In case anyone slept through it, I hate on Nintendo pretty much whenever I get the chance. Who knows where it came from... maybe it's because I started off with a Master System like a future bad-ass instead of being one of the sheep whose parents bought them a NES?
I don't like their games, and never did, but that's just my opinion and I don't care if anyone conforms to it or not. That's not what this is about. What really gets my goat is their hardware. Nintendo occasionally produces decent products like SNES and GameCube, but the company increasingly doesn't give a fuck when it comes to designing their gear.
Let's start with the N64. I figure that this is when Nintendo figured their fans would buy anything
as long as it had some kind of Pokemon tie-in. How much market research does it take to figure out that your target audience only has two hands
? Not much, and they still designed the controller to look like some kind of Klingon melee weapon rather than be anything where a human being can use the thing all at once. I know one guy who's so hardcore he thinks it was the best controller ever... but all the cool kids made proper fun of that piece of crap. When Nintendo got serious by giving the GameCube some solid processors and a goofy-looking but entirely functional controller (Z key aside) I was happy to pick one up for some sweet split-screen action on PSO.
Unfortunately it wasn't a case of "lesson learned". The second coming of the N64 controller was a lot more successful than I ever would have imagined. You might recognize it:
I went there
Yeah, I think the most successful game platform in the history of forever is so mis-designed that no human being should have been able to imagine it in the first place. Let's start with all the problems of the N64 controller. Now how about you hold a stylus while juggling between the crosspad, face buttons, and touch input. Just because it hasn't become a proper clusterfuck yet, let's give it one more screen than your eyes can focus on at any moment.
I guess the DS would be my platform of choice if I suddenly had a chameleon's head, letting me jab at the touchscreen with my tongue while simultaneously monitoring two displays.
While we're on the subject of Nintendo products assuming their customers have bizarre mutations...
that sure as hell isn't my hand
You would think game controller design would be a pretty well-defined science at this point. Historically only Atari should be able to position 4 game-related buttons on a 3D surface such that a player can only conveniently hit two of them... but here we have the most popular console of the day featuring a crosspad that's brutally uncomfortable compared to any other crosspad except maybe the DS, and has half its buttons located so badly that the fastest way to hit them is by fellating the controller.
Holy crap I just had the best game idea ever. Gonna cut this short.