The 10 worst controllers in history

The 10 worst controllers in history

Do you complain about the greatness of the Joy-Con? Do you think DualSense is underused? Well, this article could help you put current affairs in perspective: we have selected the 10 worst controllers in history. We are sure we have forgotten some aberrations, but rest assured that the ones you find on our list are still worth considering.

If you can complain about anything, in the current pad situation, it is perhaps excessive standardization. In the past, up to the sixth generation, the controllers differed much more: already in the seventh, that of Wii, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, the biggest differences were due to the combination of Wiimote and Nunchuk. It is not necessarily a bad thing: it is normal that, after many years, and especially after many years of common needs, a standard suitable for everyone has been found. It is a fact that, without a shadow of a doubt, it makes life easier for developers.

Xbox 360: the pad that has become the industry standard As good as DualSense is, as enjoyable as the vibration and the freedom granted by Joy-Con, as much as you may love the tactile quality of the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, there is no doubt that the previously mentioned standard has been, at least in recent times, imposed by the Xbox controller.

Ironically, its predecessor is on our list - here are the worst controllers in history.

10 - Kinect

Kinect: the Microsoft peripheral has sold more than thirty-five million pieces Honestly we were undecided whether or not to include Kinect in this list: after all, if such a peripheral sells so many millions of copies (more than thirty-five), it must have some merit. And Kinect, above all on a conceptual level, had some. Sony and Microsoft found themselves in the need to "respond" in some way to Nintendo's Wiimote: the first chose to shamelessly imitate it with Move, the second introduced the Kinect.

A peripheral capable of detecting faces and movements, without having to wear anything, but whose operation was far from perfect and, on a commercial level, was one of the reasons that caused the slow start of the Xbox One , which was bundled with the second generation of peripherals.

9 - Xbox "Duke"

"The Duke": the first pad for Xbox In ninth place another peripheral a Microsoft that [spoiler alert] will no longer appear in this list. Compared to other monstrosities present among our choices, the Xbox pad (the first) could also seem an excellence: do not be fooled by the context. This pad, later renamed "The Duke", had questionable button placement; nothing, however, compared to the bean shape, and the hemispherical relief of the same.

The real problem with The Duke, however, was the size: it's okay to target primarily an American audience, but this pad was really huge. Not only did it cut out most of the Japanese user (who in fact received another pad, "S", which later became standard), but also anyone who didn't have big hands.

It remains perhaps the ugliest controller ever launched together with a successful console.

8 - Atari Jaguar controller

Atari Jaguar: the controller with the keypad This pad too was launched alongside a console, the Atari Jaguar, the first 64-bit platform (advertised as such, at least). As absurd as it may seem, it wasn't a foolish pad. The keypad with numbers should have served to make the controller more similar to a keyboard, while maintaining the comfort of a pad: the numbers below should have limited the times spent in pause, to (for example) select weapons on a shooter , or objects on a role-playing game. The grotesque aspect remains, and the only three keys available at the top, far too few for the mid-90s (and there were no backbones!).

7 - Intel Wireless Series Gamepad

Intel Wireless Series Gamepad: Need a Neck Pillow? Here, in this case the image should prove to be an example of why, well, this is one of the ugliest controllers ever conceived. Driver malfunction, in the end, is a negligible problem - this Intel pad attempt is completely disastrous. It is not clear why it has this shape, nor a similar arrangement of keys. It is ugly, bulky and not very functional. Recyclable as (uncomfortable) neck pillow.

6 - Nuby Boomerang 64

Nuby Boomerang 64: in the wilderness it could prove useful, in case of animal threats Some on this list would have included even the original Nintendo 64 pad: actually, nowadays it might seem like a primitive controller, and far too complicated. However, it was one of the most important and revolutionary pads in the entire history of video games, and its quirks were - at the time - absolutely understandable (we talked about it in this special). However, nothing can be said about Nuby's defense: her Boomerang 64 controller, which attempted to make the original pad simpler and more comfortable, is something truly hideous (and uncomfortable). Above all, his design is not justified by sensible ideas.

5-Philips CD-i Paddle / Remote Controller

Philips CD-i: a remote control as cute as it is uncomfortable and useless Be ', what about in this case? Many of you will know the Philips CD-i for its aberrant versions of Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda; given the temporal distance and the lack of success, many will ignore the pads anyway. Yes, in the plural: there are really many. Try to do a Google search, and none of them, not even the most traditional (which was not traditional) will seem suitable for playing anything. Those in the shape of a remote control were simply nonsense: uncomfortable and not very functional. Good-looking, however.


U-Force for NES, an "air" controller Before we hit the podium, here's an oddity made by Broderbund for Nintendo Entertainment System. U-FORCE was a controller that aimed to let you play with the NES without pressing buttons: once assembled and set up correctly, not the simplest of operations, it was actually possible to interact by bringing your hands close to U-FORCE, and moving them in a certain way. A really bad peripheral, which someone has even tried - and succeeded - to connect to the Nintendo Switch. In reality, even if it was not designed for this at the time, we imagine that it could have helped someone with motor difficulties to play in a simpler way. And that's why we leave it off the podium.

3 - Dream Machine

Dream Machine: amazing and elegant, isn't it? Here we are at the lowest step of the podium: we bet that many of you have never heard of this hellish contraption. With a completely inappropriate name: Dream Machine. This controller ... construction ... architectural work, conceived by Robert James-Herbert, was unveiled at E3 about fifteen years ago. It should have supported any genre, and guaranteed various intensities of movement: within it, moving and moving, we would have been able to control any video game. At the very affordable figure of (approximately) 1500 Euros.

2 - Power Glove

The legendary Power Glove Nintendo has innovated and revolutionized controllers like perhaps no other company: let's not forget that even the directional cross, albeit with some precursors, has become a standard thanks to the NES (and is still present, more or less subordinated or altered, in any controller on the planet). Well, the Power Glove is probably the ugliest controller Nintendo ever made. Made famous by "The Great Little Wizard of Video Games" (originally "The Wizard"), a 1989 film that introduced Super Mario Bros. 3 to the world, the Power Glove really looked like something futuristic. A glove that could replace a pad in all respects: between its appearance and the fame due to the film, many at the time wanted to get their hands on it. We are sorry for those who succeeded: after passing the assembly phase, which was far from intuitive, the experience was not as appealing or deserving (or functioning) as hoped for.

1 - SEGA Activator

SEGA Activator: an octagonal peripheral for SEGA Mega Drive In first place the queen of gambles: SEGA. Often positive and revolutionary ventures ... but not in this case. SEGA Activator, a peripheral for Mega Drive released in late 1993, was a plastic octagon to be placed on the ground. At that point the player, after a long and complex installation to be repeated often, could go inside and ... well, start moving, kicking, throwing punches. How to activate the command was a free choice, the important thing was to cover one of the sides of the octagon with your body: hands, legs, head. We cannot even say that Activator was a forerunner of the Kinect: just like any other peripheral mentioned in this article (Kinect excluded, in fact) the movements simply served to activate, in an alternative way, a digital command.

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