"Its all about control" ...honest?!
Because I have spent far too much time playing with myself (?) I have built
up quite a varied range of controls, each one with different qualities, different
weaknesses, and different price tags.
I just thought I would make the effort and attempt to rate them all, but I respect that people are going to think differently from my opinions. Go ahead, think all you want! (It is free, and I cant reach you..)
Sony PlayStation (PSX) ORIGINAL CONTROLLER
The pad that captured 500 million hearts.
Innovation and curiosity met head-on when this pad was designed. From the very start, the D-pad has always been placed onto the left thumb. This is no exception. However, the "characters" for the other buttons are an innovation. Sega had produced their "Saturn" system, with its trademark lettering system for the buttons ? A,B,C,X,Y,Z, and they introduced two new "shoulder" buttons, L and R. Sony caught on quick, and went even better with R1, R2, L1,L2 buttons. As the PSX system was a joint effort by Sony and Nintendo, most people were expecting the Nintendo control method of 1,2,Select and Start. Sony (in their infinate wisdom) decided they would use Square, Cross, Triangle, Circle for their buttons.
It was an instant hit, and later used in most of their advertising work. Matched with Sony?s innovative (grey) colour scheme, it was instantly recognisable, and very portable.
Anyway, enough of what it is, is it any good??
At first, it is a problem trying to associate a symbol with a button, but that is only a minor problem. Its very light, which feels comfortable, but also very cheap. Buttons were very responsive, and many other "copycat" companies who designed their own pads for the Playstation often failed to get the response speed of the original pad. Definite pick-up-and-play quality!
A minor disadvantage is the fact that the D-pad was separated into 4 buttons. Good for control, but it hurt your thumb when you were trying to get those supercombos at Tekken!!
Gamester LMP (thruster2097 design) Playstation Pad
One of the many pads blatantly copied from the Playstation design. This pad contained an auto-fire and slow-motion facility. Completely useless, but I thought I would show it because of its one-off design. Not many people have seen it, but those who have, have lost against it!
Sony PlayStation (PSX) Analog Controller
No picture available ? very rare.
About a year later, Sony released a new pad, called the Analog pad. Exactly the same as the original pad, but with two joysticks created close to the thumbs. This was to mimic the N64 controller, with the single joystick in the centre of the pad.
Sony PlayStation (PSX) Dual-Shock Analog Controller
With the release of Gran Turismo, Sony had designed a revised edition of their earlier Analog control. This version felt much more stable, and had a motor at each side of the pad which created a vibrating sensation when you drove over kerbs, hit another car, etc. Quite simply, it made every other games controller obsolete! It was fantastic! A bit heavy, but that just added to the feel that you were holding something you didn?t want to drop! It also introduced two new buttons, L3 and R3. If you pressed the joystick down, it was another playable button! (many people didn?t realise this, and just thought it was there to make an annoying "clicking" sound)
Sony PlayStation 2 (PS2) Dual-Shock 2
With a world-breaking console under its belt, Sony have yet again revised its Dual-Shock Analog pad, by making the vibration stronger, the joysticks stiffer, and by introducing analog technology to all the buttons (except the Rs and the Ls).? Matching the new black and blue "third place" colour scheme, this pad looked the business. The analog buttons took quite some getting used to, and I still cant work them properly!
Sega Dreamcast (DC) Original Controller
Following the N64?s lead, This latest pad from Sega (now archive ? and VERY collectable) is fitted with a single joystick for movement, and two triggers located underneath the pad. Surprisingly, very ergonomic, and easy to use and get used to. It has facilities for two small LCD screen units, also used for storing saved games, or a combination of one VisualMemoryUnit and one Vibration Pak. In keeping with Sega?s trademark system, the buttons are marked A,B,X,Y, (C and Z must be on vacation) The D-pad is very rarely used, due to the fact that the joystick is so well calibrated, and has got the correct balance of movement and resistance.
Joy-Tech (EUROPE)PlayStation (PSX / PSone) "Jordan" STEERING WHEEL V.2
Beyond any doubt, my most expensive controller (?50.00+), but also the most authentic experience so far. Capable of digital, digital analog, digital analog + vibration, NegCon emulation, and NegCon emulation + vibration, this is by far the most versatile controller ever. The control mechanism for WipEout is interesting.. The left foot controls speed, while the right pedal controls hyperthrust. The gearstick forward controls weapon eject, and gearstick backward controls weapon deploy, left and right for turning. Very involving, and a lot of fun! I have achieved a lot using this wheel, but my fastest times have been achieved with the standard pads.
Airpad Corporation PLAYSTATION (PSX / PSone) The Airpad
An experience not for the feint-hearted! My newest controller features total 360 degree 3D gyroscopic technology, which basically means that this is the most interactive hand-held controller ever. You move, the game responds. Its that simple! Tilt the pad left, and go left. Right for Right, Down for Up, and Up for Down. Difficult to achieve perfection, but once mastered, it will respond to your every whim and nervous twitch! There is going to be a serious reduction in lap times once this beauty is tamed, I can virtually guarantee it!
Now, we take a step towards the upper echelons of society, and the most elite (and exclusive) controller there is, the NegCon. But, before we go there, I would like to let you in to a very, VERY limited edition Namco controller. The NegCon?s first child, the RacCon
Namco PlayStation (PSX) RacCon
Utilising all of the technology of the NegCon, This Special Edition control is endorsed by Namco, and resembles an electric radio car control rather than a PSX control!
This control was designed for use with Ridge Racer Revolution (like the JogCon was designed for Ridge Racer Type 4), but is perfect for use with WipEout2097. Unfortunately, not much good for left-handed people, so the controller was released for a short period, then scrapped.
And now, for the "daddy" of all controllers, the NegCon. Hard to use, twice as hard to find, but the effort is reputed to pay off in a serious reduction of lap times, and that alone is enough of a reason to get one! Made famous by its unique twistable structure, its total analog buttons, and also made famous by Mr. Al Sartwell "the king of AG racing", for being his preferred controller.
Legend has it that there is also a black NegCon, but details of this ultra-ULTRA-limited edition pad are scarce to say the least! Production of the NegCon started with its release for Ridge Racer, and was halted just as it became famous. If you own one of these, you belong to a club of very few members, and if you can use it, you are truly one of the elite in that small club.
This small list is not the definitive by any means, there are hundreds of controllers out there, such as the bizarre ASCII 360, the entirely foldable and portable enjoyment of the SCARAB, and Sony?s aircraft inspired DOUBLE JOYSTICK, and so on. This is just a list of controllers that I feel deserve some recognition for their advancements in technology, and pushing our wallets, and skill, to the uppermost borders!
Thank you for your time, I hope you managed to gain something mildly informative from it..
If you have any weird or different controllers, feel free to post them at the wipeoutzone.com forum, and if there are any comments or queries for me, just leave a message on the zone, and I will get it soon enough.