Softpedia has taken it upon themselves to question Cliff "CliffyB" Bleszinski, lead designer for Epic Games and his recent statements about the next Xbox's controller:

"I hope if there's a new Xbox that there'll be fewer buttons on the controller," [Bleszinksi stated in a CDV interview]. "This is purely me speculating in my own realm of game development, but if you look at a controller right now it looks like an alien spaceship."

The site's writer, Silviu Stahie states developers like Bleszinski undermine the intellect of gamers, recollecting the controllers of olden times.

What do you think? Is Bleszsinski making a valid point about evolution and efficiency of design, or demeaning gamers (directly or indirectly)?

We might even go as far as assuming that a lot of game developers think that less buttons means more customers. This is not the issue of motion sensors or other kind of gimmicks. The issue here revolves on simplification and how it affects gaming and how people are perceived by the publishing companies: are we monkeys or gamers?

The current generation of consoles, according to Cliff Bleszinski, is way too cluttered with buttons and apparently it needs some simplification. I’m sure they have in mind a couple of knobs that would certainly make life a little easier for Epic but my personal opinion is that the perfect gaming controller that would satisfy the monkey and the majority of the audience should look like the one below. I have one last question: simpler means cheaper, right?
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Most recently commented on by on Jul 13, 2008
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  • 1
    Seproth Jul 11, 08
    No, tell that to Mass Effect. They had to use the back button for grenades. Throwing everything on the A button and using a bumper for reload isn't my idea of efficient in the first place.
  • 1
    Solid Snake 4Life Jul 11, 08
    God no in fact I like the standard six main buttons. If anything I would want one or two more buttons. That waty trying to run but instead using cover wouldn't happen. I'm looking at you GOW.
  • 1
    TurMoiL911 Jul 11, 08
    No, the number of buttons right now is fine. Reducing the amount of buttons would mean reducing the number of base options developers have to set controls for actions.

    Unless you like those games where you have to press and hold one button for ten different actions.
  • 1
    Dance Floor Killah Jul 11, 08
    I'm content with the number of buttons there are. It doesn't look so alien to me.
  • 2
    Seeker X Jul 11, 08
    Here's my thought on it...

    Buttons = Features

    Of course too many buttons and you end up with the same *bleep*ing issue I have with the godamn keyboard.
  • 1
    TurMoiL911 Jul 11, 08
    As long as the controller is properly designed, I wouldn't mind the next generation having more buttons. Just don't be like the original Xbox controller with the Black and White buttons so out of reach
  • 0
    The Hazard Jul 11, 08
    There should generally be a balance. The number of buttons there are right now is fine, maybe one more would be acceptable, but definitely not less.
  • 0
    BradSK Jul 12, 08
    I can't understand why this is an issue. There are a sufficient amount of buttons on controllers. Having less buttons only complicates it even more.
  • 0
    BANDITO ATTACK Jul 12, 08
    you can never have too many buttons.

    maybe nintendo overshot it with the n64. but still..
  • 0
    Jaw Knee Jul 12, 08
    Yeah, the N64 Controller had fourteen buttons, and a joystick. (Although you could consider the joystick a button since it has some sort of action.)
  • 0
    Alvaroduck Jul 12, 08
    Personally I liked the N64's controller. The buttons were well placed. I don't really like the Gamecube's controller, however.
    • 0
      Jaw Knee Jul 13, 08
      Yeah, I did too. It was easy to use although I think the D-Pad was pretty useless except for games like Turok and Duke Nukem.
  • 0
    Shadow of Death Jul 12, 08
    I like the button setup for the 360 and PS3.....It is set up very well IMO.

    Left thumb = Control directions (analog stick usually, also a button in itself) and D-pad (D-pad tends to have non-directional applications lately, as devs use it as a quick-select or irregular action expansion). Select/back button as well.

    Left pointer finger = Top buttons (L2/L1, LB, LT)

    Right thumb = 4 main face buttons, right analog control (usually camera, also a button in itself), start, and 'home/guide' button (usually)....

    Right pointer finger = Top buttons (R2/R1, RB, RT)

    Heck, the way games are going, we might need even more buttons eventually @_@ THAT might start becoming a problem....Currently, devs are starting to use the D-pad as a button for irregularly used options (like dropping currently equipped item)....

    Well, hopefully before then, we'll start going with neural interfaces (as action inputs)...
  • 0
    HisServant77 Jul 12, 08
    No, no fewer buttons are necessary. I like the amount they have now. I also would be worried about adding other buttons also because then it might feel a bit TOO overwhelming. But right now it's the perfect balance. I think though, they do need to figure something out to get by the d-pad usage like Tallteen said, because I honestly hate trying to use that thing for many things. It tends to interrupt the flow --- to me anyway.

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