Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer appears in a new five-part documentary about Nintendo released this week.
Phil 'still doesn't get' a lot of things..
I cant stand the 64 controller. Im glad there are 3rd party ones that feel more comfortable. Especially those that use the GC style stick. I always liked the games, just not the controller.
This. Unfortunately everytime you point out how bad the controller was, people think you are telling them that Ocarina of Time wasn't a great game, and they get super defensive.
The controller was the worst thing about that system. Great games though!
Wasn't this the first controller with an analog stick, isn't this the reason why we now have dual analog controllers?
^no jack. analog controls existed back in the 70's and 80's. Most notably the magnavox odyssey 2 and the atari 5200. This was the first to offer both analog and digital but being first doesnt mean its the best. The saturn 3d pad and of course the dual analog / dualshock were better in terms of comfort and design.
What's not to get? The n64 controller (along with the dualshock and dreamcast controllers) paved the way for the current xbox controller which took from all of them. #standingontheshouldersofgiant s "Most notably the magnavox odyssey 2 and the atari 5200." Those don't really count. Not true omni directional analogue and self centring. Sega did have a true analogue joystick in mid 80s but even that was not the same as a thumbstick.
Yeah. I mean it explains a lot to be honest...
I never had an issue understanding the controller and I was like 12 when the N64 came out. Does he also have trouble understanding why kids like Apple Jacks when they don't taste like apples?
Poor attempt at trying to start a thread of comments agreeing with you. As people have said, it’s a bad controller of a great console.
Phil doesn’t understand gaming. If he did we wouldn’t all still be waiting on inspired 1st party content. Can’t wait for reasons to power up my SeriesX....
Everytime I see News with him, the botchamania part with the "you talk too much" song starts playing in my head.
So you think that was a good controller?
Gamer You missed the point. He talks too much with little substance
I think, literal decades after the fact, especially when the N64 was well overshadowed in terms of general popularity by the PS1, it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. Phil Spencer more so given where the console he's in charge of is.
it was an acceptable controller for the time. I'm not sure how old you are, but when the N64 launched, there weren't THAT many games that utilized 3d camera movements separately from player movement. "looking" was a fairly rare feature (some games did have it, but it wasnt in an action setting, you would literally zoom in to first person and look around for secrets/levers/etc in most cases) games were designed differently. now using twin sticks to move and look is 2nd nature, thanks to the dualshock. The PlayStation launched with 0 sticks. Descent was played with the 8 face buttons for movement and looking.
It's a controller you connect it to a system to play a game what's there that you don't get. OG Xbox controller with a cord plug it into the systems port use it to play a game. Wash, rinse, repeat PS2 controller with a cord plug the cord into the systems port to play a game. Not that hard to figure out what to do from there.
it is hard according to Phil
“It's a controller you connect it to a system to play a games...” That’s what he doesn’t get
Wait, consoles are for playing games?! I thought they were for watching ESPN and listening to people talk about the power of the cloud.
What he didn't get is the design. I'm sorry to have to explain this to you, apparently you didn't get it either. So what he means is that this controller was regarded as one of the worst controller designs for a home console system and that he doesn't understand their thinking. I hope this helps.
The controller design I like the only down fall to the controller is the shitty thumbstick wears out pretty fast. "So what he means is that this controller was regarded as one of the worst controller designs for a home console system and that he doesn't understand their thinking." There are consoles out there with shittier designs like the Amiga CD32, Atari Jaguar. Panasonic 3DO you have to piggy back for two player games, and the controllers for the CDI some of them are useless.
^thankfully there are 3rd party ones for many of those (except the jaguar) but even so, the official ones still arent that bad. I had a CD32, it was okay but I used a 3rd party one that had the same shape as the genesis 3 button one (but with the CD32 button layout) and the 3do one is like the Genesis 3 button but with shoulder buttons (like snes) so it too works pretty good. N64 controller... flat out sucks. It gets the job done but Im so glad I dont have to use it anymore. I actually can enjoy many games now after using the brawler.
When n64 was mainstream nobody complained about the controller. Now stfu.
Punksutawney Phil C'mon-man!, fish-sticks
The N64 controller was designed for Vortigaunts. https://www.deviantart.com/...
It was designed for normal people. Too many people just wrongly assume you should be able to hold both the D-Pad and analog at the same time. Some games use the D-Pad, some use the analog, AFAIK none use both. It was made to be comfortable regardless of which one you end up using (having the thumb inline with either control). It was not intended for both to be used at the same time, therfore technically there is nothing wrong with the design.
"Too many people just wrongly assume you should be able to hold both the D-Pad and analog at the same time." The fact that it is wrong to assume that you should be able to use the controller in a logical fashion says everything that needs to be said.
