In a Perfect World, Every Game Would Have Its Own Controller

Above: Holy shit, this ruled
Above: Holy shit, this ruled

Nintendo’s Wii U propaganda may be vile, but specialty controllers make games more fun. The old arcades were full of them. Uzis to rescue POWs.  Steering wheels for every vehicle known to man. Full-scale motorcycles. Lightsabers to duel Darth Vader, X-Wing cockpits to shoot him down. The original Street Fighter used two pressure-sensitive punching pads. Connoisseurs knew the only way to play Marble Madness was with a track ball.  Atari 2600 peripherals included keypads and paddles. We’ve had guitars, maracas, taiko drums, dance mats,  balance boards, fishing rods, and whatever the hell it was that came with World Class Track Meet. Capcom attempted to market — even in the States! — a mech sim with its own 40-button two-joystick control panel. It was awesome. We said “hey you” to Pikachu with microphones. A company called Mad Catz makes a nice profit selling $200 arcade sticks every time a tournament fighter is released. Extremely annoying PC gamers never stop reminding you first-person-shooters should be played with a mouse. Real-time strategy really does require a keyboard. It was often said the N64’s controller (an unheralded precursor to the Wii-mote) was designed for one game, one of the best: Mario 64.

So, like a lot of devices, Wii U’s tablet will enhance a game or two.


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