it's an oft-quoted "fact" that simply isn't true. 

 

But also because I think there tends to be this attitude amongst what I'll call "certain kinds of gamers" to avoid using "fanboys" that Nintendo is the only company that can do any kind of innovation and everyone else just copies them. And this illustrates it quite nicely "Sony to one-up Nintendo's N64 controller by shrinking this monstrosity down to the first twin-stick controller" is saying "Sony saw what Nintendo did and copied it" and they didn't. They had designed, and produced, a controller with analogue sticks on it before Nintendo announced they were doing one (again, from what I can see. I can't find anything about the final design of the N64 pad before about November 1995). Granted, given the history of how PlayStation came about, it's not inconceivable that Nintendo has told Sony that they wanted an analogue stick on the controller and Sony just ran with it when their deal fell apart.

 

For me the illustration of the flight stick was primarily there to show that Sony was already doing what Nintendo 'innovated'. :D Nintendo is king in taking discarded toys and polishing them up. Similar to "Apple's legendary innovations" and that may have happened at some point as the flight controller was meant for 3D spaces (I got the Analog Controller specifically for Colony Wars).

 

Let's not forget it was Sony that put EyeToy out there before Nintendo took the idea and applied it to a single remote instead, only for Microsoft to then act like it had invented fire with the Kinect. Hell, EyeToy tech was still used to create PSVR, which is arguably better than whatever Kinect managed to pump out.

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The worst pad I have ever actually owned is the Gamester Evolution Control System. Turns out you can’t just map accelerometer signals on to an analogue stick and expect to have a good time.

 

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2 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

The worst pad I have ever actually owned is the Gamester Evolution Control System. Turns out you can’t just map accelerometer signals on to an analogue stick and expect to have a good time.

 

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This reminds me of that horrible magazine advertisement that implied a single-handed controller was great for playing Tomb Raider whilst having a wank.

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19 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

”Nintendo more strongly embraced analogue controllers than Sony did in the three-year period from 1995 to 1998” is less exciting but a lot more accurate than the seeming accepted narrative of “Sony wouldn’t have even made an analogue controller if the N64 didn’t have one”.

 

They’re analogue sticks, not the fucking Protomolecule. They were already optional controllers for most systems before the N64 and PlayStation even existed, and were probably going to be standard input devices by the year 2000 regardless.

 

And upon seeing that word, I realise I am wasting my time in this thread and SHOULD be watching The Expanse finale!!

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59 minutes ago, Halo said:

The DualShock/Analogue and Saturn 3D pads were both released as peripherals, at least initially, while the N64 shipped with its pad.

 

Also, the DualShock design is terrible. It took a genuinely great 2D pad and awkwardly bolted on two analogue sticks in a way that makes them aggressively uncomfortable to use.

There definitely seem to be two camps when it comes to the Dualshock pads. I've always found the stick layout pretty comfortable, but then I have fairly small hands. I never liked that segmented D-pad though.

 

31 minutes ago, Skull Commander said:

I don't think anyone has mentioned it, but for me the worst official controller is the original Megadrive one. Overly plasticy, unresponsive and a horrid D pad. The later 6 button pad is great but the original was a huge step backwards from what had gone before (despite it still looking cool). 

This has really come out of left-field. I absolutely love the original 3 button MD pad. It's really comfortable, feels nice and chunky and is practically bulletproof. 

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On 13/01/2022 at 10:23, Ketchup said:

You’re all wrong. This is the worst controller ever made.

 

Firstly it’s top heavy without the prongs, let alone when you add a rumble pack. But the worst thing of all is the nubs have these huge bumps on the back so you have something to hold onto. Except that’s also where the Z trigger is meaning even slender fingers are squashed in a gap about 1cm wide to not hold the device but to also access a major button.

 

Thats ignore the stick, dpad etc.

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Oh wow, I forgot this pad even existed, but I owned one! As bad as it looks, the analogue stick is even worse. 

 

On 13/01/2022 at 13:36, Down by Law said:

Retrobit are meant to be making a new Dreamcast controller but it's been delayed due to chip shortages.

 

image.png.8781fe54e73f32ae7e24d85376f73d75.png

 

It's basically the better parts of the 3D Saturn pad. Really looking forward to it.

 

Personally I like the original pad, apart from the D-Pad being terrible and that's just not good for a Sega controller.

 

Plays a mean game of Sega Rally 2 though.

 

 

This looks amazing. I struggle to justify buying a Retrobit Sega controller as I have an 8bitdo M30, and never use it, but I’d be all over this. It literally fixes everything wrong with the Dreamcast controller. I loved my Dreamcast, but coming off the back of my beloved Saturn, with its best-in-class dpad and 6 face buttons perfect for Street Fighter, it was a big disappointment. The DC controller felt very gimmicky, in a Homer’s Car sort of way, and very unlike the N64 pad which had clearly been built around the software. Speaking of which…

 

On 13/01/2022 at 19:27, Spiceymike said:

Sorry, another vote here for the N64 pad. I bring this up because I dusted off my N64 the other day to try out my new Everdrive and I completely don't miss it at all. I've never, ever held it the proper way either yet never found it uncomfortable with my left thumb stretched across the analogue stick, to me it was my natural way of playing it.

 

I recently bought the wireless Brawler 64 pad and it's a HUGE difference! Not to mention it feels so much lighter. It felt like a long time coming for a decent wireless controller for it.

 

Am I to understand you used the analogue stick while holding the controller by the left prong? This is madness! The N64 pad is wonderful, save for the shoddy analogue stick build quality. It’s like a jungle gym in pad form - it screams out “touch me!”  
 

 

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8 hours ago, Popo said:

I struggle to justify buying a Retrobit Sega controller as I have an 8bitdo M30, and never use it, but I’d be all over this. I

Sadly, the Retrobit controllers are superficial imitations - they share the same outward design but have very different materials (and presumably internal design) meaning they don't feel 'right' and seem far less robust than the original controllers.

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