And since apparently all I can do is write top five lists that four people will understand, I'm going to go ahead and write a top five list that four people will understand. Enjoy!
Before the comfortability (yeah, I made that up) of a controller could be considered a major selling point in the then-nonexistent console wars, a little Japanese company named Nintendo that made arcade cabinets decided to unleash their version of a home videogame system onto North American shores in 1985. In the years after its arrival, the reported cases of carpal tunnel syndrome went up by nearly 70%.
I completely made that up, but my point is that the NES controller sucked. Sure, some of the greatest games of all time were played using this little fucker here, but your hands HATED you after the 67th straight hour of Super Mario Bros. There were just so many design flaws. Something as indistinct as human hands were not meant to hold something as distinct as a rectangle; plain and simple. It just didn't work. Luckily, they kinda, sorta, maybe fixed this with the SNES. Or rather, they just sorta added circles to the lower corners. Either way, it was a massive fucking improvement.
#4: AtariOkay, I understand that this was one of the first systems and all, but seriously? A joystick and a SINGLE button? Now we have controllers with sixteen buttons and four joysticks, and even that isn't enough. Granted, you didn't really have a lot of action in those early games, but still. I'd at least half-expect the addition of some shoulder buttons or something. You know, to...shoot things with? Pixel-y things, like that blob that sorta looks like an alligator. Or that blob that looks kinda like Danny DeVito. You know, things that you'd shoot if they were coming at you at a rate of 3 PPS (pixels per second).
I'm going to let a hypothetical father/son conversation express my feelings for this particular controller.
Father: "What the fuck is this shit? A calculator?"
Son: "No, dad. That's the controller for my ColecoVision. It's a video ga-"
Father: "What kind of faggot game wants you to add? Are queers makin' games?"
Son: "No, you use the contr-"
Father: "Are you a queer, boy?"
Son: "No, dad."
Father: "Damn straight you ain't." *takes a swig of beer* If I ever find you fuckin' another boy I'll skin you both and make shoes outta ya. You keep that shit in the fuckin' Navy. Remember that.
Mother: *muffled sobbing heard from the bedroom*
#2: XBOX (1st generation)
I'm not quite sure who they had act as a stand-in for the average human hand when they made this controller (because, you know, that's how controllers are designed), but he/she must have had some fucking massive He-Man hands or something. Have you seen how dwarfed hands are when holding this thing? It's as big as a Caddy's steering wheel.
I'm (hardly) exaggerating, but you get the idea. They fixed it with the second generation, released under a year later (assumedly because peoples' hands didn't mutate like Microsoft wanted them to), and perfected it with the XBOX 360's controller; but hardcore HALO fans will always remember their severe forms of Carpal Tunnel they developed after 17-hour playing sessions.
#1: DreamCastIf aliens someday come to Earth long after the physical remnants of the wiped-out human race have deteriorated, and use old, still-existing plastic items in an attempt to imagine what humans once looked like, they are totally fucked if they find a DreamCast controller.
What sick, twisted human being designed this insane piece of absolute mindfucked-ness? How the fuck are you supposed to hold this? Are we supposed to disjoint our thumbs in order to do something as simple as hit the start button? Why does it have a port for a memory card with a screen? Why is the cord coming out of the bottom?
The only way this could be more uncomfortable is if a giant, shaky robotic hand came out of the bottom and forcefully jacked you off while you played Jet Set Radio Future. Sans lube. No wonder this system failed so miserably. Great job, Sega.