Game controllers too complicated?

Posted on Monday, Mar 03 2008 @ 02:56 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Sony's worldwide studios exec Phil Harrison and Microsoft's Lionhead studio head Peter Molyneux complain most home console controllers are too complex and put new users off playing games:
"You hand somebody a game controller and it's like you've handed them a live gun or a hand grenade with the pin taken out," commented Harrison during GDC last week.

"We don't use half the buttons on the 360 controller,” admitted Molyneux, "simply because the whole dream I've got is that someone will sit down to play Fable 2 who has never played a game before and they can play with someone who's played games the whole of their lives.

"I wish there wasn't so many buttons on the controller. You have to approach that in design terms by thinking you've only got one button," he added.

Harrison praised Nintendo's Wiimote for being a "non-game centric device" which has bought an element of "democratisation" to controlling videogames. He was also impressed with Apple's iPhone for appealing to a user's natural instincts.

"I saw this first hand a few weeks ago where a two year old was playing with an iPhone and he knows how to get the pictures up of mum and dad. The two year-old then intuitively thought that all electronic devices worked like that," said Harrison. "He's pressing the TV to change channels."

"He's right and the rest of us are wrong – that should be applied universally. Apple should be applauded for that innovation," he added.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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Re: Game controllers too complicated?
by Anonymous on Monday, Mar 03 2008 @ 05:49 CET
Yes they are. However RPG's do need a few odd buttons for spellcasting and special moves.