The N64 controller is arguably both the greatest and worst gaming controller in all of history.
Its visual and tactile aesthetic is undoubtedly superb, especially considering its release date. Even today, there may still be no better experience than opening up and moving the joystick around on a brand new 10/10.
Why the worst, then? In short, wear. Vigorous play leads to huge deadzones that drastically spoil the user experience.
One of the games this is most easily noticed in is a game called Super Smash Brothers (for the N64).
For around a decade, the game had next to no significant community, with even its successor “Melee” boasting a community hundreds of times larger.
However, a single player (by the name “Isai”) sparked one of the most incredible Retro Game comebacks history has ever seen.
In 2006, inhuman and seemingly frame perfect combos, as well as heroic victories over top players from across the world, were shared by Isai on his YouTube channel MevseC. Slowly but surely, the community was growing.
This unstoppable “SSB64” wave inevitably reached my home city Toronto. Numerous tournaments were held over the years, but the standout major had to have been “Impulse 2012” which took place during the summer of that year.
Although I aimed for 1st, in the end I finished below my goal and settled for 3rd. The train home that day would be a long and depressing one.
What perhaps frustrated more that day was how quickly the N64 controller’s stick wore down under competitive gameplay. Although I strongly believed in the game’s potential to grow, it was clear that this controller flaw would continue to haunt and put a cap on how large this community could ever grow to.
Where do we stand now in 2018? Currently, I am in the process of recreating two of the most important parts of this controller, the “Joystick” and the “Bowl”. The material contact points will eventually be comprised of a combination of 1) Mirror Polished Stainless Steel and 2) A low friction, yet durable, polymer such as Delrin or Teflon.
This combination will result in an extremely low friction coefficient, minimizing wear, and allowing the joystick to remain as tight as can be for as long as possible. Interchangeability is also in the works, so that low cost replacements could be swapped in and out whenever that brand new, fresh feeling is desired. Finally, by improving upon the physical dimensions of the original, the parts will not only mimic the original’s performance, but actually surpass them, resulting in an unprecedented gaming experience.
Prestige Gaming’s ultimate mission is simple: to provide the best gaming controller experience possible.
When you buy a Prestige Gaming Stick, Bowl, or any future product as they come out (we have plans for other consoles!), what you are really doing is helping support these consoles’ futures. That way, the moments we enjoy today can also be enjoyed by the generations that succeed.
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