Alright, I think it’s about time we end the debate right now. First of all, I am a man. (This is not what the debate is about)… Anyway, as a man, I demand a man-sized controller when I fire up the Xbox. For that reason, I exclusively use the original controllers designed for the Xbox. However there is a disturbing trend afoot. With the recent development of the new, smaller, style “S” controller, there has become a proliferation of their use across America, and a gathering public opinion that these new controllers are actually superior to the original design… As a public service, I am here to set the record straight.
For those of you unfamiliar with the ongoing debate, I present a brief history lesson: Microsoft was suffering lackluster Xbox sales in Japan, because the tiny hands of the Japanese public couldn’t grasp the gigantic controllers used for the gaming console (this is true). The Japanese were using them like the old Nintendo Power Pad, with several individuals literally running and jumping on the colossal controllers to operate them. Needless to say, it was hurting business. So Microsoft caved. They brought in a focus group consisting of a bunch of three-year-old girls and molded a controller to fit their hands.
The result: a controller tiny enough to be used as a Monopoly game piece, complete with the ergonomic comfort of getting a hand caught in a weasel trap. The buttons are tiny and spaced so closely together that the user couldn’t help inadvertently pushing all the buttons in unison. It is the video gaming equivalent of trying to do your taxes on a Casio calculator watch (Nerdy Metaphor #1).
The marketing team at Microsoft began toying with names for their new controller… They wanted a name that captured both the design qualities of the controller, and described the traits of their target market. At first they wanted to call it the “Ally McBeal” Controller, as she was a person most of their target demographic could strongly identify with. Sadly, Calista Flockhart refused to endorse the product. Going back to the drawing board, it was decided that it should be called: “The Effeminate Controller.” Unfortunately, this name had to be changed when it was discovered that “Effeminate” was already trademarked for every Nintendo Gamecube accessory. Eventually they settled on the “Small” controller, (later abbreviated to the “S” controller), and let the public draw their own conclusions about the makeup of the users… (“Innuendo, take a lap!” – Clay Evans, Former PE teacher).
Now, the first and only time I used a style “S” controller it simply crumbled in my massive American hands like a fortune cookie. I was left holding a few shards of plastic, some assorted wires, and a tiny motor. By all accounts, this new controller had the durability of a Faberge egg and the power of an electric toothbrush (Nerdy Metaphor #2).
In contrast, the original Xbox controller is made of whatever material is used to make the black boxes found in airplanes, and it is powered by a 10-cylinder diesel engine.
Future Dodge commercial: (A car pulls up alongside a giant Dodge truck…)
Car Passenger: “Does that thing have a Hemi?”
Truck owner (sitting in a Dodge Ram): “Sure does,” he begins, lifting his original Xbox controller to their view, “and the truck has one too!”
Car Passenger (awestruck): “Whoa!!!”
Granted, the original controller handles like a jackhammer and weighs about the same. And I occasionally pass out from the billowing clouds of diesel fumes it emits. However, when I regain consciousness, I realize the mounting physical therapy bills are a small price to pay to avoid the ignominy of using the less-masculine version of the Xbox controller.
In conclusion, if you happen to be a three-year-old girl, I have no problem with your use of a style “S” controller. However, for everyone else, I must caution that using the style “S” controller is like riding a girl’s bike, showering with your underwear on in gym class, or going to an N’Sync concert. It’s just one of those things you can never really live down.