The Console Wars: Controllers

Continuing on with what I guess is now a mini-series of the Console Wars, but focusing on different areas than normal. I am using only the biggest names in gaming history, and most of their consoles, creating a big all out war, instead of just one generation. Last week the consoles battled it out for best names. This time we will see which consoles had the best controllers. As always, they will be ranked from worst to best in my opinion, and I am only judging based on the controller that comes packaged with the original system. Here we go!!!

Fun fact- All Nintendo consoles are in red text, Atari in orange, Sony in black, Sega in blue, and Microsoft in green…Smashing!

#22 Atari Jaguar

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Take note, I have never played a Jaguar or held the controller.

Just look at this thing. It’s got three oddly placed red buttons that make it seem like you have to lay three fingers flat on the controller to play it effectively, the two middle buttons (pause and options) are just crammed in there, consistent with the whole flat palm playing. The D-pad is just like every other controller, so there’s a win. But what really blows my mind is this large hunk of junk attached to the bottom of the controller. Look at all those number buttons!! What am I supposed to do with those!? Is it so you can play the games from older systems that used numbers? Yikes! What a mess! The whole thing looks uncomfortable and awkward.

#21 Atari 5200

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Note that I have never used this controller before or held it, or even have seen it in real life.

It’s pretty sad when this thing isn’t at the lowest spot. I mean, how do you regress from this? It’s like the world’s first cell phone with a joystick attached to where you would hold it up to your ear. I mean damn…what would you play on this thing? I actually have seen it in action. There are cards you put over the number pad for specific games, thus the cards instruct you what each number does, but that sounds horrible and stupid. They should have just cut off the numbers and use the joystick with the two red side buttons.

#20 Atari 7800

Note that I wasn’t sure which was the original, but I’m going to guess the one on the left. I have never played a 7800 or used these controllers.

Either one, they are both pretty bad. Well, the left one is definitely a huge step up from the 5200, and looks like it would play Atari games quite well, it just looks like it would be awkward and uncomfortable to use.

The one on the right is like the beginning stage of the Jaguar. It even confirms my suspicions on having to play with your hand flat on the controller, as evidenced by the neato finger indentations. There’s a weird joystick/d-pad hybrid that looks like it would fail to justly perform as either.

#19 Atari 2600

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And here we are with yet another Atari controller. They are sort of at a disadvantage due to the time period that Atari was popular, where you didn’t need much to a controller, and they basically had the task of inventing controllers for home consoles that played multiple games. That being said, they still could have done a better job, though this is their best controller by far. A simple button and a joystick is all you need to play 2600 games and it worked fairly well, though it got fairly uncomfortable to play after a while.

#18 Sega Genesis

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This controller had a flawless D-pad and was comfortable to hold. The only problem I had with this controller was the three right buttons. Having them lined up made some games awkward and hard to play, because you really couldn’t hit more than one at a time. This is almost okay though, because most games only required the use of one button. In some games all three buttons did the same thing, while other games the B and C buttons did very minor things. When compared to it’s competition, this controller was terrible.

#17 Sega Master System

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This controller had a pretty unique D-pad for the time, though it always wasn’t very precise. I loved how you simply had buttons 1 and 2. It was easy to hold and easy to play with, much more so than it’s successor.

#16 Nintendo Entertainment System

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This controller is nearly identical to it’s SMS competition. What makes this one better though is the inclusion of start and select buttons and a more pronounced and accurate D-pad.

#15 PlayStation

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The best way to describe this controller is bony. I guess because it’s a grey-white color and thin. It is a comfortable controller and the first controller to introduce 2 buttons on each shoulder. The D-Pad was also made into four separate buttons instead of actually being a…well…pad. This had its advantages and disadvantages. This was the first console to introduce button names with shapes rather than numbers or letters, though I never really liked the D-pad style layout of said buttons, though it is still comfortable and easy to play.

#14 Nintendo 64

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This is a weird looking controller, filled with a ton of buttons. At the time of it’s release, it was easily the most comfortable controller ever made. But I never really liked the layout all that much. The C buttons always seemed out of reach with the exception of down-c, and if you held the controller by the center…prong?…the D-pad and L-button were useless. Though the Z button hiding in the back basically replaced L. What was cool about the controller is you could hold it from each edge and use the D-pad instead of the joystick, but I don’t recall ever playing a game that required you to play like that, so the whole controller seemed bigger than it needed to be.

