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Hardware What controller innovations do you want to see in the future?

Jubenhimer

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Game Controllers are always evolving. Going from a Joystick and a Single button of the days of the Atari 2600, to complex devices with a wide array of buttons, analog sticks, triggers, motion sensors, touch inputs, feedback motors, and video/screenshot sharing features.

But what comes next? What kind of technology or feature do you think, should be explored by controllers in the future, allowing for new kinds of input and immersion? Prior to the Switch, Nintendo patented a controller that swapped the L and R buttons with Clickable, analog scroll wheels.


I actually think this would be a simple and welcome addition to controllers, especially when using things like a Sniper Rifle in shooters. Being able to move the wheel to zoom in on a target, combined with precise gyro aim would be killer.

Another radical idea for a new controller feature (and I don't know if the tech for this is available yet) but what if a controller can change it's weight? Like the device physically feeling lighter, or heavier depending on in game actions, as well as shift that weight to different locations on the controller.

For example, say you're carrying something in a game, like heavy boulder. The Controller can adjust its physical weight to make it heavier, creating the sensation that you're carrying a massive, heavy object. Or, you're in a racing game, and when you steer a car, the controller can shift its weight in different areas, creating a sense of resistance and friction like a real steering wheel. This combined with current HD haptics, would be a goldmine for Immersion I feel.
 
Nov 2, 2019
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Another radical idea for a new controller feature (and I don't know if the tech for this is available yet) but what if a controller can change it's weight? Like the device physically feeling lighter, or heavier depending on in game actions, as well as shift that weight to different locations on the controller.

For example, say you're carrying something in a game, like heavy boulder. The Controller can adjust its physical weight to make it heavier, creating the sensation that you're carrying a massive, heavy object.
Dark matter tech.

Neat.

I'd settle for a battery that lasts more than two hours. Maybe haptic control sticks.
 
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Zannegan

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Feb 20, 2018
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Back paddles/grip buttons are at the top of my list. I never want to take my thumb off the control stick to jump, go prone, or reload.

If they can get the feel right, I'd also like to see the right stick replaced with a zero-latency touchpad to give us something akin to mouselook on consoles, though I think that would be very controversial with the crowd that has grown up on dual analogue + aim-assist.

Barring a touchpad, I'd like to see all controllers come with a gyro as a standard. Games shouldn't require people to use it, but letting players tweak their aim with gyro controls (at least while ADS) is a big improvement over sticks alone.

Basically, keep it comfortable and familiar, but please let us start moving past the basic dual analogue setup.
 
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Matt_Fox

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Jul 24, 2019
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Rear paddles that actually do something new in game (rather than just being clones of other buttons, like they are on the Elite).

Let me make a paddle a hot key for health potions in Skyrim, or throw a lasso in Red Dead Redemption.
 

Rbk_3

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I would like to see an Xbox Elite controller that isn’t a fragile piece of shit
 

dave_d

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I'd like to see somebody try a mini trackball somewhere on the right for FPS. Not sure how well it would work though.
 

Dontero

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Mouse is pretty much the same for past 20+ years. Once most perfect form is found there is no reason to upgrade wheel with another corner.

Current pad setup is pretty much final and will be like that.

The people who think motion controlers will replace them are idiots. If that was the case we would already be all using them but somehow we are not. Because motion controlers are shitty.
 
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Resistive Analog sticks. So if your playing a game where your moving your character through a swamp you will actually feel it in the sticks.

Another feature that I would like to see brought back are pressure sensitive buttons.
 
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jigglet

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I have no idea, but whatever it takes to give mouse-like aiming. I'm sure there's an innovation out there to be found, the problem is everyone seems content to just continue with the status quo. Gyro controls are close but not perfect. I feel there's one innovation out there that no one has thought of that will blow this wide open.
 

Mista

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Nothing. I want my controllers simple and without vibration too

Honestly I don't care about those "one time wooow" features.
 

vaibhavpisal

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Jun 10, 2019
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Cross controller compatibility across all 3 platform holders so i can use controller of my choice.

Or layout variations from same manufacturer.
 

Jubenhimer

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The people who think motion controlers will replace them are idiots. If that was the case we would already be all using them but somehow we are not. Because motion controlers are shitty.
Motion controls aren't shitty. The PlayStation and Switch controllers both have Motion sensors, and it's used in every VR platform as well.

They can co-exist with traditional controls, no need for one to canibalize the other. I mean, look at how many people want gyro aiming.
 
