Evolution of the Console Controller – Colecovision Controller (1982)

The Colecovision game console sold over 2 million units and was a success from release until the video game crash of 1983. Despite this success, the Colecovision controller’s design did not create any industry standards or even survive into the next generation of consoles.

The controller included with the console has a full number pad including # and * buttons, two actions buttons opposite each other on the controller’s sides, and a short joystick. Unlike most later controllers, the features were laid out vertically. The joystick was at the top of the controller, with the number pad below. The design of the controller made little concession to ergonomics other than being able to fit in a human hand. The side action buttons could be awkward to press, and some users even complained of pain caused by pinching their fingers together during play.

Up to Classic Era – Back to River Raid – Forward to Atari 5200

Gift of Ben Wilhelm, 2012.025.001