Worst Video Game Controllers Of All Time
Controllers are a crucial part of the gaming experience. It doesn’t matter how good the game’s graphics are, how gripping the game’s story is, or how unique the gameplay is if the controller doesn’t quickly, comfortably, and accurately relay your inputs to the software.
These days, controllers are a lot more standardized, with most console controllers having two analog sticks, four face buttons, and some triggers. However, it hasn’t always been this way, and gaming history is littered with weird and wacky controllers that broke the rules and infuriated any player unlucky enough to use them.
Here are 10 terrible controllers so bad that you wouldn’t even give them to your younger sibling.
The SpaceTec SpaceOrb 360 is the best example of a product that sounds great on paper but fails horribly in practice. Released in 1996, the SpaceOrb was designed to work on Macs and PCs, specifically for games like Descent II and Quake.
The large ball on the side of the controller was meant to allow you to move in 3D space. However, in practice, players found it fiddly and difficult to use. While the SpaceOrb was accurate, it was often a little too strict, leading to players messing up their inputs. On top of this, many Quake players found keyboard and mouse easier, and this method quickly became the default way to play the game, putting people off the SpaceOrb. Despite this, the SpaceOrb still has a cult following, with many still swearing by them to this day.
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Motion controls are the white whale of the videogame industry. Ever since the early days of consoles, companies have been trying to find a way to let you control your games via body movement. Sometimes these attempts go well, but they often go horribly wrong, making players wish for the familiar comfort of a standard pad.
The Kinect was released for the Xbox 360 in 2010, and it sat somewhere in the middle of the options. As when the Kinect worked, it was great. However, it very rarely worked as advertised. It struggled to see people with darker skin tones, and the space requirements made it impossible to use for many people. On top of this, many games failed to integrate it well, leading to many Kinect games being unresponsive bug-ridden messes that quickly wore out their welcome. While Microsoft has improved on the Kinect since then, it still offers a very variable experience depending on the game you pick.
Amiga was a big name in the European computer scene during the 1980s and 1990s. Their range of home microcomputers was popular with both gamers and business-minded people. However, as the age of the CD-based consoles began, Amiga found themselves floundering.
The CD32 was a disc-based system that aimed to compete with the Sega CD when it came out in 1993. However, modern audiences will immediately notice the CD32’s controller as it looks like the Sony DualShock controller turned upside down.
However, don’t expect it to be as good as the legendary DualShock. The buttons were infamously terrible, and the D-Pad was considered one of the worst on the market at the time, being quite painful to use for long periods. The whole thing had strange ergonomics meaning that it was very uncomfortable to use, especially on games that required fast and precise inputs.