#13 Sega Saturn

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I have only played a Saturn once, like 20 years ago or so, so I don’t recall how it feels to hold it, but it looks comfortable enough. It is basically just an updated version of the Genesis controller, featuring a slimmer look and more buttons.They are laid out slightly more angular this time around, so it looks like you could hit two buttons at once if you needed to. Though it still looks like you would never use the X, Y, Z buttons.

#12 Xbox

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Look at this thing…it looks like a land mine. I remember hating this controller because it was so big and fat and uncomfortable. The only reason it is on this list this high is because it had plenty of buttons and you used them all quite frequently. Though I don’t recall the weird black and white buttons ever doing anything. The four main buttons were laid out great, for ease of playing. Two analog sticks and a D-pad really complete this controller. Now if it could just slim down…

#11 PlayStation 2

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This is exactly like the first PlayStation controller, but black and has an analog button that never did anything and two more than welcome analog sticks. It still wasn’t the most comfortable controller, but it got the job done.

#10 PlayStation 3

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Sony being as creative as ever, this controller is basically the same as the PS2’s, except it has a “home” button that actually does something and the L2 and R2 buttons are more like triggers. I hated that change at first, but I grew to love it, so that I can’t stand playing with a PS2 controller now. Oh yeah, this one is wireless, and is charged by plugging it into the system. Awesome. I think the controller is slightly slimmer and reformed to make it a bit more comfortable as well. Oh and I almost forgot! This has motion controls added that were only really utilized in the very early PS3 games.

#9 Super Nintendo Entertainment System

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This controller took the world by storm with it’s many buttons. In addition to the A and B buttons from the NES, they are joined by X and Y. I always wondered why it wasn’t C and D. But one day I noticed…A, B, X, Y. They are all the same letters as all the fighter ships in the original Star Wars trilogy. A Wing, B Wing, etc…Was Nintendo giving a nod to this mighty franchise? Anyway, we were also given shoulder buttons for the first time, which was a nice addition.

The layout of the A-Y buttons allowed you to comfortably and easily press two at a time, and three if you threw in another finger, or bent your index the right way. Anyone who played the Mega Man X series and constantly held down the charge button (Y) and always used dash to move (A) all the while jumping (B) knows what I’m talking about.

It was a relatively comfortable controller, but it seemed a bit frail. It certainly blew away the Genesis controller in their rivalry.

#8 Xbox 360

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This is the original Xbox controller on a diet. Microsoft trimmed down all the hugely unnecessary fluff and came out with a great controller. All the buttons are close and easy to reach, it fits nicely in your hand, and it was the first wireless controller to come packaged with a console.

#7 Xbox One

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I have never played or even seen an Xbox One, but this controller just looks like it took everything that made the 360 controller great and improved slightly on it. The analogs look perfect, as does the D-pad. Everything is placed quite wonderfully, not to mention it is a gorgeous controller that looks very comfortable.

#6 Gamecube

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This is without a doubt the most famous controller in history, for it is still in production two console generations after its own. That’s how strong its popularity is. It is, in my opinion, the most comfortable controller ever made. Your hand just seems to fold around it. The L and R buttons are indented so that your fingers like melt into them. Everything is easy to reach, and it’s very easy to multi-task due to the layout of the buttons. But comfort isn’t everything, so that is why I have this wonderful controller at number 6.

#5  PlayStation 4

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This is a weird controller. It feels more comfortable than the rest in the PlayStation family, yet at the same time, more uncomfortable. The analog sticks give you more grip, but they feel so unnatural and different. The D-Pad and right shape buttons are easier to press and seem smaller for some reason. The shoulder buttons are different once again, sort of a hybrid between PS2 and PS3’s shoulders. Overall, it’s not my favorite controller at all, but the trackpad innovation sets it apart from most of the other controllers. I haven’t spent too much time on my PS4, but some games make somewhat clever use of it. In any case, it is strangely satisfying to swipe your finger across it, even if it’s only to flick a switch or something in a game. This too has motion controls, that have been used cleverly in games such as Infamous: Second Son.

#4 Dreamcast

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The Dreamcast was a very advanced console, and that includes it’s controller. It wasn’t the most comfortable controller, and it didn’t have too many buttons, though there are some shoulders hiding. But this controller was crazy, though honestly I haven’t played a Dreamcast in a very long time and never really fully understood what it did. It had a screen that did nothing in any game I played, but you could plug something into its back and it did all sorts of things that consoles would not start doing for another whole generation. It was a unique and interesting controller, but I couldn’t understand it, and neither could anyone else. That is why it failed.

