Speaker 1: This was the controller for
Speaker 1: the first home video game console.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] Look at the size of that thing.
Speaker 1: A decade after that,
Speaker 1: Nintendo introduced the world
Speaker 1: to the joys of the D-pad and
Speaker 1: the birth of the controller as we know
Speaker 1: it and in the 30 years since then,
Speaker 1: controller design has come a long way, or has it?
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] In 2017,
Speaker 1: a technology design researcher measured some of
Speaker 1: the most popular controllers from the past 25 years
Speaker 1: against ergonomic standards for
Speaker 1: things like dials and buttons,
Speaker 1: to see whether controllers have gotten more
Speaker 1: ergonomic as games have gone more mainstream.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] None of the controllers perfectly matched
Speaker 1: the proper ergonomic dimensions
Speaker 1: for things like button size and button spacing.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] This is an interesting study but, of course,
Speaker 1: lab measurements and ergonomic design standards
Speaker 1: don't tell the whole story.
Speaker 1: After all, the very first controllers
Speaker 1: created for the game space war
Speaker 1: were modeled on railroad switches.
Speaker 1: [NOISE] They were developed as workarounds to
Speaker 1: the complicated inputs for the PDP1 Computer
Speaker 1: and they were more about solving
Speaker 1: a computer engineering input problem
Speaker 1: than human design problem.
Speaker 1: And the more you dig into the stories
Speaker 1: behind the most iconic controllers,
Speaker 1: the more you see that controller designs are anything
Speaker 1: but exercises in pure ergonomics.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] Play Station's Dual Shock
Speaker 1: is one of the best loved controllers on
Speaker 1: the market and it almost didn't exist.
Speaker 1: [NOISE] When Sony began work on PlayStation in 1993,
Speaker 1: they were entering the console wars
Speaker 1: with an eye to take down the king.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] In order to make it
Speaker 1: easy for Nintendo players to switch over to PlayStation,
Speaker 1: Sony management wanted a controller that had
Speaker 1: the same flat style as Nintendo's.
Speaker 1: Instead, designer Teo Goto came
Speaker 1: back with this curvy design with two grips.
Speaker 1: [MUSIC] Management hated it,
Speaker 1: they overruled Goto and went
Speaker 1: ahead with a flat controller,
Speaker 1: even going so far as to pour the molds.
Female 1: But Sony's president, Norio Ohga had
Female 1: followed the controller design process
Female 1: with close interest.
Female 1: [MUSIC] Ohga was a classically trained musician.
Female 1: Here he is casually conducting a Schubert Symphony,
Female 1: and he also happened to be an accomplished jet pilot.
Female 1: He liked to go to his design because it
Female 1: gave him a 3D feel for the game,
Female 1: similar to when he was flying a plane.
Female 1: When management showed Ohga
Female 1: the flat design he was living,
Female 1: Gotto was afraid Ohga was going to
Female 1: chuck the flat prototypes of the management team.
Female 1: The curved shape that became
Female 1: the classic playstation controller might
Female 1: never have been born if Ohga hadn't intervened.
Female 1: His appreciation for the design wasn't
Female 1: about standard ergonomic measurements,
Female 1: it was about the feeling of
Female 1: connectedness between hardware human and game.
Female 1: That same feeling guided Nintendo in
Female 1: their development of the in 64 controller.
Female 1: Legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto
Female 1: understood the controller,
Female 1: and the game were won.
Female 1: Without the controller, there is no game really.
Female 1: Miyamoto vision for the gameplay of
Female 1: Mario 64 and the free exploration of that open 3d world,
Female 1: led Nintendo to innovate analog control sticks.
Female 1: If you pressed gently, Mario would tiptoe.
Female 1: If you pushed the stick all the way, he would sprint.
Female 1: But what's with the three prong shape?
Female 1: The Nintendo 64 controller
Female 1: had to remain usable and simple,
Female 1: but it also had to allow room for game developers
Female 1: to start innovating with the new graphics power.
Female 1: The console was unleashing.
Female 1: So no.
Female 1: They didn't think anybody had three hands,
Female 1: when they designed this controller.
Female 1: They just figured people could use
Female 1: the two outer grips to access
Female 1: the d pad for old school classic style games.
Female 1: And they could grip the center and right sides,
Female 1: to use the analog stick to interact in
Female 1: new ways with whatever new games
Female 1: the developers dreamed up.
Female 1: [NOISE] More computing power was partly to
Female 1: blame for the colossal first XBox controller.
Male1: Let me now unveil export.
