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.”