E3 2010 is happening this week, and is once again closed to the public. I thought of going and staring longingly through the windows, but then I remembered that I have dignity. So, I went back to sitting on my couch, eating week-old pizza, and drinking Mountain Dew straight from the 2-liter bottle.
As usual, what Nintendo started everyone else seems to be picking up on (can we talk about how the Xbox 360 avatars look like Miis? The music after you edit them is even the same), and the theme this year is new methods of control and immersion. Microsoft brings us the Kinect (the new name for Project Natal), which combines cameras that recognize your movements with voice recognition to ensure that you never have to pick up a controller. Sony has been a little less imaginative, and basically just copied off the Wiimote but put a big glowing ball on the end.
These advances in controllers got me thinking back to the good ol’ days. So strap in, kiddies, and let’s take a trip back in time and look at some of the best and worst video game tech over the years…
Best: The Nintendo Zapper
Classic. Pure and simple. The zapper and the Power Pad were the “original” video game accessories. They weren’t perfect…those ducks got away more often than they should have (cue the damn dog) and my runner would often fault on the triple jump. But for the time, they were brilliant. The original cheat code was putting the Zapper right up to the TV screen.
Worst: The U-Force Controller
I consider myself to be a pretty serious gamer, but even I have never seen one of these. The U-Force was, like many failed video game controllers, a big idea brought down by a lack of proper technology. The idea was that infrared sensors would detect hand movements in the space between the screens. The reality, apparently, was very different. I imagine they’re tough to find today as many of them were thrown against the wall in frustration.
Props to this guy, though, who seems to have figured it out:
Best: The N64 Controller
Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but there’s something about holding this controller that just feels like home. It form-fit my 14-year-old palms perfectly, and no matter what game you were playing, every button seemed to be in the right place. Nintendo has recently announced that Goldeneye will be available on the Wii…but there’s no way I’ll be playing that with a Wiimote and Nunchuk.
Worst: The Nintendo Power Glove
No. No no no no no no no no no. No. No.
Images: Shane K/Flickr, Nintendo