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Dontero

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Motion controls aren't shitty. The PlayStation and Switch controllers both have Motion sensors, and it's used in every VR platform as well.

They can co-exist with traditional controls, no need for one to canibalize the other. I mean, look at how many people want gyro aiming.
The playstation controller barely uses it for anything same as switch. And no barely anyone want gyro aiming or even know what it is.

If Gyro aiming was more precise than any physical controler then Armies around the world would be using it constantly and people who play pro gaming also would use it.

Motion controls problems has been and always will be the same. Lack of feedback and lack of precision on user end because you add your arms precision rather than just thumbs.
 

Jubenhimer

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The playstation controller barely uses it for anything same as switch. And no barely anyone want gyro aiming or even know what it is.
Nearly every Switch shooter supports gyro aim. Many people want it. Saying they don't is just being ignorant to reality.

If Gyro aiming was more precise than any physical controler then Armies around the world would be using it constantly and people who play pro gaming also would use it.
It is. Nearly ever player in Splatoon for example uses gyro aiming. It's more precise than stiff and fiddly stick-only aim. And many people who use a controller on PC configure gyro in shooters.

Motion controls problems has been and always will be the same. Lack of feedback and lack of precision on user end because you add your arms precision rather than just thumbs.
Both of these are false. Motion aiming is far more precise, and rumble already gives you feedback on the game.
 
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Wonko_C

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The playstation controller barely uses it for anything same as switch. And no barely anyone want gyro aiming or even know what it is.

If Gyro aiming was more precise than any physical controler then Armies around the world would be using it constantly and people who play pro gaming also would use it.

Motion controls problems has been and always will be the same. Lack of feedback and lack of precision on user end because you add your arms precision rather than just thumbs.
We often take modern controllers for granted, but put someone who has never played a game try to play a shooter and they'll have trouble just moving the cursor to shoot. Put the same non-gamer in a VR shooter with motion controls and they will naturally know how to aim and shoot.
 

Skifi28

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Jun 28, 2020
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I'm not sure I would call it an innovation, but something needs to be done about reliability. I'm on my third DS4, Xbox one controllers are notorious for having issues (elites even more so) while I don't even want to talk about the switch. Meanwhile I still have original ps2 controllers that work fine as well as launch 360 and DS3s with no issues at all. Let's get back to that please.
 
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Nikana

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How are we still at the point that my controller cant last 80 hours easy? Like...Nintendo can do it pretty well, why are Sony and Microsoft so far behind, especially Sony. I had to charge the friggin thing 3 times during my TLOU II playthrough.
 
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Arkam

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Here, Now and maybe later
Current game pads are pretty solid functionally. As some have mentioned there is still a bit l ft to refine, like resistive sticks and pressure sensitive buttons.

But I can help but feel like actual dual joysticks would be versatile than dual thumb sticks. mount them on a base that can either hold them in place (side by side) or a free motion mode where they can be freely rotated around the base. Can haveartificial locks and motorized drive to presets. One minute you are running and gunning (side by side) but run out of bullets and pull out your bow (tandem) then after all you arrows are gone it’s hand to hand combat (free motion)

Just a thought
 

BusierDonkey

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How are we still at the point that my controller cant last 80 hours easy? Like...Nintendo can do it pretty well, why are Sony and Microsoft so far behind, especially Sony. I had to charge the friggin thing 3 times during my TLOU II playthrough.
Current battery tech isn't there yet but it's getting better.

The Wavebird went forever on a set of AAs, but at the cost of rumble.

My Elite S2 controller routinely goes about 50 hours between charges playing mostly racing games where all four rumble motors are going off almost constantly, it's actually never died on me since launch day. It's also $170. If Microsoft were to put that battery in the pack-in version of the controller it would be the longest lasting pack-in controller on a single charge since the Wavebird but the controller price would likely go up. I never had an issue using Eneloops which last about 20 hours /charge in my S model Xbone controller.

My Switch Pro and WiiU Pro controllers never last more than 20, but I own doubles so one can charge while I use the other.

My DS3 Would go for a few days, maybe 15-20 hours and the DS4 is a DS4.
 

DunDunDunpachi

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A return to one-handed gaming. Wiimote was so ahead of its time it's not even funny. Give me a "simple" controller with 75% of the functionality and an akimbo add-on for the more complex games. I wish we could evolve beyond twin sticks.
 

Come On Tars

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Oct 22, 2018
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For pc. I want something like a razer orboweaver game pad with a true analogue joystick. Smooth character movement and mouse precision aiming.