Female 1: When Microsoft released the XBox in 2001,
Female 1: the controller that got shipped to
Female 1: North American customers was the Duke.
Male1: She is putting the control in their hands.
Male1: We tried out over 100 different form factors,
Male1: [MUSIC] you know to find what was the most controllable,
Male1: and give them the best game, gameplay.
Female 1: It was three times bigger than Sony's controller.
Female 1: And Microsoft killed it off after just a year,
Female 1: replacing it with their smaller controller
Female 1: for the Japanese market.
Female 1: Why did it ever ship
Female 1: such a massive controller to begin with?
Female 1: As soon as concept sketches for
Female 1: the XBox controller were completed,
Female 1: the circuit boards that would power the controller,
Female 1: were manufactured based off those drawings.
Female 1: The circuit boards were
Female 1: huge and they weren't going to go away.
Female 1: So the designer had to find a way to work around them.
Female 1: Her solution was to lean into
Female 1: making the controller as comfortable as possible,
Female 1: even if it was huge.
Female 1: She departed from what had been
Female 1: standard controller layout and offset the analog sticks,
Female 1: to better fit the natural position of the thumbs.
Female 1: A design move that proved lasting and well loved.
Female 1: That doesn't mean these companies
Female 1: don't take ergonomics and user testing into account.
Female 1: In a 2010 interview with a Japanese gaming magazine,
Female 1: Tokyo Gautreaux said Sony spent more time
Female 1: designing the playstation controller
Female 1: than the console itself.
Female 1: Microsoft spent 100 million dollars on
Female 1: R and D for an update to the XBox 360 controller.
Female 1: They built hundreds of prototypes.
Female 1: Somewhere pretty out there.
Female 1: One that would really smells,
Female 1: one that would beam an immersive
Female 1: projection around the player.
Female 1: In the end, after those millions of dollars
Female 1: and hundreds of prototypes,
Female 1: the new controller looked largely similar to the old one,
Female 1: but they had made some key changes to help
Female 1: the hardcore players internally
Female 1: referred to as the Golden Hands.
Female 1: For the XBox one,
Female 1: the sticks were given rubberized grips
Female 1: to help keep thumbs from slipping,
Female 1: and they shaved down the disc shaped d pad into more of
Female 1: a plus sign that would feel like
Female 1: separate keys so that you could
Female 1: quickly switch just by the feel.
Female 1: Face buttons got closer together
Female 1: so you could switch between them more quickly.
Female 1: They also adjusted the angle of the trigger and shooter
Female 1: buttons turning them slightly
Female 1: outward and making them bigger.
Female 1: This was specifically about ergonomics.
Female 1: These new triggers better fit
Female 1: the natural angle of the fingers.
Female 1: The PlayStation team similarly made
Female 1: these fine grained ergonomic adjustments
Female 1: between the dualshock three and four.
Female 1: Through user testing, they
Female 1: saw that when it came to the d pad,
Female 1: there were two kinds of players folks
Female 1: who hit it from the sides,
Female 1: and people who hit the d pad starting from the center.
Female 1: Both groups complained of fatigue
Female 1: and discomfort after a couple of hours.
Female 1: So the new d pad had
Female 1: gently sloping buttons and
Female 1: a concave place for the thumb to rest comfortably.
Female 1: So they do go through rigorous testing.
Female 1: Now, despite all of that,
Female 1: pro players are still pushing
Female 1: the hardware and their bodies to the absolute limit.
Female 2: All right. For one super smash for the player,
Female 2: the strain of playing led to
Female 2: arthritis at just 23 years old.
Male 2: Two years ago, I was sitting in a doctor's office,
Male 2: and it was being made clear to me
Male 2: that I would never play this game again.
Male 2: And I told the doctor that I was going to find a way.
Male 2: In recent years, I've become really
Male 2: well known for this FOX controller that I developed.
Male 2: This is a controller that allows people to enjoy,
Male 2: mainly without experiencing some of
Male 2: the ergonomic concerns that
Male 2: they would normally have to go through.
Female 1: Will we ever see a complete redesign of one of
Female 1: the flagship controllers from Sony
Female 1: or Microsoft? Probably not.
Female 1: Given how such intensely loyal player bases develop,
Female 1: once players have put the hours
Female 1: in to master a particular interface.
Female 1: Game scholar Dan Parisi argues that the shape of
Female 1: the controller has become
Female 1: a haptic extension of the brand,
Female 1: and what more intimate way to
Female 1: connect with your customers,
Female 1: than the way a gamer melds with the controller.
Female 1: For more EA Sports coverage,
Female 1: tune into chatter EA Sports on fubo TV.
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