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It's just a theory!
January 7, 2006 10:21 AM   Subscribe

The evolution of handhelds, the evolution of the game controller, the many stages of Shenmue; hell, even the evolution of Mario.
It would seem everyone but the far-right is evolving these days.
posted by Lockeownzj00 (31 comments total)

 
buuuuuuuurn
posted by jimmy at 10:28 AM on January 7, 2006


look, in portable gaming systems really do evolve, then why are there still game gears? it sounds like a secularlist leftist socialist hooey to me!
posted by mcsweetie at 10:36 AM on January 7, 2006


Hmm and one might be inclined to say that the handhelds, game controller and Mario all evolved via intelligent design.

Seems like a conundrum to me.

Or not.

By the way, I was hoping the handhelds link was an evolution of PDAs rather than game machines. But I bet I can find that. Yep, but this one only goes to 1995 when things really started to get interesting.
posted by fenriq at 10:41 AM on January 7, 2006


They totally forgot all of those Mattel football games. Those are handheld computer games.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:49 AM on January 7, 2006


The evolution link leaves out Mario Teaches Typing.
posted by brundlefly at 10:51 AM on January 7, 2006


What hilarious and clever political commentary! Not unnecessary in any way!
posted by kjh at 11:01 AM on January 7, 2006


Hmm and one might be inclined to say that the handhelds, game controller and Mario all evolved via intelligent design.

Individual neurons in the brain are no more intelligent then selective pressures on individual genes.
posted by delmoi at 11:12 AM on January 7, 2006


oh, kjh! don't you know nothing is fun without a little spin? Lighten up. evolution = automatic ID jokes.
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 11:37 AM on January 7, 2006


ps: the post's title is da cleverestest! :D
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 11:38 AM on January 7, 2006


Yeah, I'm all for lightening up, but the last thing this place needs is MORE unnecessary political commentary. Keep it to yourself, Lockeownzj00.
posted by jonson at 12:07 PM on January 7, 2006


Wot no Competition Pro?
posted by coach_mcguirk at 12:18 PM on January 7, 2006


I like how the Sega controllers prongs gradualy come closer together, then turns into an Xbox 360 controller.
posted by Orange Goblin at 12:24 PM on January 7, 2006


As I understand it, Mario evolved from Donkey Kong.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2006


I've located a grievous oversight in Sock Master's Game Console Controller Family Tree.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:37 PM on January 7, 2006


A common misconception, Astro Zombie. Mario and Donkey Kong both evolved from a common ancestor.
posted by brundlefly at 12:43 PM on January 7, 2006


evolution of handhelds

I believe intelligent design would be a better term to use here.
posted by alms at 12:45 PM on January 7, 2006


It's also just a theory at the moment, but the Nintendo DS is also, apparently, due for a re-design too. This makes sense, given Nintendo's history of redesigning its handhelds, and given the way in which the DS' buttons hurt my fingers while playing Mario Kart. I suspect that the DS' buttons were designed for slim Japanese fingers, not big, clunky, western hands like mine.

Anyway, it's just a theory, but the geeks at Joystiq sent in some possible redesigns, many of which seem completely plausible. I suspect that the redesigned DS will be out just over a year from now, so this handheld evolution page will probably need to be updated soon.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:51 PM on January 7, 2006


the geeks at Joystiq sent in some possible [Nintendo DS] redesigns, many of which seem completely plausible.

I don't think any of those look particularly plausible. Many of them posit highly unlikely design upgrades (larger screens and analog controls) and others leave the top screen precipitously exposed. Overall I'd say only the first looks reasonable: a DS on a diet with a healthy dose of that oh-so-fashionable Apple style mixed in. I think Nintendo would be loathe to copy (some might say rip off) another company's industrial design, but in any case, that's all you can expect to see from a DS "redesign": a smaller footprint and a new color scheme.
posted by kjh at 1:04 PM on January 7, 2006


By the way, I meant to ask about this curious part of the post, which would seem, on the surface, to have little to do with hand held gaming.

"It would seem everyone but the far-right is evolving these days."

