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29 Controls of Christmas
Xbox 360 Controller
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 20, 2008   |   Episode 24 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



Sure you can buy the Xbox 360 Halo Edition, but then your control will look like it was dropped in mud!
Brief Synopsis: After 24 days we've finally made it to the current generation of video game console. After looking at everything from the uncomfortable 8-bit pads to the crazy, over-the-top analog sticks of the 1990s, it's nice to finally talk about a control I use on a daily basis. This Xbox 360 control is the culmination of everything Microsoft learned from the original Xbox control debacle. They opted against releasing two different controls this time, offering only color options instead of size differences. What's more, the small Xbox logo actually does something when you push it this time around, something that was sorely missing from either original Xbox pad. For the most part the control layout is similar to that of the Controller Type S, the only real difference being the missing black and white buttons (which were moved and renamed on the new control). While few would argue with the analog sticks and face buttons, it's the terrible D-pad that generates the most ire from me. It's almost impossible playing a 2D fighting game with the D-pad, and don't even get me started on Pac-Man Championship Edition. The truth is, the D-pad is definitely the weakest part of this control, if they could get that right (and maybe move the headphone jack to the top of the control) this pad would be just about perfect. I suppose Microsoft has to hold back a few improvements for whatever their next control iteration proves to be.

The Style: While the Xbox Controller S felt like it was more function over style, this Xbox 360 control is definitely a stylish little game pad. It's also a bit daunting to new gamers. At least, that's what I keep hearing from Nintendo. Either way, this pad's style is impeccable, from the smooth corners to the color scheme to the way the Xbox box logo actually glows. Also impressive is the fact that it's wireless ... assuming you didn't go cheap and buy one of the Xbox 360

Although Microsoft made a number of improvements, the Xbox 360 control is still not ideal for cat paws!
Arcade units. The device is both comfortable and easy on the eyes, not something I'm used to saying about a Microsoft control. It looks like we've finally made it past the sumo wrestler phase of video game controls. What a relief!

What the 27 Year Old Me Would Say: Hey, this Xbox logo actually is a button this time around. I can push this thing. See, this is me pushing it. Push. Push. Push. Oh, what's that, you're playing ... oh shoot, I see what that button does, it pops up an annoying menu. Sorry about that dude, I didn't realize I was affecting your game. Hey, you don't need to be a dick about it, I wasn't doing it on purpose, I just wanted to see what it did. Seriously, there's no need to name call. Okay, that's about enough of that, if you're going to be like that then I'm just going to keep pushing this button. There, see how you like it! Push. Push. Push ...

What I Would Say Now: That's pretty much how my first experience actually went. It was at the 2005 E3, the final carnival-sized event held in the Los Angeles Convention Center. I didn't feel like standing in a long line at Microsoft to get my hands on it, so I decided to check it out at the 2K booth. I walked up to an open control and pushed the button, unaware that the control was connected to some other person's game. I wasn't even looking at the TV, I was just looking at the control and how it fit in my hand. Once I realized I was affecting the guy's game I stopped, but not before he turned it ugly. Thankfully that didn't sour my feelings about the Xbox 360 control, because I've learned to really like this little pad. It's not perfect, but when you use it every day you tend to start looking past the minor gripes and quibbles.

The Xbox 360 Control Haiku:
Wireless controller.
The logo is a button.
Still hate the D-pad!
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