Top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers

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Top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers

VOICE OVER: Dan Paradis
Script written by Kurt Hvorp

There's an art to crafting good controls... and these designs miss the mark. Join http://www.watchmojo.com as we countdown our picks for the Top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers.

For this list we'll be scouring gaming history for the most atrocious and low-quality controllers known to the public, with a particular emphasis on controllers that are universally panned. We aren't including knock-off budget versions of official controllers – our focus is on unique controllers that had interesting ideas, but fell short of their promise.

Special thanks to our users "MoviesJ-N4" & "Andre van Rijn" for suggesting this topic on our website WatchMojo.comsuggest
Transcript
Script written by Kurt Hvorp

Top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers


There's an art to crafting good controls... and these designs miss the mark. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Worst Video Game Controllers.

For this list we'll be scouring gaming history for the most atrocious and low-quality controllers known to the public, with a particular emphasis on controllers that are universally panned. We aren't including knock-off budget versions of official controllers – our focus is on unique controllers that had interesting ideas, but fell short of their promise.

#10: The Duke Xbox Controller

Sometimes it take a few tries to get things right, a concept Microsoft knows all too well. When the original Xbox console launched in November 2001, it came packaged with a proprietary controller known for one key quality: its size. The controller's sheer bulkiness earned it criticism, as well as the nicknames “Fatty” and “Duke”. Over time, the Duke controller was phased out in favour of the smaller Controller S, a decision we imagine was greeted with praise.

#9: Alphagrip AG-5 Controller

Computer controllers certainly have their place but THIS is far from ideal. I mean, just look at this thing! Developed by the company AlphaGrip Inc., the AG-5 is a handheld keyboard built in the shape of a controller. In theory this device would be optimal for both gameplay and typing – in practice, however, the device is party to a steep learning curve and lacks the precise controls suited to fast-paced games. From an awkward layout of keys to noticeable in-game slowness, there's no shortage of issues with the AG-5.

#8: Roll N' Rocker

When people say they want to rock and roll, this likely wasn't what they had in mind. The Roll N' Rocker was built as an accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the idea being that players would tilt on the device in order to control in-game movement. While an innovative idea, the device came under flak for failing to work properly with NES titles and for having a tendency to malfunction. Facing criticism and even an alleged lawsuit, the device's creator LJN Toys promptly discontinued its production.

#7: U-Force

Speaking of the NES, there were many peripherals to be associated with the famed console. One of the more infamous devices was the U-Force, a specially-made controller by Broderbund. Its gimmick was the use of infra-red sensors to detect hand movements, which it would then translate into controller commands. All well and good... except the U-Force was found to be imprecise in its reading of hand motions, to the point of not functioning at all with certain games. Such a shame.

#6: Sega Activator

Praise the almighty octogon... is what one might say if the darn thing worked. Built for the Sega Genesis, the Activator controller was as creatively ambitious as it was visually fascinating; an eight-sided device which sat on the floor, it fired IR beams that would theoretically interpret the player's kicks as in-game actions. Pitched as a viable substitute for a traditional control pad, the Activator was instead criticized for its inaccurate motion sensor technology and its tendancy to make games unnecessarily difficult. Not to mention that it makes you look like an idiot.

#5: Philips CD-i Controller

Though Philips' proprietary console didn't lack for questionable controllers, the one that came standard with the system just boggles the mind. Designed more like a remote with its Infrared input, this particular peripheral had a simple interface with a small number of buttons and awkward directional pad. Unfortunately, the controller’s overall awkward shape made it uncomfortable to use, earning it criticism over the years. Given that production of the CD-i was discontinued in 1998, we imagine the It along with so many other hideous CD-I controllers went with it.

#4: Atari Jaguar Controller

Complexity does not always equate to success. Take the controller for the Atari Jaguar, which was notable for using a twelve-button keypad and three action buttons. What Atari didn't count on was the general public calling the Jaguar controller overly complicated and shoddily designed, with much of the negativity aimed at the central keypad. A redesigned controller with six action buttons, called the ProController, was eventually released... but by that point the damage had been done.

#3: Kinect

If motion control is the dream of game designers, then this is the stumble on the road to success. Originally released in 2010 for the Xbox 360, the Kinect promised gamers a fully motion-controlled gameplay experience; you simply stand in front of the device's camera, and use your hands to perform on-screen tasks. However, despite early enthusiasm the Kinect's poor implementation in games and spotty motion tracking ensured its legacy would be one of failure.

#2: Atari 5200 Controller

Oh, Atari, you had such good intentions. With the release of the 5200 console in 1982, Atari touted a analog joystick with more control than that of the 2600 console. Sadly, the joystick-based controller Atari packed with the 5200 didn't quite raise the bar; instead, it fell victim to the limitations of its design, from a stick that didn't center to keypad buttons made from a weak material. This, as you can imagine, caused many of them to break down altogether and become fully useless. By 1984, the 5200 and its various peripherals were discontinued.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Intellivision Controller
NES Laserscope
Atari 5200 Trak-Ball
Super Scope

#1: Power Glove

As the saying goes, (“I love the Power Glove It's so bad”.) Made famous in the 1989 film “The Wizard”, Mattel's glove-shaped peripheral for the NES caught everyone's attention, with its combined controller-keypad interface and the promise of hand motions to control an on-screen character. Unfortunately, the Glove soon got attention for different reasons – it was found to be difficult to use, with imprecise controls and lacking information on how to interpret the keypad. In the end, the Glove produced $88 million in sales, viewed as a loss and proving its inability to engage.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your least favorite game controller? For more well-designed Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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