#3 Nintendo Switch

This thing is crazy. Obviously this isn’t even out yet, so I can’t say much on how comfortable it is, though it doesn’t look all that pleasing to the hand (at least the left picture anyway). Though Nintendo always makes shockingly comfortable controllers so I am not worried. The amazing thing about this controller is you can remove the left and right lighter grey pieces from the picture on the left, and then use each segment as a controller on its own for multiplayer, or slide them onto the screen as pictured on the right to take your game on the go, or even set that nifty little screen on the stand built into the back and use the two controller segments without attaching them to anything. . It’s so clever I could poop.

#2 Wii


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This was another clever and extremely comfortable controller by Nintendo. Some games you just used the Wii Remote, (right device) for motion controller primary gaming. Other games had you using the remote held on its side, so it was sort of like playing an advanced NES controller. Finally, you could plug the nunchuk, (left device) into the bottom of the remote for more advanced play. The nunchuk adds a few more buttons and is also able to use motion controls. To makes thing even better, again your hand seemed to naturally mold into the controller, making it almost pleasing to hold. It was definitely a unique set up that allowed for truly unique gaming.

#1 Wii U

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And here we have it, the best controller ever made. Despite it’s large size, it is really quite comfortable, and features an abundance of buttons. It has a microphone that has various functions, even some in-game ones. That weird rectangle in the left is some scanner for amiibo, and best of all is the TV button, which basically turns your controller into a remote control for your TV, which is honestly one of the best things that’s ever happened to a controller.

The best thing about this controller is the big screen in the middle. It is a touchpad, which adds some fun to games, and also makes it very easy to use the system’s other various applications. But best of all, the screen meant that there were now two screens for the game to use instead of 1. The possibilities for games just lifted to a whole new level. For the first few games, it was truly awesome some of the things they were using the gamepad for, but popularity for the system never took off, and developers didn’t want to spend extra resources developing for a system that wouldn’t sell their games, so many games just used it to mirror what was on your TV screen. I was devastated. This controller has so much potential, and gamers and developers alike failed to realize that.

The other great thing about the screen is you could play your games off the TV. So when my wife wants to watch something stupid, I can just switch the game to the gamepad and play there. It was truly a great idea.

And with that, Nintendo takes the top spot! But as I did with the Console Wars: Names, I feel the company with the most consoles in the top 10 is the true winner.

The results are in and here are our places…

Atari is in last with 0 consoles in the top 10

Sega is in fourth with 1!

Microsoft and Sony tie for runner up with 2 each.

That leaves Nintendo with a whopping 5 controllers in the top 10. They even hold the top 3! Nintendo is clearly the best, and certainly most unique/creative controller makers!


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The Console Wars: Names

I have been thinking back on all the names video game consoles have had, and I have been completely underwhelmed with nearly all of them. So, I thought it would be fun to rank them from worst to best. As there are quite a few consoles, I am only going to list the big brands that have popped up over the decades, Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Sony and Microsoft and only their main home consoles. Nevertheless, there are plenty to talk about, so let’s go!

Fun fact- All Nintendo consoles are in red text, Atari in orange, Sony in black, Sega in blue, and Microsoft in green…How fun!

#22 Wii U Image result for wii u

I remember when they first started talking about this console, but before they announced the name, I was thrilled to stop having to call Nintendo’s most current console “Wii.” Imagine my disappointment when they revealed another letter to an already horrible name… Though the name does serve a purpose, implying “we all can play,” or “you can play.” It still is terrible, and the worst name on this list.

#21 Atari 7800

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What the heck Atari? This isn’t even remotely easy to say. 9 syllables the way I say it. Who wants to puke that out? Wii U at least is super fast and easy to say. I guess 7800 is where Atari draw the line with these weird numbers. The Atari 10400 for their next console would just be too much. This name was probably why the console did very poorly.

#20 PlayStation 4

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Really? PS4? You guys are so lazy that you just keep adding numbers to your system names? While this saves on confusing everyone I guess, making it well known that this is an updated system, but crikey it just makes their systems seem so less exciting. Instead of a new system, you always feel like you are getting a really expensive update on something you already spent a ton of money on, and the games are all useless now though. Even the controllers are always more or less the same, as well as the central theme of each system. The worst part is, it’s too late to go back, they have to keep numbering them. It would just be stupid now to stop numbering them. I can’t wait for PlayStation 12!

#19 Atari 5200

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This is just a mouthful to say. I don’t know why they doubled the numbers from their last poorly named system. Was everything double the power, double the fun?

#18 Wii

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This means “we all can play.” It was a clever name I guess, representing the central theme of what the console was all about, but it took me like a year to get used to saying, “Hey guys, let’s go to my house and play my Wii!”

