Atari shows off its new joystick and gamepad designs

Thanks to yet another delay, we now can expect a modestly souped up Atari VCS console to be with us by the end of the year. As that revised date approaches, Atari has revealed some key details about the two controllers you can use to actually play the titles it come with.

It wouldn’t be an Atari machine without the iconic joystick, but at the same time it has to keep up with modern trends, so how do you square that circle? A number of ways, but the most obvious of these is “more buttons.” While the original joystick had just a single red button, the new joystick adds to this with a trigger input on the side, as well as ‘start’ and ‘back’ buttons. It even rumbles.

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But what if you were more of a ‘Paddle’ person? Paddles controllers, for those that don’t know, were small dials that players could twist to control games like Pong and Night Driver. Well, Atari isn’t reviving the Paddle, but instead including the same functionality in the joystick: the stick part can be twisted, offering the same kind of input if that’s your bag.

Then there’s the ‘Modern Controller’ for those that see joysticks as something of an anachronism in 2019. This pad looks far more familiar: squint and it feels like you’re looking at an Xbox One pad, right down to the asymmetrical analogue sticks. “The VCS Modern Controller’s form-factor is widely-accepted in the competitive and casual console and PC communities, so we saw very little reason to mess with what’s already working for players around the world,” the company writes.

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Perhaps most importantly to modern users, both of these pads have Bluetooth and USB connectors, meaning they’ll be compatible with PCs and Android devices out of the box. So even if the titles on the Atari VCS don’t appeal, you may still well have a use for them.

When the time comes, we hope that you will love these products as much as we do,” the company concludes.

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