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Member since May 2011 · 2485 posts · Location: Brisbane
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Subject: On Ergonomics
Ergonomics play a huge role in first impressions: picking up a smooth, hand-shaped controller for the first time is a sensual, engaging experience.  Playing with one, though, is where you forget the way it feels and rely solely on how it responds.

There's an interesting case to be made against ergonomics in game controllers.  Some of the very best pads ever made, in terms of pure playability and accuracy, were not what we'd consider ergonomic by any stretch,  while some very comfortable pads were nigh unplayable.

Consider the NES pad: it was basically a d-pad in a box, but for all its square edges it never let the player down.  The Famicom had more rounded edges but wasn't really much more comfortable for it.  These controllers presented the player with inputs that were easy to reach, without trying to be comfortable, and the player rarely had trouble acclimating.   

Then you have controllers like the ALPS pad for the Playstation.  Supremely ergonomic with swooping handles, rubber grips and a smooth d-pad...  And yet its singularly awful to use, the handles, which look and feel incredible, do not place the hands in a good position for playing.  Even worse, the large wobbly d-pad is more comfortable than functional.
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