Where do I start?
Hmm, how’s about with a simple fact: You need peripherals in some capacity to play video games, whether it’s a pad, steering wheel or a power glove
hands up who remembers those
these are needed to play the games we love so much. That is unless you can control games with your mind, always an added bonus but I don’t think that patch is out yet.
Join us in our journey into the wonderland that is peripherals… The good the bad and the damn right weird
Nice to know he is taking a more active and useful role in these blogs, think he might be maturing a bit?
… Your face!
So I would just like to point out that I will talk about a lot of peripherals in this post but I’m not going to show pictures of all of them, it would be less of a blog post and more of a slide show, which is not what I intend to do.
Jay; you’re no Dave Gorman, that’s for sure
This is the hotel and this is the room, this is the pool and this is a picture of my feet.
Anyway the whole reason that I chose this subject this time was because of a pad that I got recently. It is a third party controller and it looks an awful lot like a SNES pad, the difference is that it has:
- two thumb sticks
- four shoulder buttons
- it has Bluetooth and syncs to everything I need
Windows, Mac, Android phone and it even syncs to the Nintendo Switch without anything extra like USB dongles and the like
Hang on… You’re telling me that you play Mario Odyssey with a SNES pad?
Yep, you hit the nail right on the head there.
There is just something weird and right about playing modern games, on both Steam and Switch, with a SNES pad. On top of the fact that its surprisingly comfy to hold and use, it has a decently long battery life and it takes less than 2 hours to charge.
Perfect for long journeys when I take my switch with me.
I can see why you wanted to do this post now… well? Get on with it then!
OK, lets get cracking.
So all of the things I say about these peripherals are my opinions only. So you might hate what I find useful, and vice versa.
Playstation PS3/PS4 dual shock controller
Ah the ever so humble Sony controller.
Built-in battery, Sixaxis, light in weight and sturdy in construction
My Dark Souls rage quit moments prove just how sturdy this controller really is
The design for the PS3/PS4 controllers have hardly changed over the years and is instantly recognisable
“Are you playing Nintendo again?” It can’t just be me who gets asked this
and easy to pick up and use. This pad is the staple of many a gamers arsenal in the fight against monsters, Nazis in Call of Duty games, and possible drift kings in racing games.
For me though I find this pad is most useful in FPS games, something about my thumbs not having to move very far when using the pad just makes it easier and more relaxing to play while I’m shooting the ever living crap out of stuff.
Xbox 360/One controller
Given that I got a Xbox 360 before I got the PS3, this has been my main set of consoles for a while; so to say I’ve racked up a tonne of time using this pad is an understatement to be fair.
Just preference at this point I’ll have you know.
Any-road, with the layout not changing that much since the original Xbox came out all those years ago the 360/One pad is again easily recognisable as a second staple in a gamers arsenal.
Jay got me a custom made Xbox One pad for my most recent birthday, and it’s been the main pad I have been using since then. Once again thanks for the pad dude.
Jay: you’re welcome, bro
I use the 360/One pad for a whole lot of games due to the fact that its just so comfy to use, I struggle with it on FPS games due to the left thumb stick being higher up on the pad but apart from that Its mainly my go to controller.
Custom pad? Is it just the look of the thing or does it have extra features? Turbo or double tap by chance?
Admittedly yes It does have a few of those features, however in my defence
As I was saying: in my defence I don’t tend to play any multiplayer games, I don’t enter tournaments and to be honest I don’t know how to activate most of the features on the pad.
That’s just the plain vanilla stuff we know about. What about the weird and wonderful side of peripherals? Surely you should know about those right?
All in good time my man.
Tobii Eye Tracker
This is a little device for the PC and gaming laptop users out there who want something a little different instead of splashing out on VR headsets. It is essentially, in looks at least, a sensor bar you attach to your monitor that tracks your eyes. How is this useful you ask?
Oh pantomime I got this… How is it useful? HE’S BEHIND Y
Stop that right now, stop that its just too silly!
Any-road what the Tobii does is track your eye movement and translate that into either camera movements in the game you’re playing, or to move the cursor around you desktop when you not playing a game.
So far the only game I’ve seen it used on is Elite Dangerous
man I’ve got to go back on that game
You can navigate, lets say during a dogfight, and look at the other ship freely while battling it. It sounds a bit odd, but having that feature available mid fight will no doubt help in hardened space battles.
Logitech G Saitek Pro Flight X56 Rhino
Like something you would find in an episode of Battle Star Galactica, this flight stick takes up a lot of room and takes a while to set up, but the immersion you get from using this in something like Elite Dangerous
what I use it for
is amazing. Just a quick thing to mention, I would like to apologise to a good friend of mine
you know who you are
for not play Elite as much as I should have recently.
That’s a bad friend!
Give over you!
Any-road this is a nice piece of kit to have if you have the time to invest in games like Elite and you have to spare money
Jay: what’s “spare money”?
