The 9 Best Xbox One Charging Stations
A Brief History Of Video Game Controllers
The Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and Sony Playstation all used controllers to great effect.
If you grew up any time after the moon landing, chances are you spent at least a little bit of your childhood with a video game controller in your hands. These devices have changed quite a bit over the years, however, and you may not remember or recognize some of the entries on this list.
The first home video game system was the Magnavox Odyssey, which could play a whopping 12 different games. The controllers for this beast were two simple paddles, each with a dial for vertical and horizontal motion. Surprisingly enough, these games were somewhat lacking in the immersion department.
It immediately became clear what this system needed, however: a realistic-looking gun. Luckily, Magnavox quickly released The Shooting Gallery, which included a rifle that looked like an actual shotgun, although not nearly as accurate.
Six years later, the video game scene would be turned upside down, thanks to the Fairfield Channel F. OK, so maybe nobody cared about the Fairfield Channel F, but it did introduce something revolutionary: the joystick. The console came with two detonator-looking devices with a thumb cap on top that could be manipulated in eight different directions.
The joystick would be perfected the next year with the release of the Atari 2600 (note: the Atari 2600 absolutely did not perfect the joystick). It was basically a stick with a red button, which is elementary, but also more than enough to get the job done.
Joysticks would be the norm until 1983, when the original Nintendo was released. Its controller combined a directional pad with two action buttons, as well as "start," which was necessary to begin a new game, and "select," which did nothing. There would be many variations on this controller over the years, with new buttons added and more versatility given to the d-pad. The Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, and Sony Playstation all used controllers to great effect.
In 1996, Nintendo would shake up the scene again with the Nintendo 64, which used six buttons, a d-pad, and a joystick, as well as a design that defied you to figure out how to use it. It was a great way to separate casual gamers from those that were willing to spend years perfecting a way to perform manual gymnastics.
This new controller would become the standard template that other systems would use, as the Xbox and future generations of the Playstation would combine joysticks with d-pads and buttons. Nintendo tried to take things a step further with the Wii, which used two independent controllers along with body movement, but that proved to only be popular with children and adults who had always fantasized about suffering a rotator cuff injury.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the video game controller, but as the industry moves towards virtual reality, it seems likely that future iterations will be incredibly realistic, if not wired directly to your brain.
The most important thing, however, is that regardless of what the next controller looks like, it will prove to be a perfect way to leave the real world behind (until your mom yells at you, that is).
Benefits Of An Xbox Charging Station
We've come a long way from the Stone Age of home gaming, when you were physically connected to the console via a wire that was never quite long enough. Most controllers are now wireless, and the stock Xbox unit uses two AA batteries.
This can help corral your controllers if you have more than one, as they're all neatly stored in one place where they're easy to find.
However, you can also get models that boast a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Not to be hyperbolic, but these are roughly a million times better than other options, provided you have a charging station to go with them. These stations are cheaper in the long run and better for the environment than battery-powered models.
Not only will they save you some cash on Duracells, but they can also help de-clutter your living room. There are no wires to trip over, and all you have to do is clear a little space for the stand on your entertainment center.
This can help corral your controllers if you have more than one, as they're all neatly stored in one place where they're easy to find. This saves you from wasting precious minutes looking for your joystick when you could use that time to ask yourself why these 12-year-olds that keep kicking your butt at Halo aren't in school right now.
Of course, you don't have to have one...but then again, you don't have to join the rest of us in the 21st century, either.
Other Ways To Improve Your Gaming Experience
If you're serious about your video games, there are other ways to take your efforts to the next level besides just getting a wireless controller. These devices can make you the most feared gamer in your circle of friends (provided you're not friends with one of those aforementioned 12-year-olds, of course).
Or you could just invest in the Kinect, which enables you to use voice and motion to control your system.
A headset is a must for anyone who participates in multiplayer games. Based on aviation-styled headsets, they allow you to communicate with your team in real time, so you can coordinate your attacks and leave your enemies in ruins. Even better, they allow you to make horrific statements about the mothers of people you'll never meet.
Racing game aficionados should consider a steering wheel, as well, as they're a great way to create a realistic driving experience. Many of them come with actual pedals in addition to functional wheels, so you can bring your real-life skills to bear in a game of Forza Motorsport 7.
If you mainly use your console for something other than gaming, though, you'll likely benefit from a remote and keyboard. These will allow you to binge on your favorite Netflix series without getting off the couch. Or you could just invest in the Kinect, which enables you to use voice and motion to control your system.
Regardless of which accessories you choose to invest in, the most important thing is that you literally forget what the outside world looks like. It's the American Dream!