Both soon-to-be-ex Sony Worldwide Studios head Phil Harrison and Fable creator Peter Molyneux agree - our game controllers are too complicated. To a person who has grown up playing video games they might seem second nature, but if you've ever put a PS3 controller into the hands of a non-gamer and watched them try to figure out where their fingers should go, you might agree.
""We don't use half the buttons on the 360 controller," admitted Molyneux, "simply because the whole dream I've got is that someone will sit down to play Fable 2 who has never played a game before and they can play with someone who's played games the whole of their lives.
What a lovely way to put it. Harrison, on the other hand? A bit more colorful.
"You hand somebody a game controller and it's like you've handed them a live gun or a hand grenade with the pin taken out"
I believe Harrison is exaggerating, but then again I make it a point never to carry around live hand grenades on my person so who knows? They both make a very good point. Back when games consoles first started there was a joystick and a button, but since then controllers have evolved to the point where you can find a complicated looking map within the first two pages of most game manuals.
Harrison went on to praise two innovators in the realm of control...Nintendo for the Wiimote, which gives non-gamers something more familiar to work with, and Apple's iPhone, which he says appeals to the user's natural instincts.
"I saw this first hand a few weeks ago where a two year old was playing with an iPhone and he knows how to get the pictures up of mum and dad. The two year-old then intuitively thought that all electronic devices worked like that," said Harrison. "He's pressing the TV to change channels."
"He's right and the rest of us are wrong - that should be applied universally. Apple should be applauded for that innovation," he added.
Harrison: Non-gamers see controllers as live guns [GamesIndustry.biz]