Are You a Controller Pie or a Keyboard and Mouse Pie? Trends in Game and Play Control

Compared with other media, games are an operating computing system that focuses on “input” and “feedback”. It is different from movies and novels that only require watching taste. What’s more important is that you go to “play” (PLAY), so input somatosensory, Operational response and human-machine interface have always played an important role in game theory and research. Looking at the game trends in the past two decades, it is not so much the progress of sound and light technology, but also the change of operation methods. Whether it is Wii’s motion-sensing controller, DDR dancing mat, smartphone finger touch, VR/AR device, or Switch’s separate play, each item changes the boundaries and possibilities of the game.

In the early years, due to differences in design concepts, national conditions, culture, and industry status, games can be roughly divided into console games and PC games, each of which has its game field and culture, and is used in different countries. There have been different developments. For example, the United States tended to computer games after the Atari incident in 1983, while Japan favored home consoles under Nintendo’s achievements, and established two completely different operating modes and gaming experiences.

Computer games use a mouse and keyboard. The direction is controlled through the ASWD of the keyboard. The mouse controls the angle of view and rotation. The left button of the mouse is used to perform attacks or actions. The F series above becomes the skill bar, which has almost become most games. Consensus has also constructed a set of “keyboard and mouse modes” for players. Later games, no matter how complex they are, the basic operation does not deviate from this principle.

In contrast, home consoles have established another “handle operation mode.” There is a cross or circular disc or joystick on the left to control the direction, and on the right, there are several buttons arranged in parallel to control attack, cast, or jump. As the game becomes more and more complicated, it becomes a double joystick, and there are new ones on the top and back. Button, but the basic operating mode is also time-honored.

Both sets of operation modes have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, computer games using a mouse and keyboard are particularly suitable for overall war chess and simulation works, while the joystick mode is more suitable for fighting and action games. Use the keyboard. It’s too difficult to switch to Dragon Fist or Crush the Cloud Body and Double Tiger Palms. Early games had no interoperability due to the low-level APIs, so the difficulty of “platform transplantation” would not be lower than that of developing a new game. Early games rarely launched cross-platform; but with the current technological advancement, today’s so-called single-platform games are based on considerations under commercial copyrights, not technology. Does that mean that today’s operation patterns have changed?

If you want to play PS4 or XBOX, of course, you have to use their handles. What about computer gamers? According to the world’s largest computer game platform Steam and Valve Software recently released a report. The report pointed out that the operation style of the entire game is trending towards “handles”. Except for special e-sports games, almost all other games have a trend of using handle control.

Since 2015, more than 30 million players have registered at least one handle controller, and more than 15 million have used more than two handles. If you count the controllers logged in to multiple accounts, then Steam A total of 60 million accounts use external handles or controllers.

These handles include Steam’s controllers, general external joysticks, Nintendo, PS, and XBOX series controllers (there are more than 783 dance mat controllers). If you consider the playing time, Valve found the most popular Everyone’s favorite Xbox controllers, Xbox 360 handles accounted for 45% (about 27.2 million), Xbox ONE accounted for 19% (11.5 million), a total of 64%, far greater than the PS series 27%.

There are probably two reasons for the popularity of Xbox handles: one is that computer games were originally based in Europe and the United States, and almost all computer games in the early days were run on Microsoft systems (from MS-DOS to Windows). To be more cordial,

The main reason is that Microsoft promoted XInput more than ten years ago to allow its controllers to support game developers extensively. As long as it is a Windows system, it can be plugged in and used. Because the built-in support for games is mostly XInput, the Xbox controller has become the first choice for smoothly playing a variety of games.

The valve was also surprised that the number of PS4 handles exceeded 12.2 million because although PlayStation 4 is an extremely popular host, PS4 players have not been considered a group of narrowly defined computer players. And everyone knows that Western players and Asian players have opposite meanings to the O and X, and the position between the triangle and the Y button is sometimes opposite.

Therefore, the registration of more than 10 million PS4 joysticks also shows the convergence of the game market today. Players have less and less obvious console plots or camp positions, and it is more like the mentality of playing wherever there are fun games.

Another point is the registration of Switch Pro handles. Due to the short release time of Nintendo Switch, people who have not bought a Switch console will not buy a Pro handle. It can even be said that players who have bought a Switch console and want to play core games such as “Zelda” will buy it. Pro handle.

Therefore, the Switch Pro handle registered on Steam can accurately reflect the growing trend of Steam players owning Switch consoles. And until May 1, 2018, Steam did not officially support Switch Pro handles, but from the perspective of the growth curve, the rapid increase of Switch handles also highlights the charm of the console.

Overall, except for a few strategy games and e-sports games, players are using handles more and more frequently, so Steam has also launched its joysticks. Perhaps the next step is to provide extensive support for today’s mobile games. If the game is the same, such as first-person shooting or an open-world action game, are you a handyman? Or a keyboard and mouse pie?

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