I get that it's understandable that the Atari 400/800 used it as their standard joystick, but that was 1979. Not everyone really knew at the time that more would soon be necessary. After that though, there was no excuse. The Commodore 64 was geared toward being an extremely gamer-friendly computer. So why not bundle it with a 3-button joystick or controller? If they wanted to keep the costs low, fine. Package it separately as their standard joystick. When Atari re-packaged their 8-bit line with the amazing 800XL, they forgot to repackage the controller.
The final straw was 1985. 16-bit systems like the ST and Amiga still used it. I'm sure their were special controllers, but the vast, vast majority (probably 99%) didn't take advantage of more than one button. Just imagine for a moment if the Famicom/NES only had one button. Super Mario Bros. would have had to have used "up" to jump, severely hindering control.
So why did it take so long to get away from the one-button albatross? Don't get me wrong, the Golden Age of gaming is probably my favorite. I also love the standard Atari joystick for it's feel and sturdiness. I just wish it even had two buttons. It would have helped in games such as Super Cobra tremendously.
Edited by Zap!, Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:38 AM.