They are probably the most vital part about video games. Without these necessary components, you wouldn't be able to explore other worlds and would be stuck watching the idiot box. But they were made and now they are your problem.
What do you expect out of your controller? The most obvious is comfort. If you can't hold a controller well or feel good about the required (finger) movements, you will be turned off of gaming. Along with this goes the whole button placement deal. If you can't reach it, it doesn't work. Some other factors include cords. Corded controllers provide guaranteed connection while sacrificing freedom. At least you don't have to recharge. Of course there is rumble. You complain when it isn't there and never pay attention to it when it is there. I never notice it unless it is freaking out on me.
But these all are child's play to the biggest problem of them all. If the control actually frickin' works more than five frickin' minutes! That's right, the controller has to be able to let me play the game without unnecessary added side effects. Is that too much to ask for?
I am on my sixth Xbox 360 controller. Not cause I love them but because they are manufactured to suck. Actually the number is four, here is how it went down.
Initially I got two controllers with my Xbox 360. They worked and worked well. I was happy, until some stupid Halo 3
kids stole my controllers out of my zipped up bag. Really, who does that? I was able to get one of the controllers replaced. That makes my third controller. But I had to immediately take it back since the left stick would randomly drift left for no apparent reason. Hooray for brand new controllers!
So, now I am set with my fourth controller. Many months go by and it does work like it should. Then I notice something with it. It first became apparent with the X-Guide button. It was hard to press. I would press it and press it and it was hard to tell if it was pressed, often causing the menu to pop up and go away immediately leading to more frustration. Wierd, huh? Then the other buttons started to do the same. What the heck? I wash my hands before I touch my controllers, no grease, no dirt, no nothing. I don't get it. Why are they sticking? Bad manufacturing? It still works but time to get number five for multiplayer with the brother and a better working controller.
I pick up a new controller. It works well and feels great. Except now it is starting to act like controller three. Is there a spring issue with these suckers? Time to take it back and now I am on controller six. I supposed you could say I have only been through four controllers but I paid for the ones that were stolen and could only assume they stole it out of my zipped bag cause their old controllers stopped working. Screw that! If I buy something, I want it to work and not only for a short period of time.
That was all about Xbox360 and Microsoft, but that's cause I have not had trouble with other controllers. My two PS3 and two PS2 controllers still work perfectly. No loose springs or buttons that stick. All my Wii/GameCube controllers still work (what's left of them, stupid Smash Bros. thieves!). My N64 controllers still work along with my NES and Super NES controllers.
A testament to the strength of Super NES controllers was when I rented Mortal Kombat
when it first came out. This game help attributed to my hate of fighters. I know I am not very good at them now so I don't play them but I didn't know it then. I would get so upset over a loss against the computer that the controller turned into a weapon. I literally took hold of the cord and swung the controller into the couch. Not the soft cushion part, but the hard wooden frame at the end of it. I eventually cracked off part of the controller.
Needless to say I never played that game again and I got into a little trouble. But to this day, I still have that Super NES controller and it STILL
works perfectly fine. I might have even busted it out to play Chrono Trigger
two years ago.
Oh I forgot, there are two other examples of controllers not working that aren't 360 related. My Wavebird that just randomly stop sending a decent signal out further than 10 inches (ask your mom) and a third party wireless Guitar Hero guitar for PS2 which randomly stopped working as well. No clue why, just blaming it on third party BS.
Moral of the story, we need controls that are comfort in our hands with the appropriate buttons and that actually work longer than a month! MS, stop making sucky hardware, stick to software.