Periodic Table of Game Controllers

This brings me back – way back. From the chart below, we had an Atari 2600 (first the Sears clone, then the really slim Atari version), Pong, Nintendo Entertainment System, Commodore 64, and Sega Genesis. I’m not sure why they list the Commie 64 when it it used the same Atari joysticks as the 2600, but then neglect the analog joysticks of the Apple II. I also had a cool analog stick for my Amiga.

But the real wow moments are from remembering those one-off systems that my friends had, like Intellivision and the Odyssey2. Or systems that looked so cool in the commercials, like Colecovision and Vectrex (I was a big Tempest fan, and a lot of Vectrex games looked like Tempest).

And then there were the consoles that came later, like the Turbo Grafx 16, Philips CD-I, and of course, the 3DO. I remember the 3DO was supposed to change the industry with it’s cutting edge technology and open licensing model (anyone could build one, as long as they licensed the design). Instead, it crashed and burned.

Enjoy your trip to gaming’s past:

Periodic Table of Controllers

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3 thoughts on “Periodic Table of Game Controllers”

  1. I was soooooo close to getting a Vectrex back in 1984. It was discounted a the local equivalent of Big Lots back in Brick NJ. And it had my favorite vector game of all time: Space Pirates.

    I just couldn’t get my reflexes to work around the rotate-button fire-thrust button combination. My spastic reflexes have kept me away from video games altogether and made me a productive member of society. It’s a freaking shame.

  2. Great chart. Two recommendations for PS2/3…

    Need to show two circles for each left and right joysticks. Outer circle to represent joy stick while inner to represent R3/L3 functions.

    Need to show two buttons on top left and top right to represent R1, R2 and L1, L2 buttons. Diagram only shows one button for Right and Left.

    Keep up the great work!

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