#10 worst online game controller designs, ranked

10 worst online game controller designs, ranked

May be the catcher or the controller

We reside in arguably the best period of gaming controllers. And whereas I’m positive youthful generations will take all of it without any consideration, these of us who’ve been gaming for a number of many years comprehend it’s been an extended street to get to the place we’re at this time. The Change Professional controller, Xbox Sequence X|S controller, and PlayStation Twin Sense controller are the very best controllers we’ve seen from console producers, each when it comes to consolation and usefulness. And you understand that’s the case as a result of principally each third-party controller producer as of late is producing units that kind of look precisely like what you will get from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony.

However that hasn’t all the time been the case. For many years, again when gaming was nonetheless regarded as a “youngsters’ factor,” producers put out absolutely the worst controllers the trade has ever seen. Some have been gimmicky, and loads of them have been simply too cheaply made. For this record of the worst online game controller designs, we’re trying past simply the strangest oddities that by some means made their method to retailer cabinets and can concentrate on the controllers that really made gaming worse. Additionally, we’re solely together with controllers we’ve truly used (so that you’re protected this time, controller for the View-Grasp Interactive Imaginative and prescient).

Siri Controller
Picture Courtesy of Apple

10. Apple TV Siri Distant

Apple is in a superb place with gaming proper now as its Apple Arcade subscription service continues including new titles each month. But it surely wasn’t all the time like that. Apple has all the time been at odds with the gaming market, as anybody who tried to play the most popular PC titles of the early 2000s on an eMac may let you know. In 2015, the corporate added gaming capabilities to the fourth-generation Apple TV, with one catch: video games for the service had to have the ability to use the Apple TV Siri Distant.

For some video games, this controller did simply superb. You realize, video games that utilized easy movement controls or trivia video games the place you simply wanted a button or two. For the whole lot else it was an uncomfortably mild controller to make use of, one which severely impacted the forms of difficult video games that could possibly be dropped at the platform. Finally, that requirement was dropped, and the following era of Siri Distant didn’t embody the accelerometer or gyroscope. In fact, this made the brand new controller incompatible with all these motion-controlled video games. Whoops!

9. The N-Gage

Not only a controller however a whole system, the Nokia N-Gage was doomed to fade into obscurity the second the corporate unveiled this “taco cellphone” to the world. Past the mediocre display and full misunderstanding as to why individuals favored the Recreation Boy Advance, the controls for the system have been clunky. Consolation was an enormous cause why Nintendo succeeded for therefore lengthy within the handheld enviornment, and resulting from its measurement, it actually wasn’t comfy to carry for that lengthy should you had adult-sized arms. Gaming on telephones is a lot better as of late with touchscreen smartphones and devoted cellular controllers.

8. Atari Jaguar Controller

A perennial favourite of those sorts of lists, I truly perceive why Atari determined to incorporate that pointless nine-digit keypad. It made sense while you noticed the completely different overlay sheets for the completely different video games that advised gamers precisely what every of these buttons did. As archaic because the idea was, it wasn’t the worst of concepts. What’s the worst of concepts is to launch this controller, with its three gamepad buttons, in 1993. Are you aware what got here out greater than a yr earlier than the Atari Jaguar? Road Fighter II for SNES. The early ‘90s was all in regards to the preventing recreation scene, each in arcades and a house, and right here comes a controller that may’t play any of them. Atari would launch the ProController that added extra buttons, but it surely was too little, too late.

7. Tony Hawk Movement Pak

This one type of appears like a cheat, however Activision shouldn’t be allowed to have this horrible tech-demo-sold-as-a-game fade into obscurity. Everyone knows that movement controls have been large within the second half of the 2000s with the meteoric rise of the Nintendo Wii. However not all video games benefited from the know-how. Working example: Tony Hawk Movement. This DS title shipped with the Movement Pak, which pressured gamers to tilt their handheld left and proper to steer.

Whereas the movement controls labored okay with some changes to the sensitivity, as a result of the standard of the screens on the Nintendo DS wasn’t the very best, the second you titled your system to steer your skater, it turned troublesome to see what was truly occurring on display. So principally, what you had was a controller that made taking part in the one recreation it labored with an train in frustration. And but, it’s by some means not the worst Tony Hawk controller Activision launched…

6. Tony Hawk Journey Skateboard

This one is. As a baby of the ‘90s, I imagine there’s a particular place in hell for the individuals at Activision who screwed the Tony Hawk franchise. Whereas the collection was arguably on the decline after a sturdy decade of enjoyable, it definitely hit all-time low when Tony Hawk: Journey was introduced. For no matter cause, Activision thought individuals wished to stability on a skateboard whereas taking part in video games. They didn’t. The 2009 title was largely a dud, and its sequel, 2010’s Tony Hawk: Shred, definitely put the ultimate nail within the coffin of that concept. Whereas the skateboard itself was nicely constructed, Tony Hawk video games are designed for precision, and there was nothing enjoyable about having to stability your self on this board whereas making an attempt to make the overly correct actions essential to tug off even essentially the most fundamental maneuvers. For those who wished a superb boarding recreation that used a controller you stood on, Shaun White Snowboarding and Shaun White Snowboarding: World Stage made glorious use of the Wii Stability Board.

