The History of Video Game Controllers: Joystick fun

There has been significant improvements throughout the history of video game controllers.

The history goes back into the 1950s when researchers started designing games and simple models as part of their experiments.

Video gaming popularity started to flourish in the 70s and 80s when digital game products such as controllers became common.

Since the 1980s, the gaming industry has become one of the biggest forms of entertainment in the world.

The History of Video Game Controllers

Throughout the evolution of video games, one essential element is the controller.

It is the gadget that gamers interact with the most.

For players, it is the most important component when playing their favorite video games.

Without a game controller, it is impossible to play a game on a console.

From the Magnavox Odyssey Slider to the new PlayStation 4, every video game controller is effective to the gamer.

Below is a brief history of video game controllers.

Magnavox Odyssey Slider 100 (1972)

The first video game console for households used the Magnavox Odyssey Slider 100 designed in 1972.

It had a single dial to move horizontally and another one to move vertically; gamers could navigate easily and effectively.

Magnavox Odyssey Shooting Gallery (1972)

They can identify this amazing controller as the first “Gun” for home video game consoles.

It was very popular when there were no other options.

The gun controller was light, but it needed more accuracy.

Atari Home Pong Console (1975)

In 1975, they introduced another home console.

The Atari Home Pong Console had a powerful computer chip built inside.

They built it into the controller and allowed the users to rotate the paddle up and down.

Fairchild Channel-F (1976)

This is the time console controllers moved from the in-built dials to the knobs.

Even though the appearance was good, the Fairchild Channel-F was more stylish than the previous controllers.

Coleco Telstar Arcade (1977)

This was one of the most extravagant controllers for the Arcade version of the Telstar.

It had three play functions that included two dials and a steering wheel.

Unluckily, there were no games that used these controls.

RCA Studio II (1977)

In 1977, they created another controller for the second generation consoles.

However, the RCA Studio II seemed to have taken a step backwards.

The inbuilt system was not effective as expected.

Atari 2600 (1977)

They established another controller in 1977, the Atari 2600.

It was the first recognizable console joystick.

It had many controlled options that included two joysticks and several dial controllers.

Atari 5200 SuperSystem (1982)

In previous years, pads and dials were the most common designs.

But in 1982, something different happened, Atari 5200 was a different controller since it had a keyboard and a joystick.

It gave players more control, something they had never experienced before.

Casio PV1000 (1983)

Most people know Casio as a company that manufactures watches.

But Casio had also ventured into gaming products.

And in 1983, they designed the Casio PV1000 had several buttons and one huge red button.

Nintendo Entertainment System (1983)

In the 80s, things changed completely in the gaming sector, and one company that brought the changes was Nintendo.

The design of the Nintendo Entertainment System was brilliant because it had two buttons and a four-way directional pad.

Sega Master System (1985)

Another excellent idea was the introduction of the Sega Master System.

It was a great controller, but it failed compared to previous controllers.

They produced some controllers without directional knobs.

Sega Genesis/Mesa Drive (1988)

In 1988, another unique controller rolled out.

It came with an ergonomic design that was being debated by several players.

Commodore 64 Games System (1990)

Most people believed the success of video game controllers began in the 90s.

The controllers were more advanced and featured modern designs.

One outstanding controller was the Commodore 64 game system.

It had all the features people could not have imagined.

Super Nintendo Entertainment (1990)

In 1990, another huge improvement for controllers arrived with 4 buttons under the right thumb and shoulder buttons for the top fingers.

Sega Activator (1993)

Sega Activator was a video game controller that was made for fighting games.

However, it was unsuccessful, costly and inaccurate.

Atari Jaguar (1993)

In the fifth-generation of video game consoles, many old companies in the gaming industry tried to prove themselves.

The Jaguar was not a bad controller, as it had many buttons that performed well.

Sony PlayStation (1994)

This is the device that introduced gamers to the circle, square, triangle and cross.

Similar Topic! Video Games in Japan

It was a well-designed and amazing controller for many games.

Apple Bandain Pippin (1995)

Even though this controller did not last long, it was more advanced than many controllers of its generation.

Nintendo 64 (1996)

When Nintendo released Nintendo 64, no one thought about this kind of controller.

It was well-designed and the best one in that era.

Sony PlayStation DualShock (1997)

Most people believe this is the best and the greatest controller of all time.

Every button on the controller was well-placed within the reach of the thumb.

Sega Dreamcast (1998)

Sega Dreamcast is the first controller that ushered the sixth generation of consoles.

It featured two dock connectors and a visual memory.

Nintendo GameCube (2001)

In 2001, they introduced Nintendo GameCube.

It was a controller that offered a good gaming experience where many gamers felt the left joystick was better placed than previous controllers.

Microsoft’s Fat Xbox (2001)

Even though this controller was comfortable and a great one, it was too big compared to the previous versions.

Nintendo Wiimote & Nunchuck (2006)

While trying to compete in the game market, Nintendo introduced a casual controller able to connect well with all kinds of games.

It had many unique controller functions the gamers enjoyed.

Microsoft Xbox 360-S (2005)

This controller was just like Sony’s Dual Shock.

It worked perfectly, and it was well-designed to interact with all kinds of games.

Microsoft Kinect (2010)

It holds the record of the fastest selling consumer electronic device.

It is easy to use, and probably one of the most significant controllers ever designed.

Nintendo Wii-U Gamepad (2012)

This controller is another release from Nintendo that did not work well as expected.

Most people thought it was the last gamepad the company would ever make.

Microsoft Xbox One (2013)

Microsoft was always thinking about how they would replace the 360 controller.

Happily, this controller did the job, but it had a few glitches.

Sony PlayStation DualShock 4 (2013)

The new PlayStation console is more advanced than the previous light-weight PS3.

One great addition is the touch-sensitive pad that had unique features.

Currently, it is one of the best controllers on the market.

Xbox One Elite Controller (2015)

Two years after Xbox One, Microsoft constructed a controller for serious gamers.

This is a controller for video game enthusiasts who think fast and make quick decisions.

The Xbox Elite controller is perfect for games that require jumping, shooting, dodging, and other fast movements.

Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Tony

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