#17 PlayStation 3

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I already said how lazy Sony was with the PS4 name, but when this came out, I lost all hope of them trying to be a bit creative, so by the time PS4 came out, nobody was surprised by the name.

#16 Xbox One

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First they jump to a very high number, then they regress back all the way to the number 1? I guess it is supposed to mean something like “all of your entertainment rolled into one” since it does so much cool stuff. But jeez, between this, Wii U and PS4, it is by far the worst named console generation of all time.

#15 Atari 2600

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We all wonder what these numbers mean. Little did we know that this was only the beginning of long nonsensical names for Atari.

#14 Nintendo 64

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Now this is a lazy name if I ever saw one, (next to all the PlayStation consoles besides the first). The only reason this is this high on the list is because it was a smart marketing idea when this came out back in 1996 during the whole “bit wars” era. Sega and Nintendo fans clashed about bits all the time, so to name a console after how many bits it had was pretty genius, so kids could rub it in Sega fans faces.

#13 Xbox 360

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What the heck does that mean? Does it imply gaming has come full circle? If so, how? Was it HD graphics? The only circle I recall from this console is the “red ring of death.”

#12 PlayStation 2

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Okay, as we get into the top 12, I can say these are all good names. PlayStation 2 was an okay name, hence it being number 12 in the top 12. It just let everyone know the successor to the hugely popular PlayStation had come to town. PS2 also had the advantage of being unable to drive the numbering consoles thing into the ground.

#11 Nintendo Switch

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The name makes sense, since you can basically switch from playing on the TV to playing it outside like a handheld in a flash, but I just feel like it’s kind of a lazy name. Though since it is original and doesn’t have any weird numbers or letters after it, it gets a fairly high ranking.

#10 Super Nintendo Entertainment System

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Talk about long names. Luckily SNES or Super Nintendo were enough for people to realize what you were talking about. After the NES changed gaming forever, when something new came out with the same name, but with “Super” in front of it, it really was impressive, not to mention crapping your own pants exciting. Even now, “Super” sounds so much cooler than if it was just called NES 2. It really made you feel like you were playing with power.

#9 Atari Jaguar

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This is an interesting name. Why is it named after a menacing cat? I have no idea, but after all the other names in the Atari family tree, this one is awesome especially because this would have been the Atari 10,400. There was even a handheld aptly named “Lynx,” to continue the cat theme.

#8 Sega Saturn

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This is obviously named after a planet, and I don’t know why, but it’s just an awesome name. When you say “Sega Saturn,” it just flows so nicely. The canceled “Sega Neptune” was a really cool name too. Kind of makes me wish someone else would name a console after a planet, or a handheld called the “Pluto!”

#7 Sega Master System

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This is a good name, telling everyone who the boss is, though it does come across rather cocky, but it had the games to back it up.

#6 Xbox

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This console was a box with an X on it, so it was named as such. Pretty simple stuff. I don’t know what the X means though…but it is a cool name for a gaming console anyway.

#5 Sega Genesis

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Genesis is defined as “an origin, creation or beginning.” This would have been a great name for Sega’s first console, but hey, it’s still awesome. It ushered in 16-bit gaming and started one of the best console wars of all time. So I guess it grew into it’s name.

#4 Nintendo Entertainment System

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It’s name was somewhat self explanatory. It was a system that brought you entertainment, much more so than anything seen so far at the point of its release.

#3 Sega Dreamcast

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I love this name. I don’t know why, I don’t know what they are implying, but it is awesome nonetheless. It was so far ahead of its time that perhaps it felt like the system “cast you into a dream.”

#2 GameCube

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This is the most bad ass name in gaming history. It is a cube (though technically a rectangular prism) and plays games and is named as such. Can’t get more to the point than that. Plus it is oddly fun to say.

#1 PlayStation

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And here is the best named console of all time. The PlayStation is just like GameCube’s blunt name, it’s a station you play on, but this just sounded cooler. The word station makes you feel like you are not just limited to the console itself, but instead it draws in everything around you somehow. It’s a very colorful word I guess, at least in my mind! It’s not as bad ass as the GameCube, but it’s more of an awe inspiring name.

So there you have it. If the consoles were to have a war for best names, Sony take best name, but I would say the true winner would have to have the most names in the top 10.

So in last place would be Microsoft, Sony and Atari with 1 console each in the top ten.

Nintendo is the runner up with three names.

Sega comes in first with four! That’s right, of the four consoles they have on this list, every single one of them made it into the top 8!

Sega congratulations, you win the Console Name War!

Come check out next week, when the Console War will move on to controllers!