Adding Extra Game Controllers to a Gaming Console - dummies

Adding Extra Game Controllers to a Gaming Console

By Danny Briere, Pat Hurley

Whatever game system you choose — console or PC, Xbox 360 or PS3 — you need to use controllers (such as joysticks, wheel controllers, or wireless controllers) to interface with it. That’s the whole point of games: interactivity.

Of course, by connecting your game system to your home theater, you’ve covered how your eyes and ears interface with the system. The other key interface is, of course, your hands (and sometimes feet), which connect to your games with a controller.

All game consoles come with one or two basic multipurpose controllers that usually have plenty of buttons, joysticks and four-way pointers. These controllers (sometimes called gamepads) allow you to play just about any game if you can twist your thumbs in the right direction and have the appropriate level of dexterity and coordination. You might, however, want to consider some specialized controllers if you have certain games that you simply love to play again and again. (You might save yourself from repetitive stress injuries this way too — and increase your score!)

Some of the controllers you can buy are:

  • Wireless controllers: These are usually just like general-purpose controllers, but they connect by using radio waves, not wires. If you have dogs, small kids, or are tired of tripping over wires, pick up a pair of these wireless wonders.

  • Wheel controllers: You can get a wheel controller that includes brake and accelerator pedals, a big fat racing wheel, and a nice short-throw shift knob. Racers, start your engines! Check out the wheel controllers available at Mad Catz, Inc.

  • Joysticks: Want a joystick controller with enough buttons to “pickle” your bombs on target? Check out Thrustmaster for some cool joysticks.

You can buy a ton of controllers, including some funky ones. There are skateboard-shaped controllers that you stand on for skating, surfing, or boarding games, and even one that consists of a mat for replicating dance moves you see onscreen. You can find something for everyone, and cool controllers are truly a way to maximize your home theater fun.