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Take Control!

March 13, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Everybody knows about the Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. It's often that people compare each consoles graphics power and stability, but rarely do they consider the pros and cons of the controllers themselves. It is the controller that links you to the game, with out it gamers would be lost. A lot of work can go into making a good, accessibly comfortable controller. So, overall, how does each controller compare?

Microsoft Xbox Controller

When the original Xbox released in 2001, it came with the initial controller now known as the Duke Controller. As Microsoft soon discovered, the Duke was way to big and bulky, and hurt people's hands. So the Controller S was released, a model that is very similar to the current Xbox 360 controller, only the Xbox 360 version is the most comfortable and easy to use model by far.

Yes, the Xbox 360 has a great controller overall, but you may be surprised to know that the one thing that gamers have never forgiven Microsoft for is the absolutely abysmal control pad. There is no excuse for it. Every other current-gen console has implemented the pad perfectly. Microsoft apparently wanted to stand out as different by having a control pad that does not work, but it is a huge price to pay for such decidedly unprofessional behaviour. If such a flaw were to be fixed, the Xbox 360's controller would be near perfect.

Sony Playstation 3 Controller

The current Playstation 3 controller is not as new to the game as you might think. It is basically the PS2's, only with certain internal modifications. The original PS3 controller, which had a new look, sort of a boomerang shaped thing, and control scheme, was cancelled. The reasons for this are clear: the controller didn't work as well as the time-tested PS2's did. Perhaps it was a good decision, but I doubt that Sony will get away with doing the same thing over come the next generation of gaming. One feature that was, and still is, lacking from the PS3 controllers is the combination of the six-axis controller and the DualShock 3 controller. We all know Sony thought that having a rumble function was not the future, but we gamers demanded it. So, why could they not combine the two together? Who knows, maybe in the future.

The PS3's controller works as well as ever, even if we can't have both six-axis and DualShock together, but gamers are going to start wanting something less familiar and more original soon enough. Truth is, the way Sony is now, I doubt gamers will get what they want.

Nintendo Wii Controller

Lastly there is the Wii. The Wii's Wiimote is hard to compare to the controllers of other consoles. It pushes the boundaries of controllers far beyond what Microsoft or Sony have ever done. It is more innovative, original, and advanced than any controller that has come out in almost two decades. Perhaps longer.

It is an amazing piece of technology that has all the potential to take gaming to a whole new level. With all the hate towards the Wii's lack of powerful hardware, at least the console has it's Wiimote going for it.

Gamers everywhere should look forward to what the eighth generation of gaming controllers will bring.  Who knows what innovations will be brought to the table and take gaming to the next level?

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The Wii’s controllers: Explained

January 31, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Wii's controllers: Explained

Understandably, many newcomers to the Wii can feel a bit daunted by all the new technology laid before them. Gamers that have been used to years of using the same joypad designs might need a little assistance settling into the myriad control systems of the Wii.

For example, the Wii's initial "Wii Remote"(or "WiiMote") may be excellent for first-person shooters and racing games, but does not handle so well with genres such as fighting, where the player is often forced to quickly pull off a series of complex actions in a short amount of time.

So, in total, there are four controller setups: WiiMote, WiiMote & Nunchuk, GameCube Controller, and Classic Controller.

The WiiMote was the original setup. Its a one-hand motion-sensing controller that is often used for puzzle and party games, as well as racing games and some sports. For each of these, the controller is held in a different position.

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In racing games, the controller is held sideways with both hands and twisted back and forth to control the racing vehicle onscreen. In sports, the controller is held in various positions which mimic real life. For example, in bowling, the controller movement is very similar to the movement of one's hand and arm while bowling at the lanes. The tennis game requires holding the controller upright to serve the ball, and flicking the wrist to return the ball.

The Wii Nunchuk Controller is a control stick attachment that also features motion-sensing. Whilst the nunchuk is used to essentially steer the player, the Wiimote is utilized to cover the majority of actions, including looking, aiming and shooting.

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Other games featured on the Wii favour a more classic style of control, and in this the Wii borrows the Gamecube controller from Nintendo's earlier console. This (and the classic controller) are generally favoured by the more die hard lovers of the classic gaming style.

Yet another option in a Wii controller is the "Classic Controller". The Classic does not feature motion-sensing, but does have dual control sticks (rather like that of the Playstation) as well as basically all the button configurations that the Gamecube controller features. As with the GameCube controller, the Classic is not wireless.

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However, this is going to change very soon because the Nyko company will very soon be releasing their wireless version of the Classic Controller. Reviewers with preview models have generally praised this new edition to the Wii controller family.

As with most other elements of the Wii, the controllers offer a great deal of freedom and choice to the player, from the well loved classic design to the innovative and exciting next generation style.

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