Over the course of the history of the video game industry, few controllers — first-party controllers, especially — have ever been able to measure up to the sheer strangeness of the accessory Nintendo revealed as its input device for what was then known as the Nintendo Ultra 64. According to Nintendo Power magazine, the shape alone was so bizarre that they could not model it by computer, but instead had to be sculpted from clay.

Perhaps the most significant attribute was the three-pronged “Batarang-like” shape. The idea was simple enough: By holding it like a standard controller via the left and right grips, players could play more traditional fare with the Dpad and buttons. For games which made use of the new analog control stick, one could simply grim the center prong instead of the left grip, using the bottom-mounted Z button trigger in place of the L shoulder button. And in the odd instance of a developer deciding to perhaps forgo the buttons in favor of focusing on the control stick and Dpad, one could just take hold of the left and center protrusions.

In theory, it was quite simple. In practice, not everyone was able to pick up on it as easily as previous controllers. Anecdotally, some would try to hold it normally, attempting to stretch their thumb past the Dpad to reach the control stick, and others have been known to adopt something of a claw-like stance with their hand to try to reach everything. Some figured it out with time, while others stayed the course with what worked for them.

That said, it should be interesting to see how a new generation (and some of the old) will react, should Nintendo decide to continue their Classic line as predicted with a miniature version of their third home console.

David Oxford David Oxford (18 Posts)

Lover of fine foods and felines, as well as comics, toys, and... oh yeah, video games. David Oxford has written about the latter for years, including for Nintendo Power, Nintendo Force, Mega Visions, and he even wrote the book on Mega Man!