Evolution of the Console Controller – Flower (2009)

Flower is a PlayStation 3 game notable for its unique and relaxing gameplay, uplifting plot, and simple hybrid controls. In the game, the player controls a single flower petal drifting in the wind. Players guide the petal through the game world, interacting with other objects by floating near them. Flower’s design revolves around the emotions that it evokes through this interaction; passing near other flowers causes them to bloom, windmills are activated, and fields change color.

Flower is a motion control game that uses the Sixaxis’s motion sensing capabilities to guide the player’s flower petal through the game world. When any button is pressed, wind gusts and blows the petal forward. While motion controls aren’t absolutely required for Flower to exist, Flower’s gameplay “feel” would be impossible without a modern hybrid (motion sensing + buttons) controller. Tilting and rolling the controller in one’s hands gives the game a feeling very different from pushing an analog stick with a thumb, and the player feels as if he or she is flying across the landscape.

Try the game in its current form. Imagine how the game would be different using an analog stick, and appreciate how motion controls can offer new gameplay experiences compared to traditional controls.

Up to Modern Era – Back to PlayStation DualShock 3 – Forward to Wii Remote

On loan from Ben Wilhelm