It can light up in all manner of different colours, has a ton of switches and you can use foot pedals with it to immerse yourself fully
Flight helmet optional, Red leader standing by!
Something I really recommend if you want to improve your immersion.
The Nintendo PowerGlove!
Ever want to control a game on the NES using one arm? Well Nintendo had you covered back in the day.
Wanted by collectors the world over, this controller/peripheral/fashion accessory was hard to use and bulky, but by hell did it make you feel like some sort of space warrior just wearing it.
I remember using one just the once, at a friends house back in the day. I was younger and a lot smaller then so the actual glove went almost all the way up my entire arm, to much laughter of everyone.
I do plan one one day having one of these devices to use on my NES and to try and play something Like Power Blade with it.
Jay: we’ve written about Power Blade before
And I thought I had a screw loose!
To my knowledge there have been a slack handful of peripherals like this released other consoles. The only one I can think of is the device release for the PSX which again I had a chance to use while I tried to play Tekken 2.
Cue: a smile on Jay’s face.
I, for one, can’t play racing games to save my life. Unless I have a steering wheel and pedals to help me along, that is. As well as the extra level of immersion, just the feel of something like the real thing helps me get in the zone to take first place and beat the opposition.
Whether its a hand held steering wheel (like when playing a racing game on the Wii, holding the remote on a side like), or its a full racing wheel with a fancy name on it, just the feedback and feel of the wheel is enough to make anyone feel like there hurtling towards the finish line.
Why would Jay be smiling?
For a few reasons, my man. The first is because its not just car racing that steering wheels can be used on, Manx TT. Right Jay?
Yes. Jay and I used to play Manx TT Superbike on the Saturn with a controller and a steering wheel, quite the odd experience.
Jay: for another weird experience with Manx TT, click here
And the other reason is because before I got a second pad for my Saturn back in the day, Jay and I figured out that you could use the Saturn steering wheel and a second controller on Virtua Fighter.
A steering wheel!? You didn’t!
Oh yes we did, taking it turns because the pad was the advantage we would spend hours battling each other using the pad and a steering wheel. Not just Virtua Fighter either, we managed to get it working on Athlete Kings.
My personal favourite of all peripherals is the humble little arcade stick, in whatever size they come in they are the most fun and nostalgia inducing of all controllers for me. Bringing back memories of arcade machines that I sunk so much money into as a nipper.
the original pay to win, I might add
I use them primarily for fighting/beat ’em up games such as Streets of Rage, Street Fighter, TMNT or my personal favourite Moonwalker.
Arcade sticks tend to be sturdy, well built and can take some abuse from rage inducing moments from these particular type of game. Home versions of arcade sticks tend to be on the bulky side of things and a bit of a pain to store sometimes.
What aren’t you saying? Hmm? Come on I know you better then that, spill it!
Okay fine, I have a bit of a passion for using an Arcade stick on games you wouldn’t really expect.
You can’t mean FPS games? It just cant be done!
In that fact you are right, however the types of games I’m talking about are either action games from back in the day were the camera was controlled for you in some way
Tomb Raider, Fighting Force Or even Army Men
or my personal favourite: fixed camera games. The following is just a small list of games I have completed using an arcade stick.
- Resident Evil
- Resident Evil 2
- Resident Evil 3
- Resident Evil Survivor
- Parasite Eve 2 (that one was hard)
- Tomb Raider 2
- Army men
Playing these games on a Arcade Stick shows you just how sturdy the device in question needs to be really.
Resident Evil? Really? Seriously?… Just how?
Is that admiration I sense?
Tell me how, then I’ll tell you whether it is or not.
Right you are, aiming and shooting is probably the hardest thing to get used to when playing Resi, quick turns and movement come naturally after a bit of practice but it was the aiming that was the hardest.
As you can see the buttons don’t naturally lend themselves to aiming using shoulder buttons, so stretching your hand becomes second nature.
Word of warning though, if you going to try this yourself, TAKE REGULAR BREAKS until you get used to it!
Seriously stretching your hand multiple times in this manner can really make your hand sore for a long time. Take it from me I did my hand in for a while doing this so if you’re going to give it a go, please take regular breaks.
You toughed out injuries to accomplish this? You sir are quite mad, but have my admiration.. Just not my respect though.
I’ll take what I can get also thank you for that.
You’re going back to your old self now aren’t you?
What do you think… also Your face!
Back to normal then.
This was fun to talk about, I’m glad I covered this finally.
Did you ever have a wacky and wonderful peripheral?
Jay: ooh err!
Was it something you couldn’t really use but used it anyway? Do you think I would get a kick out of playing a particular game with a certain controller?
If you tried Resident Evil with an Arcade stick, how did it go and what did you think? Come and Geek out with us in the comments and as always I shall catch you all later.