I have no issues with the N64 controller, even though its a silly design. Sony perfected the concept of modern analog controllers with their Dual Analog controller, and then later with the Dual Shock. There are a bunch of games that use both the N64 D-pad and Analog stick at the same time, you'd hold the left and middle prong, not holding the right prong of the controller. This is usually for shooting games, from Turok (specific control scheme selections) to Chopper Attack. I remember renting the Japanese version of Chopper Attack and was really confused when I had to hold the controller in that manner. D-pad to move around, and analog stick to aim with Z trigger to fire.
@JEECE: There is no logic in using a controller in a way that provides no benefit. Even if you had 3 hands, you would not benefit from it. The controller is designed that way so that the thumb is inline with whichever control the game uses, rather than having to push the thumb off to the side. @Chocoburger: Never knew about those games. It still does not use all 3 sections though. No game required you to move your grip back and forth. Everything worked fine with the controller as it was designed.
Apparently Duke Nukem 64, F-1 Pole Position 64 and WWF No Mercy used both.
But it WASN'T comfortable to use the center grip/stick. It felt cramped.
correct. the reason the 3 prongs are so long is that its 2 controllers in one. you could play 2d games easily using the dpad, and play 3d games like mario 64 easily using the stick. it was actually super clever when it launched and really helped drive home the 3d aspect they were pushing hard.
Can't blame him it's not a great controller sorry but the angles the analog stick was capable of just caused so many deaths
The vice president of gaming at M$ but doesn't get the N64 controller! And I also was told he was gamer at heart by some xbox fanboys lol
Hey Phil, it's called 'Innovation'. Some companies are still doing it too mate!
That controller was considered weird even back then. A lot of people didn't get it.
It was still innovative, though.
not really. it was considered brilliant from what i remember as a playstation fan. https://retrocdn.net/images...
That's a fair point. It's easy to forget the state of controllers at the time. A lot of things we take for granted now hadn't been figured out yet and Nintendo really pushed the boundaries with the N64 controller. Innovation and perfection rarely appear at the same time.
The 1997 Dualshock was a lot closer to perfection and even more innovative though
Agreed. While the controller definitely has its problems it is easy to forget that we were entering an entirely new era of 3D gaming. It was innovative and trial by error as manufacturers and developers were learning how to build the future of gaming. This was the beginning of a whole new world, and without controllers like the N64 controller to build upon, we do not have the controllers of today.
Haha the N64 kids would get so mad when I pointed out that the controllers were designed for someone with three hands....and it looks like decades later they still do.
Nintendo in 96: We’re gonna make a controller with too many handles and make sure the cord is far too short to reach your couch. Don’t worry, we’ll sell an extension cable for added cost.
I never understood it either Phil... but I sure do love me the N64
Nice now I found it Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story time to torrent it in 1080p 😁👍🎮
The n64 controller was terrible, I dont think there is much denying that. Are there worse? Yeah. The gamecube, jaguar, 3do, and wii all had worse controllers.
Jaguar, sure... the overlays was not very well thought out but the 3do one is fine and the gamecube is great. It was redemption for the N64 atrocity.
the N64 controller was almost universally praised when it came out. Jaguar had a bad controller. Gamecube had a glorious controller. Wii had a controller for doing what it did best, selling systems to people who dont play videogames.
boy doesnt gef alot of things
I understood what they tried to do. Meld a classic controller with a more modern one, depending on what sort of game you were playing. All the same it was ugly, a bit awkward, and the joystick really started to bother your hand after long play sessions.
My greatest memories of the controller itself is how the joystick would rip the skin on the palm of my hands while trying to quickly rotate during extended Mario Party sessions. Was very painful, but I powered through because the game was awesome.
It was a cool looking controller and that's about it. Was cheaply made and analog stick wear out really fast. Many people back then thought that they need 3 hands to use it correctly. The long middle handle really gets in the way of try to use directional pad way to the left. It was really a long awkward reach.
umm no. the only people who hated on the controller were die hard PS1 fans like myself who were all basically jealous until the release of the DualShock. The controller was universally praised at the time. Not one person thought they needed two hands. Maybe I was old enough to remember these things a bit more clearly..
That’s why Phil should stick to his PR lies while gamers understand the N64 controller.
Cant really say too much after the very first Xbox’s first controller it shipped with. That thing was an abomination. Like an obese batarang
The Duke was indeed a monster.
As others have said, there’s a lot this man doesn’t get. Add this the massive growing list.
the controller at the time was revolutionary. Weird yes, but revolutionary. No controllers now are without analog sticks.
Of course, this is N4g the majority of the article is about praising Nintendo but let's focus on the only cloudy part of the article where Phil mentions that he still doesn't understand the conceptual design of the N64 controller (mostly the middle handle).
I personally really liked the controller and for the most part worked flawless. Plus you could switch from right to left easily. To bad so many are focused on a small quip from Phil. But hey, just another day at N4G. Great piece about the history of Nintendo.
N64 was an amazing console. But I agree with Phil on this. Also clearly Nintendo also agrees since they didn't even remotely stick to that design in any of their controllers since.
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