Monday, February 22, 2010

Universal Controllers Don't Work (CS 404)

So it turns out that Sony filed a patent application for a universal gaming controller back in 2008. I can see why such a controller would be appealing: why keep around ten different controllers when you can just have one? Sure, it sounds good in theory, but universal controllers just don't work in practice. Just take laptops for example: to have both a keyboard and a mouse, most laptops have a keyboard and a touchpad. I hate the touchpad! Running your finger across the pad just isn't the same as holding a mouse in your hand. The same problem goes for Sony's universal controller. If all the buttons and controls are done through a touchscreen, how can you know whether or not you actually have your finger on the A button? And how would it incorporate the Nintendo 64 controller with its Z button on the back and the port for connecting a memory card? How would the controller actually connect to the system? The only way they could is by also having a universal connector that has an end to plug into each and every system's controller port. That sounds rather clunky. Perhaps these problems are the reason why there's no word of Sony actually building the universal controller.

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