Having a controller that’s usable is pretty much one of the most important things to consider when cobbling together the concept for a new game console. The controller is, after all, the bridge between gamer and console.
Even with that in mind, there are a few points at which one can’t help but wonder if the design team checked out partway through (or decided to break for a few hits of LSD). The absurd piece of technology before you could be a perfectly usable, perfectly sensible device, but at first glance, it looks strange, absurd, or downright terrifying.
Here’s just a few of the most bizarre first and third party controllers that have ever stumbled their way onto the market. We’re leaving controller mods out of this one, since there are probably mods out there that would even put the entries on this list to shame.
The N64 “Trident”
Sony’s Plastic Banana
And even if it wasn’t, it still looked terrible.
The Nintendo Wiiexhibit A. The idea of motion control meant that a lot of people with some very…unique ideas stepped forward to design stuff for the Wii. And while some peripherals, such as the Balance Board, Sword, and rifle (yes, there was a Wiimote Rifle) actually worked pretty well in spite of being so strange, others were head-scratchingly, wall-bangingly strange (and a little terrifying to look at).
The Resident Evil “Chainsaw”
I’m noticing a trend here – Nintendo seems almost synonymous with odd, unique, or downright impractical designs. We’ll chalk it up to the organization’s tendency towards innovation – when you’re always trying something new and different, you’re obviously going to end up with a few dud designs.
To be fair, this abomination wasn’t actually developed by Nintendo – it was hammered clumsily together by the seemingly appropriately named Nuby Tech. It looks unwieldy right out of the box, and the cumbersome configuration runs completely counter to proper design. Sure, it looks cool as a conversation piece, but as a controller, it’s an utter dud – and a completely baffling peripheral.
The Palmtop DDR Mat
The whole draw of DDR is the movement involved in using the dance mats. Other rhythm games (such as Flash Flash Revolution, Sequence, et-cetera) exist for those of us who can’t be bothered to drag ourselves off the couch for actual exercise. The developers of the Palmtop decided to cobble together this controller; a DDR mat which fits into the palm of your hand (get it? Palmtop?)
Seems like a strange choice, doesn’t it? Still, in spite of how odd the controller looks, it’s arguably got some very real value for true DDR nuts, who can memorize the beats (without breaking a sweat in the process).
Still, that doesn’t mean they’ll have the cardio to pull them off when push comes to shove.
I’m going to say it right out the door: What the hell, Japan. This controller, designed for a game we can’t really talk about if we’re going to keep things PG (it’s an erotic game known as Cross Days),and it looks like the offspring of an ill-fated late night tryst between a kitchen blender and a desk lamp. That, or shame given form – take your pick.
This isn’t the only version of the controller that exists, by the way- there’s also an iteration of the device intended for women, and it includes a piston! Isn’t that exciting, girls?
After all, um…I’m just going to end things here – I feel like I need a shower.
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