The Great Controllers Of Our Time: A Debate

Part 5: Logical Extension

[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6]


Azz: Microsoft X-Box Controller S

I'm afraid you've all missed the point. Missed the X that marks the spot in fact, and its right in the middle of the best controller there is - the X-box controller S. I'll admit that Microsoft lost the plot when they gave us the X-box, which landed with all the grace of the breezeblock it was modelled after at the bottom of the console bin, but just because a controllers made for a bad console doesn't mean it's inherently awful.

The Controller-S has corrected the errors of its obese big brother. It can't be used as a handy flail to inflict grievous bodily harm quite so well, and you couldn't use it to knock down that partition anymore. But it's got the weight and solidity of a Dual-Shock, and the groundbreaking analogue layout of a 'cube controller. All the buttons are analogue as with the Dual-Shock 2 and the A,B,X,Y buttons are in the same configuration as those of the Dual-Shock 2, which was in turn taken from the great Snes. It's got the Dreamcast controller triggers (which are excellently sprung) and expansion bays, and both analogues function as L3 and R3 respectively.

The only point that lets down the Controller-S is where Microsoft have tried to actually innovate something, namely the black and white buttons, which are still awkward to operate, though this is a small oversight on what is otherwise a perfect controller. How can you deny that the X-box controller-S is the best controller when it is a clone of every trait you so admire in the other controllers.


Oberon: Neo-Geo controller

I'm going to have to step in here and show you people what a real controller's like. Sure, you can have your multiple analogue sticks and shoulder buttons, but they're not going to help you when the shit hits the fan and you need a solid, reliable power-gaming controller.

Enter the Neo-Geo controller. This thing is massive - almost the same size as the console itself - and this large footprint is perfect for sitting in your lap when hunched in front of the TV. The construction of the whole unit is solid, and is nearly invincible - even more so than the legendary Mega Drive controller - with a solid arcade stick and four buttons that will take an absolute pounding and still be sprung enough to play again tomorrow. Unlike some, eh Playstation?

And what a stick it is. Perfect arcade realism was what SNK were going for and they succeeded. This feels just like it should, with no dead zones, and it fits perfectly into your hand. The buttons are perfectly placed and are just resistant enough without being impossible to press. The start and select buttons are tucked convieniently away so that you don't accidentally hit them during a game, which would be a bit of a disaster.

I would rate this sturdy beast even higher than the Atari joystick - which gains very high marks indeed. Verily, this is the controller of CHAMPIONS.