As gamers step into a world where controllers have become multi-purpose and more compact one has to ask if we still have a need for “mega” or genre specific controllers? And what’s next for console controllers?
One of the all time favorites that still sells very well on Ebay is Nintendo’s classic Zapper gun most notoriously used to the classic title “Duckhunt.”
A beloved and revolutionary controller for the time did very well and to date still holds a sentimental place in our hearts. But what about today’s monstrous controller devices? Rockband is a prime example of a very elaborate control system. Most fans were willing to throw down on a guitar or base but very few homes had the whole Rockband shabang and where is MTV Games now? Shutdown and broken apart with rumors that the franchise was leaking money. I wont say that the controllers were the cause of the fallout but I would speculate that they didn’t help.
Sugar Gamers recently sampled a new specialized controller from Subsonic which is the “Racin’ Pro” chair.
We got a glimpse of the controller at last year’s E3 and now it’s available for PC and PS3. We were invited to test drive the controller first hand and so we invited a few Sugar Gamers to test it. The response was not what I would call over the moon. For one the product boasted a one minute set up which may be true once you’ve practiced a few times. It does come in a handy carrying case that folds up nice and neat to store the controller almost anywhere. We were also not fond of sitting on the floor as butts became numb rather quickly. The controller also feels a bit flimsy, there were a few instances where the steering wheel popped off in mid play. When we asked our members how much they would pay for a product like this and the average was around 75$, the controller retails for 200$. After sampling this product I began to question if large, specialized controller setups like this one are relevant to today’s gaming market.
Now there is one type of specialized controller that continues to remain relevant and that is the fighting stick. Hot off the assembly line this week is the new Mortal Kombat stick which also features storage and a very classic feel and has fans salivating.
And what about handhelds? There’s never been too much hoohah when it comes to default controllers except for the plasma smashing Wii-motes. Along with our sampling of the chair Subsonic also sent us their new “NEO” PS3 controller.
This controller peeked my interested as it is a bit wider and more Xbox like in design which may work well for those who own both an Xbox and PS3. At first glance it was a very attractive controller with reflective surfaces and very comfortable surfaces where your hand sit. Our girls were somewhat curious about this shape with mixed reviews. A few of our die hard PS3 players were more partial to the default Playstation controller while others were infatuated with it. One thing we all agreed on was that the reflective surfaces would be littered with fingerprints taking away some of its visual appeal.
I would like to see more experimentation with shape and surface as was done with the “Neo.” And of course the buzz around the new Nintendo controller that will accompany the new Nintendo console is said to feature a touch screen which could prove to be a game changer but we’ll have to wait until E3. Also on hand to present hot new products at E3 is Razer which has already gained a heavy gamer following for stylized console controllers.