Did Wii kill the joypad?


snes controllerBy the end of the year, both Xbox 360 and PS3 will have added motion controllers to their lineups. In case you’ve forgotten, they’re the only consoles left using joypads as a primary input device, leaving many to wonder: Is this is the end of the thumb pad—you know, the one Nintendo invented?

“Not exactly,” was the general answer I came up with, in a report published this week for Venture Beat. Since Sony and Microsoft are releasing their motion controllers as expansions to their primary joypads, the latter still has life in it yet, experts say. Similarly, even Nintendo hasn’t killed the joypad entirely. They sell Classic Controllers (even a Pro one) for Wii, although secondary to Wii remotes.

Ultimately though, gamers really won’t know if the joypad is extinct until the next round of consoles. “If Sony and Microsoft use motion as their primary controllers next time,” says Jeremy Anderson, an independent developer, “then say goodbye to the console joypad.”


  1. There’s still joypads on the WiiMotes…they just aren’t used in the same way anymore.

  2. False dichotomy. Not only does the Wii have the classic controller, but the Wiimote is frequently turned sideways and used like a NES pad, and there’s also no shortage of games that use the Wiimote/nunchuck combo as a split traditional gamepad, sort of like a rearranged N64 controller.

    When most games that come out use motion control exclusively, with no directional thumb input at all, then we can revisit this topic, but right now motion controls are just an option. They’re an option available by default on the Wii, whereas the PS3 and Xbox motion controls are going to be like Wii Motion Plus, getting limited support at best due to the extra purchase requirement.

  3. Ha, just yesterday the CCPro made its NA debut, on the console that made non-standard controls popular.

  4. Good point stan. The wiimote is a joypad if held sideways. I dont think joypads will be extinct, but if they do nintendo will have another new idea up their sleeve. Besides, nintendo can eliminate a joypad, analog, touch screen, etc. if they want because it was their product in the first place right? They always are copied after their successful products…

  5. I’m not exactly sure what a “joypad” is in this context (A controller? The D-pad? huh?) But the Wii still utilizes a plethora of controller functions including flipping the Wiimote like a NES controller and the Classic controller.

    Heck, some games use the GCN controller.

  6. This question comes a day after Nintendo releases the classic controller pro. Isn’t that a sign. The truth is the controller as we have known it, is…was…and will always be just another peripheral and we all know those won’t ever go away.