The Evolution of the Console Controller

Illustration for article titled The Evolution of the Console Controller

It's not just some unfounded stereotype that video game controllers have gotten more complex over time, just look at this fantastic chronological illustration.


The controllers are offered in proper scale with each set of hands sized identically. And we see, while controllers have gotten more complicated, they've also grown larger—though we look to have peaked back in the last generation (if you discount arsenal of peripherals you'll find in Rock Band or GHIV).

One trend we found interesting: The ill-fated Atari 5200 represented the early height of how-many-buttons-will-this-thing-fit engineering. And I don't think that it was before two successful generations of consoles later that the arms race picked up again. [Chewing Pixels via Offworld]



Glaring Omissions:

- CD-i controller

- Sega Saturn Analogue Controller

- Atari Jaguar controller

- PSX controller (original & dual-shock)

The posted image is nice, but to leave out any of the controllers above (worse still, to leave ALL of them out) and yet still include nearly identical controllers (1st gen & s-type xbox controllers? really?) shows obvious gaps in console history. The link admoseremic posted to Sock Master's Video Game Controller Family Tree is a much better reference for the evolution of console controllers.