I'm not going to comment on the obsessiveness this controller exhibits or the unnerving feeling I get when I know that this has been mass-produced and will be an extremely popular PS2 controller in Japan. But both of those things are true. This is a Pachinko controller for the PS2 and can also be played using some sort of racing game, but that's beside the point. Look at this thing. It has a coin slot. Who collects the money? The player? And this is Pachinko! It's a game involving lots of balls that fall and make noise. Even Bingo makes more sense, but not by much. And then you have to buy a controller to play Pachinko at home! I don't know why I'm so angry at this but I am. Maybe someone can comment on the relative cultural value of Pachinko and maybe calm me down.
Pachi-Slot Controller [Import Game Blog]
UPDATE - Travis pointed this out:
That's a controller for Pachislo, or a skill-stop slot machine, not a Pachinko, which involves the small steel balls. Search them both on eBay and you'll see the difference.
I'm still thinking this is focusing on Pachinko, but I thought I'd put his comment out there.
James, however, really nailed it:
The Japanese spend more on Pachinko than on cars. It's a national obsession, a cultural force not to be denied. An inexplicable love affair with noise and ostensible control of the outcome, akin to American Idol.