The N64 controller was a weird but essential introduction to joysticks

Chaim Gartenberg

The Verge

In the annals of gaming history, there’s no controller better known than the three-pronged piece of plastic that shipped with the Nintendo 64. That’s likely for a few reasons. There’s the unique design, which renders it instantly and unmistakably recognizable as the N64’s gamepad. There’s the popularity of the console, which helped cement Nintendo as one of the definitive names in gaming.

But the most important part of the N64 controller isn’t the design or the box it attached to: it was the joystick, which introduced millions to a new way of controlling games and paved the way for modern 3D gaming that’s virtually standard today.

Nintendo didn’t invent the joystick, but it did popularize it

Nintendo didn’t invent the joystick or the...

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