Take a walk down memory lane with some of the oddest game controllers ever conceived.
Before consoles discovered dual analog sticks to control the action, Microsoft was dabbling with ways to get first-person-shooter players away from the keyboard and mouse. Its solution: the Dual Strike. Imagine a boneheaded boomerang with an awkward hinge in the middle. The left side had a d-pad controller; an analog ball connected it to the right side's buttons. You wound up having to twist and turn the right side of the game pad so much, it caused more strain and pain than the worst mouse you've ever used. One bonus to its aerodynamic design: You could send it sailing out the window.
When I saw the Tony Hawk Ride skate controller, I had some flashbacks. Part of the board has four infrared sensors that react like buttons when you break the light beams -- hey, Sega did that ages ago with the Activator! Yep, you'd step into, and calibrate, the video-game octagon, then punch and kick your way over sensors. But why read about what made the Activator so rad, when you can just watch the totally dated tutorial video?
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