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Posted on 19-08-10, 12:20 am
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Posted by CaptainJistuce
Why does Microsoft get credit for inventing button labels that read in the right order when Sega's been doing it since the 80s?

That's because nowadays' kids were born AFTER Sega left the console market, and said kids are now playing CoD and Halo on their Xboxes. They've never heard about Sega making other stuff aside of Sonic games (if anything).

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Posted on 19-08-12, 07:51 am

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This is why society should have adopted the labels on the CD32 controller as standard. There really is no room to argue alphabetical order, left-to-right, etc. They are in the positions they are in and that is that.

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Posted on 19-08-12, 08:32 am
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I DEMAND MY BUTTONS BE SORTED IN ORDER OF DECREASING ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVELENGTH

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
Posted on 19-08-12, 10:01 am
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Posted by Screwtape
I DEMAND MY BUTTONS BE SORTED IN ORDER OF DECREASING ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVELENGTH
Word. Button alignment based on natural laws instead of arbitrary and capricious constructs.

This also means they need to all be in a row. No diamonds.

Also, they should be in increasing order.

Just in case you thought something could EVER be straightforward, and needed someone to dash your hopes across the rocky shoals of harsh reality.
Posted on 19-08-12, 02:41 pm

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Posted by CaptainJistuce
Posted by Screwtape
I DEMAND MY BUTTONS BE SORTED IN ORDER OF DECREASING ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVELENGTH

Also, they should be in increasing order.

I guess this works since decreasing wavelength = increasing frequency.

How about if they're arranged in a column?

I still have no idea what I'm talking about.
Posted on 19-08-12, 02:52 pm (revision 3)
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Posted by CaptainJistuce
Why does Microsoft get credit for inventing button labels that read in the right order when Sega's been doing it since the 80s?


Well, within the context of my post, I left out the Genesis and Saturn because they didn't use the now-standard diamond layout. Same reason I'm not considering the Gamecube controller.

I really do like the diamond. You can rest your thumb in the center and hit four different buttons without moving it.

The Dreamcast used a diamond, but that came after Playstation, and I don't think Microsoft chose their button layout based on the Dreamcast. I think they inherited it from western-style Playstation controllers that used X as confirmation. The PS2 was the most popular console at the time by far.
Posted on 19-08-12, 04:16 pm (revision 2)

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Posted by Wowfunhappy
Posted by CaptainJistuce
Why does Microsoft get credit for inventing button labels that read in the right order when Sega's been doing it since the 80s?


Well, within the context of my post, I left out the Genesis and Saturn because it didn't use the now-standard diamond layout. Same reason I'm not considering the Gamecube controller.

I really do like the diamond. You can rest your thumb in the center and hit four different buttons without moving it.


both have their pros and cons. the saturn-style layout is usually better for some arcade type games like beatemups. except when you have to press for ex A and C at the same time or even A,B and C then you have to perform some awkward manoeuvring

also, and this is not really a problem in itself with the diamond layout since it naturally wasn't made with this in mind, but emulating a 6 button Saturn type pad on a diamond type pad like an Xbox or PS3/4 controller...not great, no matter how you map the thing. like the way retroarch maps the genesis 6-button controller to an xbox controller by default is not intuitive, but then, there aren't really any other way you could map it to something like that which would make sense, least none that i can see so.

aside from that i usually prefer the diamond layout.
Posted on 19-08-12, 07:20 pm
‮.gnikniht trats ,gnipyt potS
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But then the question is, do you really have six buttons? On a modern Playstation/Xbox/Gamecube controller, you can press all the buttons (save for the joysticks and start/select/home) at the same time without much effort, or any combination thereof. Whereas with a 2x3 grid, it's as you said - some combinations aren't possible. Then you might as well go the Goldeneye (gamecube remake) route and require chording with the Z button (bottom trigger) for, I think, melee and quicktime actions.

I think there's a good reason why Playstation/Xbox/Gamecube controllers have emerged as evolutionarily superior: each finger can give the maximum amount of input, save for the fourth and fifth digits. You could put at most six additional buttons on the handles, but odds are they would just be too uncomfortable to press. Likewise, you could probably squeeze in an additional "diamond" of buttons where start/select/home is right now, but there isn't much of a point for most non-niche games, and it would look ugly as sin.

