How Game Controllers Evolved [Infographic]

From Tennis For Two to PlayStation 4.

Today’s game controllers aren’t totally original. There was a long, generational evolution that got them there, as this incredibly comprehensive infographic from Pop Chart Lab shows.

The Famicom controller begat the NES controller which begat the SNES controller which begat the Nintendo DS and eventually 3DS. But half the fun of this infographic isn’t just tracing the family tree branches: there are some crazy obscure controllers that get included. Did you know, for example, about the Wu-Tang Clan-themed PlayStation 1 controller? Because that is definitely a thing that existed once (and that gets its own little dead-end branch here).

The infographic groups the controllers by type–“handhelds,” “gamepad,” “touch”–but it’s also neat to look at the infographic as company history. Nintendo has been more experimental with its controllers than most (see the grouping to the left that includes the Power Glove controller down to the first Wii controller and beyond).

A surprise inclusion: The iPod Touch, which undoubtedly changed casual gaming but isn’t what you might think of as a “controller.” There’s also the PlayStation 4 controller we only recently got a look at, and isn’t quite on the market yet. Doesn’t get much more comprehensive than 1958 to sometime in the near future.

You can purchase a print here.

[Pop Chart Lab via Co.Design]


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