Worst Controllers
Picture Courtesy of Wikipedia (Public Area)

5. Atari 5200 Controller

The controller for the Atari 2600 is a legendary piece of apparatus. The one for its follow-up, the Atari 5200? Not a lot. Trying past the shoddy high quality of the buttons and poor type issue, the Atari 5200 controller featured an analog joystick that didn’t self-center while you took your hand off it. That’s type of necessary in a controller. It must be no shock the 5200 bombed at retail, promoting only one million items in comparison with the 30 million of its predecessor. I’m undecided why this controller design was so sizzling within the early ’80s, however Intellivision has an identical controller idea that was simply as dangerous.

4. Mainly All Third-Social gathering Controls from the ‘90s and 2000s

As I stated within the lede, we’re in a wonderful period for online game controllers. Producers from all corners of the trade have actually upped their recreation right here, and whereas there are nonetheless some misses, you’re usually not going to get a shoddy piece of apparatus as of late. Wind the clock again 25 years, and it’s a totally completely different story. There was one thing about that point interval the place producers appeared to imagine within the idea of “no dangerous concepts.” How else do you clarify controllers just like the Intel Wi-fi Gamepad, the Paradox, the Boomerang 64, or the Palmtop, the controller that took a DDR pad and put it within the palm of your hand? Certain, there have been enjoyable experiments, just like the Namco NeGcon, however the trade is healthier off with out a lot crap for customers to waste their cash on.

3. Energy Glove

No record of horrible online game controllers is full with out the Energy Glove. Initially launched in 1989, the controller was closely featured within the Tremendous Mario Bros. 3 feature-length industrial, in any other case generally known as The Wizard. In idea, the glove would permit gamers to manage the actions of their character on display utilizing hand motions. In observe, nicely, we have been all youngsters again then, so in fact, it wasn’t going to work. Any controller that required you to do programming wasn’t going to go down in historical past as one of many greats. Plus, for no matter cause, the 2 video games designed explicitly to be used with the controller weren’t included with it. You had to purchase them individually. We had a Energy Glove in our home rising up, but it surely wasn’t till I began placing this record collectively that I spotted it had its personal video games. Nonetheless, it felt futuristic as hell to place it on and fail at each online game you tried to play with it.

2. Sega Activator

There have been a number of makes an attempt at movement gaming earlier than the Nintendo Wii and Kinect. Just like the U-Power, one other favourite of lists like these that claimed it may sense hand motions to manage a recreation. I didn’t know anybody who owned a U-Power, however two of my Sega Genesis-owning acquaintances within the ’90s acquired the Sega Activator for Christmas in 1993. By the spring of 1994, these issues have been despatched to Goodwill. The Activator was an octagonal ring you’d set on the ground and step into. Commercials made it seem like your actions contained in the ring can be replicated on display, particularly in preventing video games. Nonetheless, in actuality, gamers would simply throw their arms over the completely different sides of the octagon to activate that button enter. An absolute disappointment throughout.

Mad Catz
Picture Courtesy of

1. fifth and sixth Era Mad Catz Controllers

It could be a bit unfair to place Mad Catz on this record at primary. In spite of everything, the #4 place on this record just about coated the period when this firm was at its worst. However as we get additional and additional away from the PS1/PS2 period of gaming, it’s necessary to maintain a file of all of the wasted plastic generated by Mad Catz with its fifth and sixth-generation controllers. As a result of for 2 console generations, it produced the forms of controllers each participant dreaded having to make use of. The designs of their controllers may not have been the craziest, however a part of designing a superb controller is ensuring it’s dependable, and there was nothing dependable about late ’90s/early 2000s Mad Catz. After a number of days of use, loads of their controllers would simply begin to really feel unfastened. The buttons, the analog sticks; it by no means felt good to make use of one in every of these controllers. If you put one in your hand, you possibly can simply really feel the inferiority of the product.

And grips. All the time with the grips.

Regardless of the notoriety that went with the model identify, it was probably most everybody you knew within the ‘90s and 2000s who had a gaming console additionally had a Mad Catz controller tucked away for after they had buddies over. That’s simply how issues have been. You’d get the controller that got here with the field, however as a result of your youthful brother or sister wished to play too, your dad and mom would drop an extra $30 on no matter Mad Catz they’d at Funcoland. It was a stupider time again then, and I’ll always remember making an attempt to play Tremendous Smash Bros. with my buddies and being pressured to make use of the Mad Catz Nintendo 64 controller as a result of I misplaced at rock-paper-scissors.

To its credit score, Mad Catz truly managed to show issues round, producing the excellent devices of Rock Band 4 and a bevy of nice struggle sticks, together with my favourite, the one for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. It was even commissioned by Capcom to make struggle sticks and struggle pads for the then-upcoming Road Fighter IV. Regardless of the Cinderella story, the corporate shut down in 2017, solely to re-emerge the very subsequent yr as Mad Catz International Restricted, the place it continues to make struggle sticks and PC equipment.


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