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Favorite abandoned controller innovation/layout

Favorite abandoned controller innovation/layout: The poll  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your favorite abandoned innovation/button layout included as the default controller?

    • The paddle controller (Odyssey, Pong machines, Coleco Telstar, Color TV-Game, Atari 2600)
      6
    • The baseless joystick (Fairchild Channel F)
      2
    • The paddle/joystick combination (Astrocade)
      0
    • The joystick (Atari 2600, Magnavox Odyssey 2)
      1
    • The D-disc (Intellivision)
      0
    • The numeric pad with overlays (Intellivision, Atari 5200, Atari Jaguar)
      4
    • The 2 buttons on the front layout (Famicom/NES, Master System, PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, Game Gear)
      1
    • The small joystick at the upper side of remote-like controllers (Colecovision, Atari 5200, Atari 7800)
      0
    • The small joystick on top of a D-Pad (early Master System, Atari 7800)
      0
    • The 3 buttons on the front layout (early Mega Drive/Genesis, 3DO)
      0
    • The 6 buttons on the front layout (late Mega Drive/Genesis, Saturn, Nintendo 64)
      2
    • The arcade style controller (Neo Geo)
      1
    • The "TV remote" with a circular D-pad and some buttons around (CD-i)
      1
    • The D-pad/joystick combination (Neo Geo CD)
      0
    • The two hand controller and numeric D-Pad combination (Atari Jaguar)
      1
    • The 3 handle controller with the analog stick and a "trigger" at the center (Nintendo 64)
      0
    • The trackball (Pippin)
      0
    • The memory card with a screen that's also a handheld (Dreamcast)
      0
    • The analog buttons (PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3)
      1
    • The "one big button at the center" layout (GameCube)
      2
    • The Nunchuk (Wii)
      0
    • The two screens (Wii U, DS, 3DS)
      2
    • The "one D-pad and 2 buttons in each side" controller (Virtua Boy)
      0
    • The ambidextrous capabilites (Atari Lynx, Wonderswan)
      1
    • The 3D effect (3DS)
      0


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Let's discuss abandoned controller types that were once introduced by default in at least one console. What's your favorite? The six button layout from Sega? The D-disc from Intellivision? The dual screen from Nintendo?

Edited by IntelliMission
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Paddle. Because when it comes to games like Tempest, Warlords, Breakout type games and Kaboom! ,  D pads , Joysticks or analog sticks just don't cut it.

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Definitely have to go with the N64 controller with the C buttons for movement and the joystick for moving the camera. I didn't vote though because I don't like the Sega 6 button layout.

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I voted for the GameCube button layout, but what I also miss from Nintendo controllers before the Wii U was the octagonal base of the analogue stick. I know it can be bad for some games (like NiGHTS on Wii, but it was not a good game anyway), but since I usually prefer the d-pad, when the use of the analogue stick is mandatory, it can be annoying not being able to push in a more specific direction, especially in 2D platformers. That being said, Metroid Dread is like that but there were several moments when you had to slowly aim around (especially against the EMMI robots), so a round base was probably for the better - even though it made sometimes platforming less comfortable.

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I did want to throw the 2 button and dpad style controller, but settled on the obvious one (to me) the double screen layout Nintendo went with on the DS/3DS models of handheld.  Whether used smartly with the stylus, or as a hell of a helpful instant map, inventory, etc setup it was fantastic.  It simulated other very useful things on the go too like a mouse for somethings like Sim City and other of those type so I went there.

 

The old simplicity of the 2 button controller though shouldn't be discounted.  Smart design and choice button combinations at times too allows for a lot of versatility while not being confusing or clunky in the slightest.  Look how far that went over like 20 years with Nintendo stuff (G&W, NES, Gameboy-Color) because it wasn't too little or too much.

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The Namco neGcon combined a twisting paddle controller with analog buttons. It was a wonderful controller and I miss using it tremendously.

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6 hours ago, fiddlepaddle said:

I always really liked the Astrocade joystick/paddle combo (not one of your choices, by the way)

Haha, I knew I would forget to include some option even after spending a couple of hours compiling the list...

 

By the way, I added the maximum number of choices (25). Thanks for mentioning it! I probably should have added it instead of the Amiga-32X circular D-pad, which is not relevant at all.

 

We will have to do with a special mention in page 1. I must confess I'm surprised the paddle controler for Pong is winning by a large margin, I was expecting the Sega 6-button layout and the Nintendo dual screen to be on top.

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Anyway, the thing I miss the most right now is 3D; I know it's not a controller feature, but yet without it I missed several jumps in Super Mario 3D World (which is ironically not displayed in 3D), because I didn't know if a platform was far or small.

 

Yes, it made me feel like Father Ted's Dougal. 😕

 

 

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Okay, so I missed 2 things in the poll:

 

- The paddle/joystick combination

- The 3D effect of the 3DS

 

I was planning to add the 3D thing, but forgot about it. It's more about game defining innovation than controller related stuff, even if most are in controllers.

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All original Amiga CD32 pads need to be destroyed. 

 

I've voted surprise surprise for the Fairchild channel F controller. With twists and pull and push like it's a bop it, it's quite versatile, later versions of it as a converted device for the 2600 had a rapid fire button as well that looks adequately placed. 

 

I dunno why, I just like it. 

