Listen up gaming industry: We still need controllers

The writing does appear to be on the wall at this point.  The next wave of consoles is on its way and we will probably see what they all look like this year.  The Wii-U has already been unveiled.  Its concept is the controller.  But I still fear for where the industry is trying to take us.  Controllers, as we’ve always known them, the two-handed pieces of hardware with an array of inputs meant for ease of use and precision are still desperately needed for the next generations of games, but the industry would like to get rid of them.

I personally don’t think controllers can be replaced completely.  Our fingers provide so many ways for control, each one can provide an instant input versus motion controls, which take precious seconds to execute.  Fingers can also finely control the pressure of buttons and triggers or the direction of a stick.  When you take that control away you completely destroy the amount of bearing we have over our games.

I have a big problem with the idea of going to motion controls.  You suddenly limit the amount of input granted by fingers, but worse-off you are now depending on devices that need to take time to register and calculate your motions and interpret them as best they can.  Its so imprecise and unpredictable, to me its like trying to figure out what a person is saying by having them play sharades instead of just fucking telling you with their voice (I don’t want this to sound like I want voice controls by the way, those suck too).

Its a control scheme fueled by mindless consumers and people who have no real clue how to transplant a first-person shooter into a wiimote.

I’ve played a considerable amount of the new Zelda game, Skyward Sword, but the abosolute, hands-down worst problem I have with the game is the insistence that I must wave my arm around frantically while trying to kill enemies.  The controller frequently unbalances and before I know it I look like damn retard with the blade constantly pointing in the wrong direction from where I’m holding it.  I don’t want this, I want a Zelda game I can sit back to and play peacefully for a few hours at a time.  I don’t want to do Tae Bo every time a plant tries to kill me.

So the one thing I want to really say to the industry is: stop it.  If you want to give us motion controls then fine, just don’t shove it down our throats for games that don’t need it.  Keep Zelda on a real gamepad.  I’m saying all of this because I can see what’s coming in the near future.  The next generation of console will soon be upon us and before long even Xbox games will require motion controls from people who don’t understand how games are suppose to feel, who just want to cross-off another checkbox from their requirement list.

I love you Nintendo and the games you make, but you really screwed a lot of us gamers over here and brought us into territory we never wanted to be in.  I hope someone at Nintendo HQ realizes that some people might actually want to play on a small controller on a big screen soon.


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About Ryan Saul

Hailing from Portland, OR I work by day and blog by night. I like to consider myself a video game connoisseur, playing as many new things as I can get my hands on. Its hard to hold me down to one game for very long before I move on to the next big thing. Luckily, that works pretty well in terms of video game blogging.

3 responses to “Listen up gaming industry: We still need controllers”

  1. giantsbane says :


    I’m not worried about PC gaming falling into this same dilema. I can’t really believe Microsoft is ignorant enough to be blind to how many consumers it will lose if it switches to using motion controls as its primary inputs for it’s next generation of consoles. If it does make this blunder, I imagine it will be short-lived and they will quickly rectify the situation, or there will be a mass exodus of players from consoles to PC.

    I still think motion controls are a fad for casual gamers that will pass. I fully understand Microsoft going after that demographic, but not at the cost of losing their core consumer base. If anything it should see that people don’t like change (look at how popular CoD X is).

    • Ryan Saul says :

      I could have said the same for Nintendo 7 years ago before they unveiled the Wii, but they had the good conscience to put buttons on those waggle controllers at least. But sooner or later some big-shot exec thinks: “Alright the reason people aren’t using these controls is because we aren’t forcing them to”, that’s how you get the ridiculous controls of both Zelda games without the option to play like a normal game. My main fear is Microsoft may do this on a “better with Kinect” title soon.

  2. giantsbane says :

    I think if Microsoft made any of its AAA titles with required motion controls there would be an giant outcry. I believe the only reason Nintendo gets away with it is that they’re main consumer base is a different breed of gamer.

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