Year: 2006

System: Nintendo Wii

The Legacy: In 2006, Nintendo changed everything, again. When Sony made the same Playstation controller for the third time, and Microsoft just a slight tweak on the original Xbox controller, the Wii? It took everything Nintendo had previously done, ripped it apart, and put it back together, in a manner of speaking. The Wii Remote is basically just an NES Controller for the Modern Age (which is to say nothing of the way it plays actual NES games).

Remember the Famicom Gamepad? The volume control returned to an Nintendo gamepad for the first time since Nintendo made a controller, but instead of a microphone, a speaker had been built into the controller. The trigger of the last three controllers was perfected: It was offset to the side, but under it, on the belly of the controller. The analog stick arrangement? However you wanted it. Instead of two analog sticks and a D-Pad, Nintendo released the analog could be both, while the Wiimote could function as the "look" via a sensor bar. And of course: The "nun-chuck"-with a perfect hand-fit contour-could be played on either hand, the first time left-handed gamers were offered an opportunity like it as a standard option. The Wii Remote initially appeared understated and underwhelming. Time proved it to be a thing of mad brilliance.