As a curious counterpoint, Ocarina of Time would need it though, since you have joystick, c-buttons, A+B, and d-pad. Unless you want to map second joystick to c-buttons (AAAAAAAAAAHHHH), you'd need extra buttons. But even there, you could just map the second joystick to the d-pad and the d-pad to the c-buttons. This is still uncomfortable, because the D-pad on X360 controllers is atrocious, but works OK.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-08-12, 08:06 pm

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Side note: I've been wondering what the reasoning was behind Microsoft's decision to put the analog sticks asymmetrically from each other (unlike Sony's layout). Referring to Ye Olde Google didn't really merit any definitive results, some articles but mostly forums debating which one is superior. Personally, I prefer the DualShock only because symmetry.

I still have no idea what I'm talking about.
Posted on 19-08-12, 08:13 pm
‮.gnikniht trats ,gnipyt potS
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What about branding? If they didn't, they'd look nigh-identical, except uglier and with a worse D-pad. If they did, you'd think they must have some very good reason for this butt-ugly and unorthodox choice, and must thus be very smart people who did a lot of thinking.



There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-08-12, 11:03 pm (revision 1)
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Posted by KoiMaxx
Side note: I've been wondering what the reasoning was behind Microsoft's decision to put the analog sticks asymmetrically from each other (unlike Sony's layout).
I just assumed it was to prioritize analog control for the left hand. That is, if you hold it in your hands, your thumbs rest on the left analog and the 4 face buttons, so that's how games should be designed for players to interact with them (and many/most do/did, aside from 2-stick shooters).

Similarly, I've always figured--but never seen anything to corroborate this--that the Gamecube controller was designed as it is to encourage designers to have a single main action that gets mapped to the big A button and then use the other surrounding buttons for secondary/helper functions.
Posted on 19-08-12, 11:33 pm (revision 1)
‮.gnikniht trats ,gnipyt potS
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Well, if you think of it like this: the N64 had just A and B, and on the Gamecube X and Y are gray. They're usually used for auxiliary stuff, like reloading or whatever.

So that just leaves A and B. And of them, B is used less. Like in racing games, A is accelerate and B is brake. In platformers, A is jump and B is run. In FPS games, neither are used much - GoldenEye used A for switching weapons and B for door/reload, if I recall correctly. So it kind of follows that B should be smaller, by exclusion. A is OK, B is cancel, you hit OK more often than cancel. Consider the color-scheme: A is green, B is red. Whereas on the N64, A was blue and B was green.

So, I'd think it's the egg that follows the chicken: A is the main action, so it makes more sense for it to be bigger, as per the lessons learned from the last console. That's my guess, anyway.

EDIT: Or it could be branding, to look different from the other consoles.

There was a certain photograph about which you had a hallucination. You believed that you had actually held it in your hands. It was a photograph something like this.
Posted on 19-08-13, 01:44 am
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Posted by hunterk
That is, if you hold it in your hands, your thumbs rest on the left analog and the 4 face buttons, so that's how games should be designed for players to interact with them (and many/most do/did, aside from 2-stick shooters).


When the Dual Shock was designed, all Playstation games were designed for a D-pad, and if the Dual Shock made existing games *worse* then nobody would buy it. Thus, Sony kept the rest of the controller the same as it ever was, but bolted two analogue sticks onto it in the only places they'd fit.

For a long time it wasn't obvious how to best navigate a 3D space using analogue sticks, and whether or when they'd be more appropriate than the classic D-pad. However, the "left stick movement, right-stick camera" model quickly rose to prominence as the Obviously Correct System.

Thus, when Microsoft was designing the Xbox controller, they already knew that the left stick and face-buttons were the most important controls, and the D-pad and right-stick were secondary. Unlike the original Dual Shock, they didn't have an existing catalogue of games to be compatible with, so they could move controls around wherever seemed most appropriate, and games would be designed to accomodate it.

The ending of the words is ALMSIVI.
Posted on 19-08-13, 01:52 am
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Posted by KoiMaxx

How about if they're arranged in a column?
Hey, the first XBox controller tried that and it was a disaster.
(Seriously, the button slant on the OG XB GP is incredibly steep.)

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Posted by Wowfunhappy

I really do like the diamond. You can rest your thumb in the center and hit four different buttons without moving it.