At first I thought it was just a cunning way to get a political snark into an otherwise non-political post, but then I realised you were simply referring to that old cheat-code, which hasn't evolved since the days of Gradius on the NES. That cheat code, for those of you who don't remember is;

Far-Up, Far-Up, Far-Down, Far-Down, Far-Left, Far-Right, Far-Left, Far-Right, B, A.

"I think Nintendo would be loathe to copy (some might say rip off) another company's industrial design, but in any case, that's all you can expect to see from a DS "redesign": a smaller footprint and a new color scheme."

I agree, but lets face it, with two screens to incorporate into any redesign, there's not much that they can do in terms of redesigning the unit. At any rate, I care little about the asthetic quality of my DS. For me, the only thing I would really want to see in any redesign is a better control button layout. The way it is at the moment, after playing Mario Kart DS, my fingers (mainly my thumb) start to hurt after a short while. As long as they make games that don't use the touch screen more 'comfortable' to play, I'll be happy, buy the redesigned unit, and palm the old one off onto my girlfriend.
posted by Effigy2000 at 1:16 PM on January 7, 2006


Awesome. Thanks... I'm glad my gp2x is on that portable family tree!
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2006


I haven't thought of my NESMAX controller in a long, long, time. I beat that thing mercilessly. It was tough, but the sliding thumb pad gave up after a couple of years (stuck to one side).

I will enjoy these links in greater detail at home, thanks!
posted by Busithoth at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2006


The NESMAX: we used to call it the "NEZ" and fight over who got to use it in 2 player games. The turbo buttons gave you a real advantage.
posted by thirdparty at 3:06 PM on January 7, 2006


That new Nintendo controller is destined to fail, how are you supposed to do mutli button combos? You can basically point and click one button at a time. How would you strafe to one side while whipping out your secondary weapon and using it's secondary attack, then reload with one button?
posted by parallax7d at 3:55 PM on January 7, 2006


Yes. Nintendo is going to release a console based around an entirely new concept and not think that far ahead. In fact, they are going to tout its ability to play FPSes well (which other industry experts have agreed with), and then accidentally 'forget' to make it work.

A reference picture for you.

Firstly notice the perfectly-placed B-"trigger" on the back. Secondly, if movement is done with the nunchuck-controller or simply by moving the controller itself, you still have fingers free.
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 4:20 PM on January 7, 2006


They totally forgot all of those Mattel football games. Those are handheld computer games.

I thought the same thing, then I noticed the pages specified "hand-held cartridge-based systems."

I actually had one of those Microvision things. I forgot all about it. A cool toy at the time, I guess, but all the games sucked except for Breakout.
posted by spilon at 6:43 PM on January 7, 2006


How would you strafe to one side while whipping out your secondary weapon and using it's secondary attack, then reload with one button?

Here's a Google video clip of Half-Life, using a 3D mouse and a third-party single-handed Playstation controller to mimic the Revolution's dual-handed "nunchaku" control setup.

Here's another mockup, complete with captions explaining how the mechanics may work for different purposes.
posted by PsychoKick at 10:29 PM on January 7, 2006


Don't forget that if you turn the Revolution controller sideways it becomes an NES controller. Was talking to my brother about this last night, the Revolution will allow you to download the old NES classic games and play them.

Also, the thing features Gamecube controller ports so you can use that controller, or the "shell" device that turns the wireless controller into something more akin to the current generation of controls. Again, it's not like they didn't think this out.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:30 AM on January 8, 2006


They forgot this little gem: the Turbo Touch

I had one for the SNES, and I still think it was the greatest controller ever made. It's a shame its "branch" of the tree died out entirely. I know, it was very fiddly - but if you had the patience to learn to use it, it was incredible.

Oh, and Shenmue rocks. That is all.
posted by InnocentBystander at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2006


Yeah the revolution controller ports into a shell that resembles the current controller.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:02 PM on January 8, 2006


That shell image is a mockup by IGN that may or may not resemble the actual product. As with so much else, we'll find out at E3!
posted by kjh at 5:01 PM on January 8, 2006


The Turbo Touch! I used to have one for my Genesis. It worked well but the ring around the touchpad always chafed my thumb. And the buttons were fairly cheap and would sometimes get stuck. Not like the buttons on the original Genesis controller, those were like butter.
posted by Jawn at 8:23 PM on January 9, 2006


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