N64 controller may vary in color
Nintendo was faced
with the challenge of designing a controller specifically for 3D games.
They wanted to introduce analog control but didn't know how well it
would be recieved. Would game developers still want the traditional
8-direction control pad or would they switch to analog?
design of the Nintendo 64 controller is likely the result of these
questions. Nintendo came up with a 3 pronged solution. Hold the
controller by the two outer handles for digital control, or hold it by
the middle and right handles for analog control. The fact that they put
the analog thumb stick in the center of the controller suggests that
even they had doubts that analog would catch on.
innovations are the four yellow C buttons - specifically for
controlling game viewpoint, and the Z trigger which is actually
underneath the center of the controller - so the player can press it
even when holding the controller by the center handle. Added to that
was the usual two shoulder buttons, Start, A and B.
innovation is the expansion bay underneath the controller. This allows
each player to have their own memory card, Rumble Pak (first appearance
of vibration function in a console controller), or one of the other
expansions that was later released.
All this innovation,
unfortunately, tended to throw off players. If you handed the
controller to someone who wasn't used to it, it was fairly likely that
they would hold it by the wrong handles for the intended control method
or that they were unaware the Z button even existed.
and share your thoughts.