The Evolution of Nintendo’s Game Controllers [ article ]

This is definitely not a new gem to the internet, but it’s still funny and deserves to be shared.

Also, this is a nice companion piece that doesn’t make the evolution process seem so bad.


  • PiMan

    Hey now, the 64 controller was great. Single shoulder buttons, and a button on the back.

    • PrinceJonathan

      The N64 does look silly, but it does make perfect sense if you think about it. Not every game used the D-pad, so when playing those games you’d hold the center handle with your left hand. And the games that use the D-pad usually didn’t use the Analog Stick, so you’d ignore the center and hold the D-pad with your left hand.

      The only thing I didn’t like about the N64 Controller is the Analog Stick, seriously that thing will break your thumb! Then it gets this weird white powder build up in the grey bowl thing it sits in. And it wears out easy, my N64 games are getting boarder line unplayable because the Analog Sticks are getting unresponsive on my controllers.

      I wish I could take the stick off my Gamecube controller and put it on the N64 controller.

      • But with one exception: the 64 stuff is built from fucking tank parts. I;ve gone through, like 4 PS2 controllers, and 2 GC controllers- my wavebird’s stood the test of time, but no rumble. My N64 controller is still as sensitive as when I first got it, and even though I chewed on the cable at some point, my SNES controller still works like a charm as well.

        • Point being, the previous generation’s stuff is as fragile as shit, and I’m not so sure about the current gen stuff’s durability, since it hasn’t been out THAT long. ANyone with a PS3 got that wobbly stick yet, like the PS2 controllers had after, like ONE month of hardcore playing?

          • PrinceJonathan

            Yes I am surprised at how my old SNES still works after almost what…20 years!

            Hell I’ve mentioned several times how I got pissed at one of my N64 games and put a big hole in the back of it AND IT STILL WORKS! Yet if I so much as look at a Gamecube disk funny it’ll “disk read error, cannot read disk”.

            Then there is the Gameboy Color, that thing was built like a Nokia 3310. I could throw mine across the room
            and it would still work, hell I could probably throw it into the fires of Mt. Doom and it’d still work. Yet I’ve gone through 4 GBASPs and 3 DSlites, I swear they must be made of hemophiliac babies or something!

      • I cleaned out one of my N64 controllers just yesterday because I wanted to try the scotch tape analog stick repair trick. HOLY SHIT, was I shocked at the amount of ground up analog casing that came out :P
        I didn’t know about that shit, so for some reason, the first thought going throug my mind was: “Dude what the fuck, Nintendo crams it’s N64 controllers with cocaine?! :P

  • My favourite controller still remains the SNES controller. Responsiveness, feel, number of buttons… it just felt spot on all round.


    The image is slightly off. The N64 had 10 buttons if you include start. 2 shoulder, 1 trigger, A, B, 4 Cs and start.

  • Sky Render

    The N64 controller is basically an over-engineered Wiimote with the Ninchuk fused into its center instead of being a separate device. No, really.

  • JD

    Back in 2000, I called Nintendo about my N64 analog sticks failing, and they sent me four new modules FOR FREE! Since the Gamecube came out a year later, the N64 got a lot less play time, and the new analog sticks are still in perfect condition today.
    I always liked the colorful buttons on the JP/PAL SNES controllers, but North America got the purplish-greyish ones instead.
    And I really liked the NES Max, although all of my friends hated its circle-pad.

  • Drascin

    Oh hey, look, another joke about the N64 controller that requires not having used a single one in one’s life. Because that one’s not getting old at all.

    Also, the Gamecube controller is still awesome. The cube’s stick was great. Its D-pad wasn’t worth the plastic it was made of, though.

    • Metal C0Mmander

      To be fair the c-stick wasn’t great either. And the four main buttons, altough fine for most of the games you played with the controller, feel so alien whenever I try to play on the virtual console. However one thing I really liked were the shoulder buttons sensitivity to how much pressure you would put on them.

  • Triaxx2

    See, I love Nintendo, because one of the things they did was release the NES2, with the controller redesigned ala the SNES, removing the eye puncturing edges. No work with the file needed to play the NES any more. YAY. (And no lost hours of my life trying to get the games to work…)