Above, from left to right, are images of 4 controllers; N64, Gamecube, PS2 and xbox.
Now the shape of each controller matters little as you quickly become accustomed to them, but what matters is the buttons.
Now look a bit more closely, and in particular, the button that the left thumb covers – below I’ve highlighted the PS2 and xbox areas concerned.
The PS2, in common with the N64 and the Gamecube, has one large button, but this has been housed in such a way that if you want to go left, you press Left, up and you go Up, and you need to press both to get the diagonal. In pressing both, you will feel the impression of two buttons on your thumb. The buttons are also significantly raised from the controller housing.
Now look at the xbox controller. It’s still one large button, but no effort whatsoever has been made to house it in a similar way to the ones above. None. It is all too easy (and thumbs aren’t small) to press a direction, but for the internal workings (it’s a circular rubber thing with contacts on the underside) to also make an additional, and unwanted contact. This of course results in something happening on screen with you did not intend. And this spoils the enjoyment of the game.
A controller should not get in the way of a game. A controller may well take some getting used to, but, in a game that requires a huge amount of fast keypresses, and when those keypresses are meant to have a precise effect, the buttons should do precisely what the user wants, and it is not to be expected that the player has to slow their gaming to be even more precise with their button pressing.
That is BAD DESIGN.
No other ‘next-gen’ console has this stupid D-pad configuration.
Seems that M$ had too many meetings about the shade of green for the x and not enough about the controller.
And no, this is not a M$ dig for the sake of it. If the design were good – or even just adequate – I wouldn’t be bitching about it. And see the post below, I do think I am in a position to be able to judge this for myself. (Not that this will stop someone else saying that millions of xbox owners cannot be wrong … yeah … course not eh ?)
Shame there aren’t any decent 3rd party controllers …. yet.