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5 Horrible Console Controllers

In the ever-changing world of videogames, innovative moves are often taken to try to stay fresh and new. Stagnation can become dangerous for companies trying to turn a profit. That being said, sometimes innovations are less of a hit, and more like… missing the broadside of a barn when you were only a few feet away. The following are just five of the products that majorly missed the mark.

#5—The Dreamcast Controller

Sega’s Dreamcast met a quick end, with many factors at play that lead to its demise. But I personally feel one of them has always been the design of its controller. Coming into an age where controllers were already beginning to adopt a dual-joystick design, the Dreamcast shipped with only one. It also had a design that was more favorable to the hefty-handed, not children or those with average-sized hands. It’s not even necessarily that the controller itself was horrible; it just came a day late and a dollar short to the party.

#4—Wii U Tablet

Nintendo is going to show up on this list a few times, and that’s because sometimes their eagerness for innovation gets away from them. Before the success of the Nintendo Switch, and riding on the heels of the Nintendo Wii, came the Nintendo Wii U. The selling point of the Wii U was… a massive, bulky, hideous tablet that served as a second screen and was touted as something you could play in a different room. Your game didn’t have to stop when you went around the house! Except… yes it did, because the range dropped incredibly quickly. It may have been a precursor to the Switch, but man it was a painful one.

#3—Nintendo 64 Controller

Iconic, yet clunky, the Nintendo 64’s controller was an awkward experience at best, whose layout often left buttons unused due to how wide the controller was.

Were you supposed to hold it by the center? By the left side? Who knows! Not even the developers seemed to know half the time, the d-pad being mostly abandoned. And when it wasn’t abandoned, it threw people for a loop after so many games had relied on the analog stick. While the Nintendo 64 was great, and we all made due with this controller, it was definitely among the worst controller designs I’ve ever experienced.

#2—The Xbox Kinect

Imagine now, a hands-free way to control your games. Imagine a new level of immersion that brings you into the game, something even better than VR, as it doesn’t rely on hand devices.

Sounds great, right?

Well, it wasn’t.

It was the Xbox Kinect, with terrible microphone integration and motion controls to play the Kinect-supported games. Even the slightest deviation from it would result in nonsense. Sometimes, nonsense was the only way to handle some of the titles, and you’d be flailing around just hoping to succeed because the controls were so inconsistent. It was expensive garbage, with not even a redeeming collector’s sentiment to it.

Which brings us to the most gloriously awful controller, to have ever existed.

#1—The Nintendo Power Glove

Take in the visual.

Take it in with all of it’s late 80’s glory.

The Nintendo Power Glove was one of the first attempts at a virtual reality experience, altering the way you played the game but not necessarily in an effective way. You would wear the glove with one hand, and games would respond with varying success to the movement of your fingers. In actuality, most games didn’t even use the movement features, relying instead on the wrist-mounted buttons. The Power Glove is a neat blast from the past, and good for a collector, but beyond that it’s useless. It has more use now as a neat conversation piece than it ever had as an actual controller.

It’s hideous, and I love it.