Gaming's Biggest Controller Failures

Each generation, game companies try to move gamers deeper into the experience and expand how we interact with our consoles. And they fail. Every single time. The failure isn’t because it’s a bad idea (well, sometimes it’s a bad idea). Most of the time its because the idea was poorly implemented, lacked support, or simply didn’t work. In this article we'll go back through each console generation and look at some of those failed attempts at innovation.

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uth111447d ago

This is a weird article. It names some successful controllers (DS4, Wii Fit)

Some obscure ones (2600 keypad was not for games, it was for the Basic programming cart- most people couldn't afford real computers at the time)

But then they ignore some real controller disasters, like the Atari 5200, the Colecovision (the actual controllers, not the steering wheel).

I'd throw all those PC "analog sticks" of the 90s that seemed to break after a few uses.

darthv721447d ago

It does seem like they were reaching to fill the spots. Why not just put certain ones together. Like instead of listing kinect for xb1 separate from the 360 they could have just simply said...Kinect (in general).

Or the PSeye/Move in general (which covers the ps3 and ps4). the live vision/eyetoy are basically the same. I get the feeling the writer just doesnt like cameras (of any kind) on his console.

And to list the VMU as a failure??? It was a memory card with a screen and the dominant memory card people used because of the screen.

where is ROB (only 2 THAT is a failure). They show the uforce and power glove but make no mention of them. Or that dreadful konami laser scope headset thing. Those are far worse failures than the ones listed.

But chances are, the writer it trying to be relevant with more 'modern' things than doing the research properly.

derrickh1447d ago

Hi, I wrote the article. Thanks for reading it. The VMU is there because it was originally to be more than just a memory unit. It had a directional controller embedded in along with buttons. As soon as non-screen memory units came out, most people I know got one instead of the VMU. Also, since nothing like it has shown up on any other console since, I would say it failed.
Mine is still in a box in the closet (probably with the fake tamogithi waiting for me to feed it).

The ROBB isnt on the list because it wasn't really a controller. You actually had to place a NES controller in a cradle and the ROBB just moved spinning discs over to it. It was about 10 minutes becuase I just started telling my brother which buttons to press for me instead of waiting for the gyro thing to spin up.

At one time I've owned nearly every controller on the list (except for the Atari Keyboard). Even though you didnt agree with the article, I'm glad you added your own ideas. One of the fun parts of being a gamer is looking back on the past with other gamers.

Budobear1447d ago

To list the PSeye and original kinect is a bit daft surely, as the kinect and the new PSeye sold really well? Though I guess I'm missing the point.

Retrohelix1447d ago

Very strange article...

I can't quite understand what parameters are being used to class some of these controllers as 'failures'.
Yes, you could argue that neither Kinect for the 360, PS Move or Wii Fit had no real killer games released, that used them to their full potential... but if we are going by sales did any of those 3 fail?
Kinect sold 25 million plus if I remember correctly... is that a failure?
And as for throwing in Kinect for Xbox One, DS4 and Wii U tablet... aren't we a bit early in this generation to class those as failures?
I'm putting this quite dreadful article down to a distinct lack of knowledge about the Gaming Industry...
If you are going for failed controller systems...
How about the Activision Tony Hawks Skateboard, that was pretty much universally panned. Can't remember the exact title, but a strange PS2 Power Glove by a 3rd party developer and the Wii U Draw Tablet that pretty much bankrupt THQ... those I can see as being failures...

Hell... I don't know why the author didn't just go for broke and say the Wii Remote and Nunchuck too...

uth111447d ago

and where is the uDraw tablet? Didn't that device bring down THQ? If that isn't a controller failure, than what is?

derrickh1447d ago

Thanks for reading the article. It was fun going down memory lane writing it. The Udraw wasnt listed because only first party controllers were considered for the list since they had the biggest chance for success and support. Otherwise everything from the Konami LaserScope to the Action Chair would have been listed. My biggest criteria for failing wasn't by the number of sales, but whether or not they succeeded in expanding controllers from the status quo. Some of them made a huge splash, and then faded away in the hearts and minds of gamers. For example, I'm looking at my PSMove right now which hasn't been plugged in for nearly 2 years now. And my 360 Kinect is behind a pile of wires (eventhough I still use the 360)

The Atari Keyboard controller had just as many games released for it was it did nongames (Concentration, Codebreaker, etc) which is why I added it.

The 5200 had a miserable controller,but I didnt put it on the list because many of the features it had still live on today (analog sticks, dedicated control buttons like start/pause). The ones that made the list were controllers that were trying to change the way games were played, and they didnt.

Again, thanks a lot for taking the time to read the article, even if you dont completely agree with it.