Top 10 Game Controllers and Accessories

Top 10 Game Controllers and Accessories

When PCs and video game controllers and consoles first came home, several engineers wondered “Hey, let’s try throwing extra bits of plastic at these things and discovering if any of it enhances the gameplay experience!”

Thousands of years later, we still see extra PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii controllers, accessories and peripherals that stick to game consoles like parasites on a shark’s belly. Some serve as little more than dumpsters in which to fling your money, but a handful really do make for a unique and enjoyable gameplay experience. These include:

Wii Balance Board – Core gamers may disagree about the usefulness of the Wii’s “weight scale,” but there’s no denying the balance board’s effectiveness and importance as a Wii controller. The Wii Fit games are still major sellers for the Wii, and served as a reminder for the mainstream that games do far more than encourage kids to sit on their butts all day.

Microsoft’s KinectLikewise. Kinect faced a lot of criticism when its concept was unfurled–it still does–but Microsoft has moved ten million units of the motion control system to tons of happy families. The Kinect is another reminder that the term “gaming” is expanding to cover definitions we didn’t dream about ten years ago.

Classic Controller Pro – The Classic Controller is a necessary accessory if you want to play Virtual Console games on the Wii (you can also struggle with a GameCube controller, if you’re up for it). The Classic Controller isn’t very comfortable to grip, however, and we’d like to shake the hand of whomever decided that the cord should come out at the bottom instead of the top. But the Classic Controller Pro rectifies that, and features much more “ergonomic” hand grips that closely resemble the Playstation’s world-famous DualShock controllers (shhhh).

Wii MotionPlus – The Wii MotionPlus allows for true 1:1 movement, which will be very necessary when The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword comes out to play. It can be argued that Nintendo should have made the Wii Remote 1:1 in the first place, but given that the company pioneered this whole motion control thing for home markets, we’ll give them a pass this time.

Sony’s Playstation Move – Sony’s PlayStation Move motion controller, on the other hand, featured 1:1 movement from day one. Moreover, Sony is trying to sell the whole motion control ideal to core gamers by making Move compatible with shooters like Killzone 3. The question is whether or not core gamers will adopt motion controls in the long term.

Mad Catz FightStick – Mad Catz knows its fighting game peripherals, and its FightStick is a must-have for fighting game fans who want a genuine arcade experience from home (cigarette smoke and beer-stained cabinets not included).

Mad Catz FightPad – If you were weaned on home-based fighting games, though, you might feel more comfortable playing the likes of Street Fighter IV with a fight pad. The dpad for the Xbox 360 is notoriously loose and inaccurate, so Mad Catz’s FightPad controller will help you avoid getting Hadoken’d to death. Also, the FightPad just looks cool.

Razer Mantis Speed Mousepad – If you play FPS games or MMORPGs on your PC, then you know that mouse control is everything. The Razer Mantis Speed Mousepad not only gives you ample room with which to move your mouse, but it’s also smooth enough to improve mouse speed and performance significantly.

Wii Wheel – Again, core gamers may scoff at the idea of playing Mario Kart with anything but a good old fashioned controller, but the Wii Wheel (packed in with Mario Kart Wii) helped put thousands of casual gamers behind the wheel of their first Mario Kart experience (so to speak).

Razer Carcharias Headset – A headset is a vital component for online gaming. It’s also vital for that headset to dish out quality performance and good sound quality. Finally, It’s necessary for a headset to give your ears a little cool air, because your skin likes to breathe. The Razer Carcharias Headset allows for deep, rich sound to rattle your eardrums, but at the same time, the ear pieces won’t cling tightly enough to turn into two little swimming pools filled with sweat.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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