Video Game Controllers | Gamepads

Video game controllers, also known as gamepads, are handheld input accessories used to interact with video game consoles. Consisting of varied sets of buttons with specific functions and complexities suited for each generation of gaming, game controllers typically include a directional button (D-Pad) for the left thumb, buttons for the right thumb, shoulder buttons (bumpers or triggers) for additional fingers, and assistive ‘Start’, ‘Select’, and ‘Home’ buttons at the center of the input. Since the introduction of early video gaming joysticks and paddles, video game controllers have evolved over time with new features such as additional buttons, additional analog thumbsticks, wireless capabilities, and three-dimensional sensors and accelerometers for an increased level of interaction—as seen in the Wii Remote.

Who invented the video game controller?

The first appearance of video game control can be traced to the switches and toggles used in the 1962 game ‘Spacewar!’, which would lead to the development of arcade machines with similar button-based controls. The first home-based video game controller were the pair of dial controllers included with the 1972 Magnavox Odyssey.

How do you use a video game controller on PC?

While not all video game controllers are cross compatible with out-of-box use on the PC, more modern controllers, those with Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, can be paired to the PC device by accessing your operating systems ‘System Preferences’ and ‘Bluetooth Accessories’ and selecting the discovered controller to be paired.

What is the best video game controller?

Though there isn’t a ‘best’ controller, many gamers have preferences for their favorite gaming controllers. Sony’s most recent DualShock 4 is often considered to be the most comfortable video game controller to hold, while Microsoft’s Xbox One Elite controller may be preferred for their responsive triggers and joysticks. Other gaming controllers have famously helped change the industry by adding innovations like the freedom of the Wii Remote, joystick of the N64 Controller, and feedback of the original Dualshock Controller.

Video Game Controllers

Nintendo Switch
.547” | 13.9 mm; 1.13” | 28.7 mm (Total)
3D
Wii U GamePad
1.6” | 40.6 mm; 1.98” | 50.2 mm (Total)
3D

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Nintendo 64 Controller

The Nintendo 64 Controller is the fifth generation gamepad manufactured by Nintendo featuring an M shape with directional pads, control sticks, and ten buttons. The gamepad is the predecessor of the GameCube controller, designed for the Nintendo 64 home video game console, and released in 1996.

The M shape design enables users to hold the controller in three different positions: two outer grips that promote the use of the D-pad, center and right-hand grip promoting the use of the single control stick, and, at the center and left-hand grip. The Nintendo 64 controller became the first game controller to use the analog stick technology and also available in unique colors and variants such as the LodgeNet variant released for various hotel game-playing services.

The Nintendo 64 Controller has a height of 6.01” (152.6 mm), width of 6.3” (160 mm), depth of 2.625” (66.7 mm), and approximate weight of 10.6 oz (.3 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Nintendo 64 Controller measured with height, width, and depth
The Nintendo 64 Controller is the fifth generation gamepad manufactured by Nintendo featuring an M shape with directional pads, control sticks, and ten buttons. The gamepad is the predecessor of the GameCube controller, designed for the Nintendo 64 home video game console, and released in 1996.

The Nintendo 64 Controller has a height of 6.01” (152.6 mm), width of 6.3” (160 mm), depth of 2.625” (66.7 mm), and approximate weight of 10.6 oz (.3 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Nintendo 64 Controller measured with height, width, and depth
Nintendo 64 Controller
Height:
6.01” | 152.6 mm
Width:
6.3” | 160 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.625” | 66.7 mm
Weight:
10.6 oz | .3 kg
Area:
Designer
Nintendo
Released
1996

Drawings include:
Nintendo 64 Controller front elevation, top, side

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Xbox One Controller

The Xbox One Controller is the successor of the Xbox 360 Controller and works with Xbox Series X and Xbox One home video game consoles, Window-based PC, and other operating systems like Linux, Mac, and Android. The Xbox One Controller has had three revisions in 2015, 2016, and 2020 but still maintains the layout of the Xbox 360 controller with a revised shape and redesign that includes a trigger, analog sticks, and shoulder buttons.

The Xbox One Controller also has a premium version, Elite Wireless Controller marketed to professional gamers and boasts superior features such as interchangeable parts and programmable functionalities and accessories such as stereo headset adapter, chat pad, and play and charge kit.

The Xbox One Controller has a height of 4.01” (101.9 mm), width of 6.02” (152.9 mm), depth of 2.4” (61 mm), and approximate weight of 9.9 oz (.28 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Xbox One Controller measured with height, width, and depth
The Xbox One Controller is the successor of the Xbox 360 Controller and works with Xbox Series X and Xbox One home video game consoles, Window-based PC, and other operating systems like Linux, Mac, and Android. The Xbox One Controller has had three revisions in 2015, 2016, and 2020.

