10. Slime controller
Made by Hori for Dragon Quest VIII on PS2. This controller has the same functions as the normal Dual Shock 2 so you can play any PS2 games with it. Well you could if you wanted to. Although this looks kinda cute in its own way its usefulness as a real controller is doubtful. The controller's cable can be removed so its value in decoration is slightly better. The controller even comes with it's own display stand.
9. Chainsaw controller
This baby was made by Nuby Tech for Resident Evil 4. They made two versions, one for PS2 and the other for GameCube. The controller seems to have all the buttons but it's hard for me to image myself playing with something like this. One special feature the controller has is the technology called N-motion. It means that you can make your character in the game to raise and lower his weapon by raising and lowering the controller itself. It may feel über macho for the first three minutes but I bet after that you get tired of holding something like this in your hands. I have to admit though that the Chainsaw controller is one of the coolest collector's items I've seen.
8. iGrip Ergonomic Keyboard
I know what you're thinking but no, this is not an Apple product. Instead it's made by AlphaGrip. iGrip doesn't work with consoles but with PC it's fully qwerty compatible and has it's own trackball. In other words it's keyboard and mouse in one small gadget. I don't know about you but for me this thing looks really complex. All those buttons spread around the controller makes me think if this is the best solution for games. Of course I could be wrong. Maybe after a little practise you'll become invincible in Counter Strike. The two previous controllers could at least be used for decoration, but I wouldn't be leaving this one on the table when I have visitors.
7. Steel Battalion controller
I know this might not seem so special as it looks quite similar to some flight simulator controllers, but because this is used to control only Steel Battalion it makes it unique. Actually the game can't even be played without this monster. This controller consists of four different parts, two with joysticks, one with only buttons and one with pedals. All in all there's about 40 buttons total. As I have never played any mech games I really don't know about their usual controls, but I could imagine they are complex. That in mind I could assume that this controller actually makes it easier to play Steel Battalion, compared to if it was played with normal pad. And lets be honest, you'll surely feel a bit more manly with this ahead of you.
6. Desktop Train Cab Controller
Ever wanted to drive a train? Raildriver has just the thing for you. This controller features realistic throttle, brake, reverser, switch controls and over 30 programmable buttons. That's how they advertise it and because I haven't seen a real train cockpit I just have to trust them. According to Raildriver's homepage this controllers supports only four games, but I guess there aren't many around in the first place.
The first one on this list that really differs from the usual controllers. GameRunner is like a treadmill. You walk, jog or run on it and the character in the game moves the speed you are "moving". It also has several buttons on it which can be mapped as you like. This controller is said to work with all first-person games PC has to offer and also with first-person console games that recognize keyboard and mouse as controllers. If you have read my previous posts you know that I don't like running around my living room to play games so this surely is not for me, but if you like to exercise and play games maybe this is the machine to do both at the same time. It also has several ratio settings so you may adjust the speed you have to run on this thing to move at full speed in the game.
4. Massage me
Maybe the weirdest one of the group. This controller is like a soft vest you put on, so it actually needs two persons to work right. The buttons are located on the back side so as you are playing the game you are giving a back massage to the person wearing the controller at the same time. Finally a decent way to spend more time with your girlfriend! I have to admit that this is something I would have never thought myself, but I actually like the idea of playing Tekken (as they do on exhibitions) with this. I don't think the controller is very precise so it would mostly be about having fun and trying new things, but hey nothing wrong with that.
3. Death Crimson controller
"Coolest controller for the crappiest game ever" says Kotaku. What I have read the crappiest game part is true, Death Crimson scored 1.0909 out of 10 on SegaSaturn Magazine, but the controller being cool is something everyone can decide for themselves. This monster was made by Takamasa Sumi for some museum in 2005. As it was really hard to find any good info about this thing I'm not totally sure if this has any real controller in it. What it does have is the Light gun controller, which in theory could be used to play other games than Death Crimson with this machine. In theory yes, but I guess Mr. Sumi is such a big fan of Death Crimson that he glued the lid of the console shut, so there's no way to change the disc.
The ultimate way to play driving simulator games. Manufactured by Force Dynamics this thing really gives you the feeling of being on the track. It can move pretty much in any direction thus giving you the sensation of accelerating, braking, turning or you name it. Picture being worth a thousand words check out this video, probably worth ten thousand words. 401cr is equipped with a monitor, steering wheel, pedals and a five-way sound system all integrated into the simulator. If you're not happy with the default ones Force Dynamics is happy to customize any one of these for you. What you do need yourself is the PC to run the games. As this is pretty heavy machinery it's equipped with two emergency stop switches, one for the driver and the second is a remote one. It also has interlocked seat belt and doors. I have never been the biggest fan of racing games but after seeing this I just had to go and buy it, in my dreams that is.
This is probably as sci-fi as a controller can be. Emotiv has developed an interface which lets you interact with a computer using just your mind. Yeah I know, sounds crazy. The gadget itself detects thoughts, feelings and expressions and then a program called EmoKey converts those detected events into any combination of keystrokes. For example EPOC detects that you smile and EmoKey prints :) on the screen (not game related but you get the idea). There are few simple games to download on Emotiv's homepage, like tetris and pong, but they also offer an adventure game that is said to change somehow to match your feelings during the game. It's really hard for me to think that you could actually control anything more complex than tetris with this, as it's even hard to believe that this isn't a fake in the first place, but here are few vids that at least show the possibilities of this controller: Angry Birds and Cyclomaniacs. The vids are pretty simple, the Angry Birds one seems quite wobbly and in the other there's really nothing much happening, but they are still examples of this technology. Although this might not be the best alternative to control your games at the moment, but I'm quite sure EPOC will be the way of the (distant?) future.