Xbox’s Phil Spencer appears in Nintendo documentary, ‘still doesn’t get’ N64’s controller

Microsoft’s gaming boss Phil Spencer appears in a new five-part documentary about Nintendo released this week.

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SullysCigar69d ago

Phil 'still doesn't get' a lot of things..

darthv7269d ago

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.

JEECE68d ago

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.

GamerRN68d ago

The controller was the worst thing about that system. Great games though!

JackBNimble67d ago

Wasn't this the first controller with an analog stick, isn't this the reason why we now have dual analog controllers?

darthv7267d ago

^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.

Babadook767d ago (Edited 67d ago )

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.

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TheProblem68d ago

Yeah. I mean it explains a lot to be honest...

CrimsonWing6967d ago

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?

Jericho133767d ago

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.

FlavorLav0167d ago

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....

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Terry_B69d ago

Everytime I see News with him, the botchamania part with the "you talk too much" song starts playing in my head.

GamerRN68d ago

So you think that was a good controller?

68d ago
neutralgamer199268d ago


You missed the point. He talks too much with little substance

Godmars29068d ago

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.

yeahokwhatever67d ago (Edited 67d ago )

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.

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Knightofelemia69d ago (Edited 69d ago )

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.

blacktiger68d ago

it is hard according to Phil

jwillj2k468d ago

“It's a controller you connect it to a system to play a games...”

That’s what he doesn’t get

DarthMarvin68d ago

Wait, consoles are for playing games?! I thought they were for watching ESPN and listening to people talk about the power of the cloud.

GamerRN68d ago

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.

Knightofelemia68d ago (Edited 68d ago )

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.

darthv7268d ago

^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.

SierraGuy67d ago

When n64 was mainstream nobody complained about the controller.

Now stfu.

Kados68d ago (Edited 68d ago )

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.

JEECE68d ago

"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.

Chocoburger68d ago

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.

Kados68d ago (Edited 68d ago )


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.


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.

DarthMarvin68d ago

Apparently Duke Nukem 64, F-1 Pole Position 64 and WWF No Mercy used both.

frostypants67d ago (Edited 67d ago )

But it WASN'T comfortable to use the center grip/stick. It felt cramped.

yeahokwhatever67d ago

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.

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