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.

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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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Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2

The Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 is a control pad made for the Sega Saturn console previously released in 1994. It evolved from the Sega Mega Drive Six Button Control Pad and also referred to as the controller by North American users.

It spots an additional two shoulder buttons which were not available in its predecessor, and subsequent upgrades had 3D control pads included to respond to Nintendo 64’s analog joystick. The Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 is ergonomically designed to offer maximum comfort and use and came in original models for users in distinct parts of the world.

The Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 has a height of 3.39” (86 mm), width of 6.1” (155 mm), depth of 1.8” (45.7 mm), and approximate weight of 9.6 oz (.27 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2 with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation views
The Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 is a control pad made for the Sega Saturn console previously released in 1994. It evolved from the Sega Mega Drive Six Button Control Pad and also referred to as the controller by North American users. It spots an additional two shoulder buttons.

The Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 has a height of 3.39” (86 mm), width of 6.1” (155 mm), depth of 1.8” (45.7 mm), and approximate weight of 9.6 oz (.27 kg).

Dimensioned drawings of the Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2 with height, width, and depth labeled in elevation views
Sega Saturn Controller - Model 2
Height:
3.39” | 86 mm
Width:
6.1” | 155 mm
Length:
Depth:
1.8” | 45.7 mm
Weight:
9.6 oz | .27 kg
Area:
Designer
Sega
Released
1995

Drawings include:
Sega Saturn Controller Model 2 front elevation, top, side

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NES Controller

The NES controller is a gamepad designed for Nintendo Entertainment System with the revised model of the gamepad being rectangular with a nice depth and clickiness, wireless and specifically targeted for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

A Joy-Con-style rail is also available at the top of the gamepad that users can use for pairing and charging the gamepad by slotting the controller into the switch. This moved away from previous models for the NES and Famicom, which had a rectangular brick-like design with a four-button layout and used the cross-sectional joypad. The NES controller is now available only through Switch Online subscription, and you cannot play games not available under Nintendo titles.

The NES Controller has a height of 2.096” (53.2 mm), width of 4.86” (123.4 mm), depth of .6875” (17.5 mm), and approximate weight of 2.6 oz (.07 kg).

Collection of drawings of the NES Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
The NES controller is a gamepad designed for Nintendo Entertainment System with the revised model of the gamepad being rectangular with a nice depth and clickiness, wireless and specifically targeted for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

The NES Controller has a height of 2.096” (53.2 mm), width of 4.86” (123.4 mm), depth of .6875” (17.5 mm), and approximate weight of 2.6 oz (.07 kg).

Collection of drawings of the NES Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
NES Controller
Height:
2.096” | 53.2 mm
Width:
4.86” | 123.4 mm
Length:
Depth:
.6875” | 17.5 mm
Weight:
2.6 oz | .07 kg
Area:
Designer
Nintendo
Released
1983

Drawings include:
NES Controller front elevation, top, side

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DualShock 3 Controller

The DualShock 3 Controller is a seventh-generation gamepad compatible with PlayStation 3 and the successor of the DualShock 2 controller, and the Six-axis announced at the Tokyo games show in 2007.

The DualShock 3 Controller has identical features to the Six-axis but with a force feedback capability and the ability to communicate with the console via USB cable when connected to a USB and not via Bluetooth. There were two public releases of the DualShock 3, slim model PS3 and DualShock 3 (A1), which removed the additional plastic brackets and included slightly revised color schemes.

The DualShock 3 Controller has a height of 3.78” (97 mm), width of 6.2” (160 mm), depth of 2.2” (55 mm), and approximate weight of 6.7 oz (.19 kg).

Collection of drawings of the DualShock 3 Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
The DualShock 3 Controller is a seventh-generation gamepad compatible with PlayStation 3 and the successor of the DualShock 2 controller. The DualShock 3 Controller has identical features to the Six-axis but with a force feedback capability and the ability to communicate via USB cable.

The DualShock 3 Controller has a height of 3.78” (97 mm), width of 6.2” (160 mm), depth of 2.2” (55 mm), and approximate weight of 6.7 oz (.19 kg).

Collection of drawings of the DualShock 3 Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
DualShock 3 Controller
Height:
3.78” | 97 mm
Width:
6.2” | 160 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.2” | 55 mm
Weight:
6.7 oz | .19 kg
Area:
Designer
Sony
Released
2006

Drawings include:
DualShock 3 Controller front elevation, top, side

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GameCube Controller

The GameCube controller is the sixth generation gamepad manufactured by Nintendo and released in 2001 for the GameCube home video game console. The GameCube controller was released together with the GameCube console and as a successor of the Nintendo 64 controller.

Over its lifespan, the controller was available in various colors and revisions such as the WaveBird wireless controller, LodgeNet controller, and White controller, all targeted for different markets. The controller connects to the console via GameCube controller port and has a built-in rumble motor that provides haptic feedback. The only drawback is that it does not have expandable features like its predecessor, Nintendo 64 controller.

The GameCube Controller has a height of 4” (100 mm), width of 5.5” (140 mm), depth of 2.5” (65 mm), and approximate weight of 7.1 oz | (.2 kg).

Collection of drawings of the GameCube Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
The GameCube controller is the sixth generation gamepad manufactured by Nintendo and released in 2001 for the GameCube home video game console. The GameCube controller was released together with the GameCube console and as a successor of the Nintendo 64 controller.

The GameCube Controller has a height of 4” (100 mm), width of 5.5” (140 mm), depth of 2.5” (65 mm), and approximate weight of 7.1 oz | (.2 kg).

Collection of drawings of the GameCube Controller with height, width, and depth dimensions
GameCube Controller
Height:
4” | 100 mm
Width:
5.5” | 140 mm
Length:
Depth:
2.5” | 65 mm
Weight:
7.1 oz | .2 kg
Area:
Designer
Nintendo
Released
2001

Drawings include:
GameCube Controller front elevation, top, side

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