 

Other controllers I like:

 

Turbografx

Sega saturn (original)

And yes, gamecube

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I like numeric keypads on controllers as a system, but IMHO they only ergonomically work will if the stick/pad is on the bottom.  That got my vote because the system was actually abandoned.

 

As for stick vs. pad, it depends on the game. Whether consciously or subconsciously games are designed to play with the default controllers of the machine.  It's why I don't typically like playing Atari games with a pad.

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Numeric keypads for me. They offered a centralized way to access game options and features directly, especially with the help of an overlay. It was not like today's controllers where they try to give you access to a dozen buttons "ergonomically" (#sarcasm) with a learning curve that takes away from the enjoyment of each new game you play. I feel many of today's games could benefit from a "keypad-style" group of buttons on the controller. 

 

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You know since we're putting some screwball stuff here, I have a fun one probably many wouldn't even remember to think of.

Virtual Boy ...it's unique controller.

 

It's a shame it never really got realized in more ways off that system, sure the general idea of it kind of got nuked by the joystick coming up in 1996 and beyond with the dual analog of the PS1 dual shock.  But look at it.

Virtual-Boy-Controller.jpg

 

What you can't see are an L and R button on top.  For games that could benefit from having both the ability to dual non-analog your control, but also the versatility of that added d-pad can allow for too.  Depending on how you are with handedness it's a perfect LEFT and RIGHT handed controller for any occasion as such.  The other thing is that d-pad can double as 4 more buttons, you effectively have a 6 button controller on front +2 on top which gives a lot of choice.  I have Hyper Fighting on there the SF2 Hyper Fighting port, and as strange as it may seem, it works super effectively well playing those fighting motions and button combos on the face of the thing.  I think it could have been sweet if some knockoff company made some of these for vintage style or actual vintage gaming for computers.  While not analog, as is, you still do have your dual 'stick' style play possible too with the pair of d-pads.  So many things could be pulled off with this, makes me miss the controller more as a lost opportunity (much like the system itself too.)

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OK, so that makes the missing options 3:

 

- The paddle/joystick combination (Astrocade)

- The 3D effect (3DS)

- The "one D-pad and 2 buttons in each side" controller (Virtua Boy)

 

I guess I could have removed some absurd options to make room for those (as the maximum is 25), like:

 

- The lightgun/steering wheel/paddles "super triangle" (Coleco Telstar Arcade)

- The turbo buttons (PCEngine Duo)

- The round D-Pad (Amiga-CD32)

 

The first one is just "too much", the second one is not really relevant and the third one... Well, that D-pad looks painful (I'm sure some Amiga-CD32 fans appreciate it).

Edited by IntelliMission

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I must say I discovered some "hidden gems" among the controllers while doing research for the poll. For example, I wasn't expecting the D-pad and joystick combination of the Colecovision and the Neo Geo CD. They look comfortable.

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My FIRST choice would be a SNES pad (4 buttons, 2 shoulder), but that's not on the list so we'll go: Second choice Mega Drive.  Third choice:  Analog Buttons like on a PS2;  Those were great, being able to control say, a gas pedal,  without using a steering wheel, and not getting "claw hand" like on the Dreamcast's silly trigger which very often was the only option for racing games...PS2 Controllers were PERFECT anyway;  Look at how many other systems put the D-PAD in the Wrong place?  (XBOX, GameCube, Switch, etc.)...A Fourth choice: Paddles, and a Fifth choice: 2 Button (NES, TG-16) layout, because who didn't love that?  ...Whew!  I've said way too much...And don't get me started on how much I Love Arcade Sticks in the middle, with buttons for Either hand on the sides.

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2 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

OK, so that makes the missing options 3:

 

- The paddle/joystick combination (Astrocade)

- The 3D effect (3DS)

- The "one D-pad and 2 buttons in each side" controller (Virtua Boy)

 

I guess I could have removed some absurd options to make room for those (as the maximum is 25), like:

 

- The lightgun/steering wheel/paddles "super triangle" (Coleco Telstar Arcade)

- The turbo buttons (PCEngine Duo)

- The round D-Pad (Amiga-CD32)

 

The first one is just "too much", the second one is not really relevant and the third one... Well, that D-pad looks painful (I'm sure some Amiga-CD32 fans appreciate it).

I turned on editing for the first post so feel free to make adjustments to the poll options 

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30 minutes ago, Punisher5.0 said:

I turned on editing for the first post so feel free to make adjustments to the poll options 

Done! I have added the 3D effect, the paddle/joystick combination and the double D-pad.

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9 hours ago, IntelliMission said:

I must say I discovered some "hidden gems" among the controllers while doing research for the poll. For example, I wasn't expecting the D-pad and joystick combination of the Colecovision and the Neo Geo CD. They look comfortable.

I think everyone knows that I love the Saturn controller, but the Neo Geo CD's clicky stick is amazing. Unfortunately it requires maintenance to keep it functioning properly, but if you keep the thing in good condition, it's a really awesome d-pad-thing and it's my preferred Neo Geo controller.

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I remember a lot of people making fun of the GameCube's big green button back in the day, but it really is a great layout. I just wish the Z button and d-pad were better.

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I have been a fan of the Jaguar controller since day one, so I voted for that one. Now it should have had six face buttons from the get go, but I like everything else about it.

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