The Playdate Proves What Video Games Have Been Missing Are More Cranks

At some nebulous point in the last however many years, video games quietly agreed on a universal way to control them. The PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch controllers have stylistic differences and ergonomic approaches, but fundamentally, they’re the same. Consequently, the kinds of games being made have narrowed, too, because a controller’s input possibilities naturally influence design possibilities. The Wii’s motion controls were a fascinating, if brief, deviation. Same with the Kinect. PlayStation 5’s Dual Sense is cool but not revolutionary. The mouse and keyboard remain important, but undeniably, the controller’s dominance has influenced many designers exclusively taking advantage of what a mouse and keyboard can offer.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at



I really like the idea of this and it certainly looks charming enough. Just not sure I can afford a $180 pledge for something that’s just charming, but I love that it’s out there. Seems to do more or less what it sets out to do, which is always nice to see.

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I wonder if/hope this will be more affordable in the future, but the price is probably as low as we can expect for this kind of thing. I guess I just have the automatic impulse to want these things to be available to all sorts of players and devs immediately.

#Crank, crank, crank senora, crank it all the time#

Unique ways to control games are cool, it’s a shame the era of weird peripherals is behind us. In a different generation this could’ve been a crank controller bundled with the games, like Donkey Konga or Boktai. Something similar today would probably be too expensive.

Random thought about controllers: dang the 3DS was great for picross games. Having the combination of button and stylus feels better to me than playing a picross game on mobile where it’s only touch.

The Switch has been a huge disappointment in that regard. Other than Labo and Ring Fit, nobody’s done anything weird with the Joy-cons.

I like fitness Boxing a whole lot (no extra attachments required but it feels pretty good to play)