The same is also true of a 3/3 layout. Rest your thumb on B and A, B, C, and Y are all available immediately by rocking your thumb.
It also provides better chording. With a diamond, you can't hit down and up or left and right at the same time without bringing in another finger(a common practice in Super Metroid). This is a bigger problem on the modern 90° diamonds. The Super Nintendo's diamond was wider than it was tall, which helped ergonomics a bit. While a 3/3 layout doesn't solve the left+right chord, the up+down chord is trivial.

The GameCube layout is actually an acknowledgement of this problem, as the T layout is a 3/3 with the X and Z buttons removed.


The Dreamcast used a diamond, but that came after Playstation, and I don't think Microsoft chose their button layout based on the Dreamcast. I think they inherited it from western-style Playstation controllers that used X as confirmation. The PS2 was the most popular console at the time by far.
The Dreamcast layout was almost certainly a concession to the dominance of Sony making their layout look "weird". The controller protocol is designed to support a 3/3 layout, and it looks like they were intending to use something very similar to the Saturn 3D pad until very late in development.

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Posted by KoiMaxx
Side note: I've been wondering what the reasoning was behind Microsoft's decision to put the analog sticks asymmetrically from each other (unlike Sony's layout). Referring to Ye Olde Google didn't really merit any definitive results, some articles but mostly forums debating which one is superior. Personally, I prefer the DualShock only because symmetry.

The "Microsoft standard" is almost certainly a combination of wanting to not be too different from the PlayStation controller combined with an acknowledgement of the kind of games the system was built for. The black and white buttons are also part of that design guideline, as the original controller had a 3/3 layout with a diamond labelling scheme. The "extra" buttons are simply colored black and white instead of being labelled C and Z. They get moved to a secondary location on the S controller, and become LB and RB on the 360.
(That MS didn't have the stones to get rid of the fucking Select button while designing their own controller for the XBox OG galls me greatly.)


The Sony layout is because of historical baggage. The Analog Joystick and neGcon's biggest flaw is they were only usable on games that supported them. The Analog Controller, and subsequent DualShock, added the analog nipples to the bottom of the existing digital-only controller so they were fully compatible with with the large collection of digital-only games.

The PlayStation 2 and 3 stuck with the existing layout because back-compatibility was a major feature. Same reason the Dual Analog and DualShock controllers made the analog inputs a secondary feature instead of a primary input. The PS4 doesn't mess with things because inertia is a bitch.



Preview post to make sure I didn't mangle the quote tags or general formatting, and... POST!

Just in case you thought something could EVER be straightforward, and needed someone to dash your hopes across the rocky shoals of harsh reality.
Posted on 19-08-13, 05:22 am

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Did anyone point out, "a bad" yet?
Posted on 19-08-13, 05:43 am

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I guess Microsoft's reasoning makes a lot of sense. Admittedly, I play mostly retro platformers and JRPGs (if I ever find the time) so using analog sticks for primary control doesn't really work in my case. I also prefer the separate button on the dualshock's dpad as opposed to the rocker type other consoles use -- I find it's easier to do sliding motions while still maintaining pressure on adjacent buttons, with rockers I tend to let up on one of the directions.

I can't really say much in regards to analog sticks since I only use them in a small number of titles, and even then I find it hard to actually make fine input. Although I imagine I'd be more comfortable using gamepads that use resistive-strain type sticks (think TrackPoint) instead they existed.

I still have no idea what I'm talking about.
Posted on 19-08-13, 06:40 am
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Posted by KoiMaxx
I guess Microsoft's reasoning makes a lot of sense. Admittedly, I play mostly retro platformers and JRPGs (if I ever find the time) so using analog sticks for primary control doesn't really work in my case. I also prefer the separate button on the dualshock's dpad as opposed to the rocker type other consoles use -- I find it's easier to do sliding motions while still maintaining pressure on adjacent buttons, with rockers I tend to let up on one of the directions.

I hate to break this to you, but the Sony controllers don't use separate buttons for the directional. They use a rocker just like everyone else. They use some clever molding to make it APPEAR different because of Nintendo's patent for the sake of looking cool, but the mechanism and behavior isn't any different.
Also, one of the best d-buttons of the polygon era was the XBox S Controller.

