Turbo Touch 360 (1994)

in Hive Gaming5 months ago (edited)

Once upon a time, there used to be tons of 3rd party controllers to chose from. Some of them were very good and some of them were cheap junk. First party controllers were always among the best but not always the very best. I haven't really kept track with the most recent generations of consoles but it seems like this changed a while back. Probably around the PS3 generation. From then it seems like 1st party controllers were the best and generally the only thing you would ever want unless you just needed an extra cheap controller for guests or as a temporary emergency replacement. There are still good 3rd party controllers. Just fewer of them than there used to be.

I guess one place where this isn't as true is with the PC. There's not really such a thing as a 1st party PC controller. This ad from 1994 is for a controller for the PC. In 1994 pretty much all PC gaming meant DOS gaming. This controller would have used a gameport connection, not USB.

While this particular ad is for the PC, the Turbo Touch 360 from a company called Triax Technologies was available for other platforms. It was available for at least the NES, Super NES and Sega Genesis. The Genesis version also worked with Commodore and Atari systems as they used the same connector.

So what made the Turbo Touch 360 special? For the most part it was a pretty standard controller with turbo support. However, its one unique feature was the D-pad. Instead of using physical switches underneath a button that could be moved in different directions, it used eight capacitive touch sensors. The claim was that because it took less force to operate, it was better for your thumbs. Those used to playing games on mobile devices like phones might find the feel a little familiar.

So how did it actually compare to other controllers? Unfortunately, not that well. I've never tried it but this doesn't surprise me. I've always felt that even modern games that use touch sensitive control were pretty crappy. A similar but older and less refined version of the same technology can't be an improvement.

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When I started with computers around 95 Microsoft had the Sidewinder gamepad and joystick, both popular but then the Xbox one controller took over down the line, its very good and standard, I prefer it over the Playstation's, but I dont see controllers with this strange features anymore, some had fans, rumble packs, I still use the Logitech F710, thats another very comon brand for pc

Logitech definitely made some of the best controllers for PC. Microsoft was always good as well. I've also had a couple of Saitek Cyborg joysticks that I really liked for PC. For consoles, I've usually stuck to 1st party controllers. I did have a couple of third party controllers for the Dreamcast...I forget what brand...Pelican maybe? They worked ok at first but didn't hold up as well.

In the beginning there were a multitude of game controllers, I still miss the classic Atari one that only consisted of a lever and a button.
I even saw how there was a game controller that was made to be used with the foot. It was made for a crippled person.

In the end, game controllers became more complex as the games evolved and required more actions. I don't have it very much in mind, but I remember that there was a video game museum, and you could see a rare collection of consoles and controllers, some were even prototypes that were not for sale.

It's a little amazing to see how creative some of the prototypes were and how advanced they were in their time.

I still love the classic Atari 2600 controller (which is also what I used on the Commodore 64) but there's no doubt it is one of the worst for causing hand cramps after extended play.

I had, and still own mine that I got for the Sega Genesis back in the day. Didn't overly care for it, and I preferred the original Sega controller instead. Cool flash back!

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