Should the right analog be scrapped?

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#1 Posted by u1tradt (770 posts) -

Recently I was thinking about what would be the perfect controller and while pondering on that I had an idea. Personally I feel that the right analog stick is holding its user back, particularly when playing an FPS. The mouse + keyboard format is the tried and true format for most PC gamers but I think there's something else that's available on PC's which can be transferred over to the consoles: the trackpad. Now please bear with me here.

Obviously you can't properly implement the mouse into a controller, but how about replacing the right analog stick with a trackpad? Last year I tried a trackpad for the first time when I got a Macbook Pro and fell in love with it (the trackpad that is). It felt so intuitive and flexible, particularly for general use. But lately I've played a few basic shooters on my iPad which require the player to drag their thumb across any empty area of the screen to aim and I feel that should be the way to aim in FPS's in general. For me it seems like the most natural way for our thumbs to perform a task like aiming.

To illustrate what I'm talking about I edited a picture of a 360 controller on Paint and here's the link - http://postimage.org/image/cmhtitz5t/ Sorry for the poor editing but if you use a bit of imagination you could probably see what I'm talking about.

In fact where you're sitting right now rest the thumb of your right hand on top of your thigh with your palm flat against the right side of your leg. Now picture yourself playing a shooter and you're using the thumb on your right hand to aim by sliding it across the surface on top of your thigh in different directions, really visualise yourself making the same movements you would make with the right analog stick. Which feels more natural to you, your thumb on a flat surface (trackpad) or a thumbstick?

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#2 Posted by xRownan (92 posts) -

I disagree. Ever since the sticks first came out console players have been using them and that's what's comfortable for most. Most prefer it over the mouse and that's why they don't play PC. If you want a mouse-keyboard configuration then just play PC games.

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#3 Posted by Blueresident87 (5655 posts) -

I have no problem with the dual joystick, I actually prefer it to mouse/keyboard for most games.

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#4 Posted by ghstbstr (8790 posts) -

I have no problem with the dual joystick, I actually prefer it to mouse/keyboard for most games.

Blueresident87

I agree.

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#5 Posted by RepoxMan1225 (25 posts) -

I played Team Fortress 2 on a Macbook Pro trackpad for about a year, it was a horrifying experience.

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#6 Posted by the_bi99man (11242 posts) -

Eh.. no. I don't think so. Being a PC gamer, I certainly prefer a mouse over an analog stick for shooters, all day, every day. But, if a mouse isn't an option, the analog stick is as about as good a controller for aiming I could imagine (unless Wii-style, "point at the screen" devices advance to the point that they can be trusted to be flawlessly responsive and accurate). I think I would actually really dig a control setup where I could have like, half a controller, with a single analog stick, in the left hand, for movement, with a mouse in the right hand, for aiming and shooting. That could be pretty bad, but I think, if it were done right, it could be amazing.

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#7 Posted by HyperWarlock (3295 posts) -

I prefer Mouse and Keyboard over controller, but when I do use a controller then I like the dual sticks.

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#8 Posted by Defy_The_Fallen (621 posts) -

I hate trackpads in general. Do you know what the problem with them is? Once you get to a certain point, you have to lift your finger off, move it back into position and continue on dragging. This would create a big problem in FPS gaming. you'll spin / aim to face a certain area, but you'll run out of trackpad and have to lift your finger off, move it back and drag again. That pause can be the difference between a kill and a brutal death. I know through experience of games such as N.O.V.A 3 and Modern combat on iPhones and iPads. Sure, you can change the sensitivity of the trackpad, but then it's too sensitive and fidgety to aim precisely, defeating the whole point of it being a better experience it terms of "being closer to a mouse". With the right analog stick, you can hold it in place and continue aiming in a 360 rotation without having to lift your finger off, whilst still picking a sensitivity to suit your needs.

In other words, no.

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#9 Posted by u1tradt (770 posts) -
I really don't think you guys have properly understood what I mean. Firstly, I'm not saying I would like a PC setup on consoles - I'm not particularly fond of M+K setups anyway. While gaming on a trackpad in general can be a daunting experience (trust me I know from playing Skyrim on the MacBook) that setup requires your finger to aim. What I'm talking about is using your thumb instead, just in place of the right analog on the controller in a natural position. Also, I thought about the fact that you have to lift your thumb off the trackpad for to make longer turns before posting and I think that's easily dealt with. If the sensitivity of the trackpad was configured to the point where one movement from the left part of the trackpad to the right covered 180 degrees, I think that would avoid the problem entirely. Plus when playing with an analog, just because you don't need to lift your finger off the stick to make a full 360 degree turn doesnt give it an advantage in my eyes because there's still that delay while you wait for the movement to complete according to your requirements. Whereas with a trackpad the speed of your turns are mainly limited by how quickly you move your thumb. I really wish I could make a working prototype to show people :( I don't think you guys see what I see.
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#10 Posted by XxStCardinalxX (42 posts) -

Why would you want a trackpad? That would make everything way harder for controller. If the right analog were to change to anything it would more then likely be a Trackball, way smoother then a Trackpad ever could be. But, truth be told there's nothing wrong with the analog sticks, they've been around for quite awhile and prob will be around for even longer.

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#11 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

Absolutely not. The right analog is probably the most used input in most games, especially in games like shooters where you're constantly adjusting your view. A track pad would just make this more difficult, not easier.

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#12 Posted by u1tradt (770 posts) -

Fair enough guys.

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#13 Posted by Defy_The_Fallen (621 posts) -

If the sensitivity of the trackpad was configured to the point where one movement from the left part of the trackpad to the right covered 180 degrees, I think that would avoid the problem entirely.u1tradt

Please re-read below statement.

Sure, you can change the sensitivity of the trackpad, but then it's too sensitive and fidgety to aim precisely,Defy_The_Fallen