Just in case you thought something could EVER be straightforward, and needed someone to dash your hopes across the rocky shoals of harsh reality.
Posted on 19-08-13, 08:22 am

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The sony design is actually BETTER than the nintendo design, because the lack of "button" in the middle and round edges of the "buttons" makes it more comfortable to lay your thumb on for extended periods of time, and the (slight) flexibility of the underlying cross makes it easier to snap suddenly between two different diagonals, without making it too easy to accidentally press on a diagonal when trying to press a single straight direction. (Nintendo dpads are too easy to press diagonally when trying to press straight when they're not worn-out yet, and once they're worn-out they stop being snappy. The sony design's flexibility avoids this tradeoff.)

"Floating disk" dpads are no better than the godawful dpad emulation you get with a steam controller, aside from a more realistic tactile response for depressing buttons.
Posted on 19-08-13, 09:21 am (revision 1)
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Posted by wareya
The sony design is actually BETTER than the nintendo design, because the lack of "button" in the middle and round edges of the "buttons" makes it more comfortable to lay your thumb on for extended periods of time, and the (slight) flexibility of the underlying cross makes it easier to snap suddenly between two different diagonals, without making it too easy to accidentally press on a diagonal when trying to press a single straight direction. (Nintendo dpads are too easy to press diagonally when trying to press straight when they're not worn-out yet, and once they're worn-out they stop being snappy. The sony design's flexibility avoids this tradeoff.)

"Floating disk" dpads are no better than the godawful dpad emulation you get with a steam controller, aside from a more realistic tactile response for depressing buttons.
The ease or difficulty of falling into a diagonal depends a lot on the specific geometry, really.

Personally, the XBox S superswitch was probably the single best superswitch I've ever used(I could consistently pull off a dragon punch-type move with it, which is something I can say for few input devices). Floating disk, but it WORKS.

The original 360 superswitch was unusably awful, despite being the same design as the S(they messed up the tolerances and it hurt it badly). The revised 360 controller was... servicable. It didn't have the best superswitch, but it wasn't actively in the way.
That first 360 pad I think was actually worse than the Gravis Gamepad Pro I used to have. The Gravis was at least RELIABLY squirrely. They put stops at the cardinal directions that were narrow enough to act as pivots, so it PREFERRED diagonals. The Mk1 360 device simply didn't care which direction you were pushing.


The Sony superswitch... well, I'm told that there were two manufacturers for PS1 pads, which explains why people love the damn things. I'll assume half the world isn't crazy and MY controller was just from the bad OEM. It was stiff, unyielding, tore thumbs up like nobody's business(the only such device to ever give me a blister), and fuck it where's that Performance Dual Impact I bought?
The Performance pad wasn't the most precise device, but it was one I could actually stand to use. It also fit my hands better, because Sony designed their housing for 8-year-old girl hands.
PS2 pads exhibited a less awful, but still unpleasant, experience. PS3 was the first I had where the official controller was even really usable. And then the PS4 controller was large enough to hold comfortably.


Nintendo's superswitches vary a good bit. Some are pretty darn good(the 8-bit ones), some are fucking AWFUL(GBA, GameCube), some are just "meh".



And then there's the controllers where they fucking don't put a central pivot in and you can push it straight down. Very common in the modern era, even from respectable manufacturers, and I have no idea why.

Just in case you thought something could EVER be straightforward, and needed someone to dash your hopes across the rocky shoals of harsh reality.
Posted on 19-08-13, 04:01 pm (revision 1)

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Posted by CaptainJistuce

I hate to break this to you, but the Sony controllers don't use separate buttons for the directional. They use a rocker just like everyone else. They use some clever molding to make it APPEAR different because of Nintendo's patent for the sake of looking cool, but the mechanism and behavior isn't any different.


Posted by CaptainJistuce
Personally, the XBox S superswitch was probably the single best superswitch I've ever used(I could consistently pull off a dragon punch-type move with it, which is something I can say for few input devices). Floating disk, but it WORKS.

I remember when I was much younger playing on the Gameboy or NES, I used to tuck my thumb under the hem of my shirt so I could easily do sliding motions without tearing up my thumb. Many a shirt of mine back then had a weird lopsidedness because of this.

I still have no idea what I'm talking about.
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