We really thought we'd seen it all when it comes to handheld video game controllers
, but this upcoming "Ctrl+S" model from UNIQ brings a surprising quantity of new ideas. The most basic innovation is the weird "UNIQ wing" that sticks out from the rear edges of the controller, allowing you to passively support the controller with the insides of your index fingers instead of having to "grip" the controller to hold it up. Yeah, that sounds lazy, but the idea is to reduce muscle stress and cramps, which makes sense for people who game a few hours a day. The relaxed posture is also supposed to help improve thumb mobility, though we'll have to test it out with a game to see if that's actually the case. Around back are some nicely oversized and easily worked analog triggers, along with a grid of repositioned "face buttons."
The feel of the prototype we were playing with felt just a little too light and a little too "cheap," but that's typical for prototypes, and the promises of improved ergonomics and optimized control placements are certainly compelling. The best news is that the controller will be highly customizable, with tweaks available for the analog sticks, "wings," and even the force feedback motors. We'll see how well this impacts gameplay when the controller hits the market in December for $69.99. Check it out on video after the break.
Ctrl+S PS3 controller for professionals and burgeoning arthritics