Controller Evolution From Atari To Revolution
January 31, 2006
The guys at AMN have done it again, this time putting together a look at each major gaming controller released over the years. Beginning with the simple Atari 2600 joystick with a single button and moving up through history past the Sega Genesis pad and beyond the Nintendo 64 control stick, the article caps things with a look at the Nintendo Revolution controller and how it relates to its ancestors. It's an interesting history lesson and a fun walk down memory lane.
As for me, I have an affinity for the Super NES controller. It expanded on the original Nintendo Entertainment System controller by adding those useful extra buttons and rounded corners. I find now that when I go back to play my old NES that the controllers just aren't as comfortable to hold as they once were. Of course, my hands are larger now than they were in 1988, but the harsh angle corners aren't much fun. The Genesis controller was fun to hold back in the day even if it was a little too large. The Nintendo 64 controller just took some time and patience to master, and all too many times I saw people playing a demo unit and trying to use the control stick on the controller as one would use the old Atari joystick: pinching it and wiggling it around and around. Unfortunately the article leaves out the Virtual Boy controller with its dual control pads. That just never felt quite right.
Previously on Press The Buttons: Console controller family tree