I love imagining new things and this idea recently popped in my head. It’s crazy and maybe somewhat over-the-top, but then again that’s what ideas should be in the first place.
The problem with today’s controllers.
Controllers as seen today are limited in what they can do. They have a set amount of buttons with little to no freedom for the player, often not optimally suited for the game that’s being played. These controllers are the PlayStation ½ and 3 Dualshock controller, the Xbox (360) controller and GameCube controller. They all were great to use, but static across all games on their respective platforms
A number of solutions to allow for different play experiences have surfaced over the years. A lot of these have to do with motion control, like Wii and later PlayStation Move and Kinect. These are great solutions for various different gameplay experiences, but they obfuscate the controls that we’ve grown to love from the PlayStation ½, Xbox 360 and GameCube days.
Touch is also great, but it does not give physical feedback that you get from pressing buttons, and it clutters part of your available screen space.
An intermediate solution is the Wii U, which combines touch with buttons, on a different device from the main game screen. This is a great solution, but I think there are even better things.
A simple and modern-looking Controller that can deform the surface to create different controls for each game, which you can hold in various positions and includes a gyroscope and e-paper display.
The e-paper and shape deformation can happen across the entire surface of the Controller. Opens exciting and varied possibilities, and unique experiences for each games.
Also note that traditional triggers were still kept on this modern Controller. Part of it is nostalgia: it has been there in every console controller iteration we’ve seen, from NES to Wii U. Aside from that it’s important to note the triggers will always stick out for every game, regardless how drastically the control scheme deforms. They are also deformable which means geometry can be added or removed. The triggers also purpose as a grip, making it easy to hold in one hands or two hands
The deformations only allow to stick things out up to 2 centimeters of height, the console returns to its original layout once turned off. Each heightened elevation of the surface can be moderately pressed in to give physical feedback.
The entire surface also is electronic ink, which allows for small user interface to appear anywhere. Unlike the Wii U, the position and size isn’t fixed or even rectangular, again leading to various new gameplay experiences.
I have no idea what’s possible in the field of shape deformation so if anyone has any info on this subject I’d love to know.