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The Evolution of the Nintendo Controller

8. Virtual Boy Gamepad

Year: 1995

System: Virtual Boy

The Legacy: Ah, the Virtual Boy: One of Nintendo's most sensational out-and-out failures (and thus, one with a rabid cult following). What was supposed to be a three-dimensional, home console replicating the "virtual reality" arcade craze of the moment ended up being a big red eyesore, both figuratively (it was critically panned and developers didn't want to make games for it) and literally (it caused vision problems in chronic Virtual Boy gamers).

But it was important in one respect: Following what they started with the NES Max, the boomarang design extended to two full handles, which would later be turned into three handles, when the Nintendo 64 would be released a few years later. It also introduced the idea of shoulder buttons being offset under the controller: In other words, triggers.

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