Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

GameCube Controller

gaming 1 min read

Brilliantly designed piece of technology, the Nintendo GameCube controller. The only digital buttons are the d-pad (+ pad), X, Y, B, A and Z; the control stick, the C-stick and both the L and R shoulder-buttons are all analogue, for very precise control. It’s small, light, and rock-solid, and has a built-in Rumble Pack if you like that sort of thing.

The control stick is just about perfect - considerably refined from the quite springy and stiff N64 version. The resistance is spot-on, and at full-tilt the base mounting around the stick prejudices it into one of the 8 primary directions, which is a nice touch. The control stick grooves are also easier on my thumb than those on the N64 controller. The L and R buttons are even curved internally, so your forefingers slide into them and can’t slip off!

Lastly, that C-stick. Nice, chubby little rubber stick which you can perfectly control with the left edge of your right thumb, quickly swinging it downwards from the A/B buttons. Its travel is smaller to go with its reduced size and secondary priority, and the overall experience is of an extremely well-thought-out control pad design. I read an interview recently with one of the top brass at Nintendo Japan, and the chap said that in ten years, all controllers would be like this. Not sure about ten years, but the sentiment is right - it’s an excellent piece of engineering.

If I had to make a single complaint, it would be that the back is slightly too smooth; I’d prefer some small dimples for additional grip - I keep a terry-cloth beside my GameCube for that purpose. That small point doesn’t stop it from being probably the state of the art in video games controller design - ultimately usable. So, erm, buy a GameCube! As if Mario Sunshine, Zelda, Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros Melee, Eternal Darkness et all aren’t reason enough. ;)