Monday, July 07, 2008

A visual history of the evolution of video game controllers

It was whilst researching a separate piece on trends in gaming (to follow) that I got sidetracked by the evolution of video game controllers. Thanks to Wikipedia, Flickr and a host of diligently maintained fan-sites, I was able to piece together the below pictorial history of how gaming input devices have evolved over the years. It's far from comprehensive; instead it aims to capture the seminal products which were truly game-changing, either by delivering genuine innovation or by taking an innovation mainstream.

(Also viewable as a presentation on SlideShare)

PDP-1 / Spacewar! (1960)


Photo: Marcin Wichary

Galaxy Game (1971)


Photo: Nik Clayton

Magnavox Odyssey (1972)


Photo: Thomas Becker

Atari 2600 Joystick (1977)


Photo: Bill Bradford

Intellivision (1979)


Photo: Brandy Shaul

Atari Football Trakball (1979)


Photo: Steve Port

NES Controller (1983)


Photo: TenThirtyNine

NES Zapper (1984)


Photo: Pablo Noel

Nintendo Powerglove (1989)


Photo: Peter M

N64 Controller (1996)


Photo: Jeffy Can

Dance Dance Revolution (1998)


Photo: Richard Eriksson

EyeToy (2003)


Photo: Charles Ulrich

Nintendo DS (2004)


Photo: Jo Carter

Buzz! (2005)


Photo: Damien du Toit

Guitar Hero (2005)


Photo: Hunter Wilson

Bodypad (2005)


Photo: Oncle Tom

Wiimote (2006)


Photo: Greg Turner

Novint Falcon (2007)


Photo: Jon Jordan

Wii Balance Board (2008)


Photo: Natalie Johnson

CamSpace (2008)


Photo: Scott F

6 comments:

Roo Reynolds said...

Lovely presentation, and a great roundup.

A couple of new inventions, currently just on the horizon, include the NIA (Neural Impulse Actuator) and the Emotiv EPOC headet. Both look interesting.

Dan Taylor said...

Thanks Roo. I sense a new category of gaming on the horizon - a cross between Brain Training and WiiFit - BrainFit! ;-)

Dan Taylor said...

Or maybe WiiBrain has a better ring to it...

roo reynolds said...

WiiBrain works well. Braiin? Brainii? :-)

Marek said...

Here is what is next:
http://emotiv.com/INDS_3/inds_3.html

Futaris said...

What about the Spaceorb ???
http://www.planethardware.com/spaceorb/