The Xbox One Controller has a height of 4.01” (101.9 mm), width of 6.02” (152.9 mm), depth of 2.4” (61 mm), and approximate weight of 9.9 oz (.28 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Xbox One Controller measured with height, width, and depth
Xbox One Controller
Height:
4.01” | 101.9 mm
Width:
6.02” | 152.9 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.4” | 61 mm
Weight:
9.9 oz | .28 kg
Area:
Designer
Microsoft
Released
2013

Drawings include:
Xbox One Controller front elevation, top, side

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Xbox Controller

The Xbox Controller is the sixth generation video game controller released by Microsoft in 2000, primarily for Microsoft’s Xbox home video game console. The original controller was called the “Duke” or “Fatty” and received lots of criticism for its bulky and oversized nature that made it feature in the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2008 for being the biggest controller.

Today, it spots a smaller and light structure ideal for smaller hands with Xbox systems available in all the territories it is sold and the larger controller being available as an optional accessory. Its features include two analog triggers, dual vibration motors, two analog sticks, back and start button, and digital directional pads.

The Xbox Controller has a height of 5.5” (139.7 mm), width of 7” (177.8 mm), depth of 2.7” (68.6 mm), and approximate weight of 19.4 oz (.55 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Xbox Controller measured with height, width, and depth
The Xbox Controller is the sixth generation video game controller released by Microsoft in 2000, primarily for Microsoft’s Xbox home video game console. The original controller was called the “Duke” or “Fatty” and received lots of criticism for its bulky and oversized nature.

The Xbox Controller has a height of 5.5” (139.7 mm), width of 7” (177.8 mm), depth of 2.7” (68.6 mm), and approximate weight of 19.4 oz (.55 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Xbox Controller measured with height, width, and depth
Xbox Controller
Height:
5.5” | 139.7 mm
Width:
7” | 177.8 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.7” | 68.6 mm
Weight:
19.4 oz | .55 kg
Area:
Designer
Microsoft
Released
2001

Drawings include:
Xbox Controller front elevation, top, side

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Sega Genesis Controller - 3 Button

The Sega Genesis Controller 3 Button is the official control pad made for Sega Mega Drive and released in 1988 for the Japanese market and 1989 for the North American market. It spots three control buttons on the left and D-pad on the right side.

The control pad evolved from the Master System control pad, replacing the numbers on the buttons with letters and including an extra two face buttons. The Sega Genesis Controller 3 Button was the first ergonomically designed control pad for the user’s hands, having a rounded structure and buttons placed in more comfortable to reach positions and in alphabetical order.

The Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller has an estimated height of 3.86” (98 mm), estimated width of 6.5” (165 mm), estimated depth of 1.6” (40.6 mm), and approximate weight of 5.6 oz (.16 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller with estimated height, width, and depth labeled in elevation
The Sega Genesis Controller 3 Button is the official control pad made for Sega Mega Drive and released in 1988 for the Japanese market and 1989 for the North American market. It spots three control buttons on the left and D-pad on the right side.

The Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller has an estimated height of 3.86” (98 mm), estimated width of 6.5” (165 mm), estimated depth of 1.6” (40.6 mm), and approximate weight of 5.6 oz (.16 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller with estimated height, width, and depth labeled in elevation
Sega Genesis Controller - 3 Button
Height:
3.86” | 98 mm (Estimated)
Width:
6.5” | 165 mm (Estimated)
Length:
Depth:
1.6” | 40.6 mm (Estimated)
Weight:
5.6 oz | .16 kg (Estimated)
Area:
Designer
Sega
Released
1988

Drawings include:
Sega Genesis 3 Button Controller front elevation, top, side

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Atari CX40 Joystick

The Atari CX40 Joystick became the first cross-platform game controller for the Atari video computer system. It replaced the CX10 and was widely used as the primary input device for games on the Atari computer system. Because of its popularity, the Atari CX40 Joystick has remained an iconography in the video game industry and ingredient in many video game discussions.

There were also adaptors made for Apple II and IBM PC. It featured one button and eight directional-stick. However, the Atari CX40 Joystick was not ergonomically designed for the user’s hands. It caused fatigue problems that came from repeated firing and holding down the buttons for extended periods.

The Atari CX40 Joystick has a height of 5” (127 mm), width of 4” (101.6 mm), depth of 4” (101.6 mm), and approximate weight of 8.8 oz (.25 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Atari CX40 Joystick measured with height, width, and depth
The Atari CX40 Joystick became the first cross-platform game controller for the Atari video computer system. It replaced the CX10 and was widely used as the primary input device for games on the Atari computer system. The Atari CX40 Joystick has remained an iconography in the video game industry.

The Atari CX40 Joystick has a height of 5” (127 mm), width of 4” (101.6 mm), depth of 4” (101.6 mm), and approximate weight of 8.8 oz (.25 kg).

Set of dimensioned elevation drawings of the Atari CX40 Joystick measured with height, width, and depth
Atari CX40 Joystick
Height:
5” | 127 mm
Width:
4” | 101.6 mm
Length:
Depth:
4” | 101.6 mm
Weight:
8.8 oz | .25 kg
Area:
Designer
Atari
Released
1977

Drawings include:
Atari CX40 Joystick front elevation, top

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