Where do Wii Start? D-pad replaces Joystick.
That's funny, get it. Well, Wii start with Nintendo, why, because of the NES. The original NES controller was the first game controller that made a multi-button game pad make real sense. Sure, it had the pause button, an a and b if I recall correctly, but more importantly, the joystick replacing D-pad, sweet! The D-pad is that little plus sign looking thing on the NES controller that allowed you to controll the direction of your player by using your thumb instead of holding a joystick in your hand. It was ingenious, because with a joystick (like the one on an Atari 2600) the player would need to use his entire left of right hand manipulating the player, which would leave very limited use of that hand for any button controll whatsoever. Yeah, I know, the NES contoller didn't have any buttons on the D-pad side, but, it paved the way for them to exist at least. There were some joysticks out there that had multi button capabiltiy, but the problem was, you had to stick the controller to a flat surface like a desk or something to even use them (remember the little suction cups on the bottom of the Atari 2600 joystick, who ever used those?).
Touche, 2 joysticks replace D-pad
It's ironic that the D-pad gets replaced by two joysticks. Difference is, they're not called joysticks anymore, they're called thumbsticks. The thumbsticks sit on the left and right side of your modern day console controller and made they're first popular debut on the Playstation controller. This setup, although not utilized to it's fullest on the original PS1 would lay the foundation for the integration of them into more sophisticated gameplay, and ultimately to their use in the revolutionary twin stick controlls you see on tons of todays hits. My personal favorite, NHL 2009 by EA Sports. But tons of games take advantage of this setup, and if you play any first person shooters, you already know what I mean. So the PS1 controllers gotta rank up there.
This is old school, but I'll throw it in there. Some of you younger gamers are probably like,, dude, what? Anyway, you had to use the Commadore one to understand (the early Radio Shack contollers were similar). Basically it was a joystick with a base like the 2600 joystick, but the stick was a steel rod with a little plastic knob on the end and it didn't return back to it's original postition when you let it go. So basically it was like playing with a wet noodle attached to a lead base with a little rectagular fire button somewhere on the side. Perfect! Click on the paragraph title or here to go to the wooden joystick link, daaaannnnggg. How sweet is that?
That brings me full circle to the Wii. The Wii controller(s) makes the list, because like the ones mentioned above they are groundbreakers and pioneers of what's to come, basically the next step in the evolution of game controllers. Pretty soon, you'll be able to head down to your local GameStop and they'll have a certified nuero-surgeon on hand to tap right into your brain stem. Then all you have to do is plug your head into your consol. Bingo, no more worrying about sweaty controller paws or burning out your plasma screen!! Awesome!!!
Until then, keep your hands off your pants and on your controller.