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View Full Version : Analog Or Digital Thumbsticks?



IIIIUnknownIIII
05-29-2014, 02:53 AM
Welcome all to this thread, I just wanted to see what other people thought about this, I am not a tech savvy person, I probably know the least about technology than anyone, I remember when the first thumbstick controller was introduced in the USA by the Nintendo 64. I cant tell any difference when I play with the Xbox 360 controller or a N64 one. How about using digital thumbstcks you can keep the movement of the thumbstick just don't allow for input, You could put a laser grind (a terribly terribly small enough laser grind to pick up even the most acute movements) inside the thumbstick itself, It should increase the accuracy, but it's just an idea, What I really want to know is how can the thumbsticks be improved in the future or should they move in a different direction, There needs to be more then just one option in the future. It's a fact that hardcore PC gamers notice a bad lack of performance with thumbstick controllers compared to mouse and keyboard they say it all the time on youtube. But what are your thoughts about the future of console controllers?

Sitting Fox
05-29-2014, 03:40 AM
Hey Unknown,

I think that's an interesting idea. I have a laser trackball mouse, actually. I could see it working much the same way, just that it's a thumbstick instead of the ball.

I guess I'm not too concerned with precision myself, the only thumbstick issue I think about is when they drift off center. Still, interesting idea.

Schizophretard
05-29-2014, 04:45 AM
If it were digital instead of analog then wouldn't it be like a D-pad with a thumbstick since D-pads are digital? Kind of like this:

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IIIIUnknownIIII
05-29-2014, 11:01 AM
well Sitting Fox thanks for the reply, I have heard a lot of hardcore PC gamers not being able to adjust to dual stick controllers before, But I know I cant play games with a keyboard or mouse it's just too weird, it goes both ways I guess.

Thanks for the reply Schizophretard, I guess it would be like a d-pad with a thumbstick, But there should be a better alternative than the thumbsticks were all used to by now. Hey when I tried to view the attachment it said this: Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator.

Schizophretard
05-29-2014, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the reply Schizophretard, I guess it would be like a d-pad with a thumbstick, But there should be a better alternative than the thumbsticks were all used to by now. Hey when I tried to view the attachment it said this: Invalid Attachment specified. If you followed a valid link, please notify the administrator.

The picture was of an Atari Joypad controller with a thumbstick on the D-pad. Anyway, after reading your post again I think I misunderstood what you meant by digital. You mean still analog but done with a laser? In other words, there are hidden lasers under the sticks? If that is the case I think that could be made to work. I just have no idea if the added benefit would be worth it. When they switched from balls to lasers in mice I didn't notice a significant increase in accuracy. I noticed that I didn't have to take out the ball and clean everything out to make them work perfectly again. That cleaning was constant but I don't have that issue with thumbsticks. If a mouse with a ball never got dirty then I wouldn't notice much of a difference when they switched to lasers. Lasers just feel like clean balls to me.

Kaimega
05-29-2014, 05:15 PM
The picture was of an Atari Joypad controller with a thumbstick on the D-pad. Anyway, after reading your post again I think I misunderstood what you meant by digital. You mean still analog but done with a laser? In other words, there are hidden lasers under the sticks? If that is the case I think that could be made to work. I just have no idea if the added benefit would be worth it. When they switched from balls to lasers in mice I didn't notice a significant increase in accuracy. I noticed that I didn't have to take out the ball and clean everything out to make them work perfectly again. That cleaning was constant but I don't have that issue with thumbsticks. If a mouse with a ball never got dirty then I wouldn't notice much of a difference when they switched to lasers. Lasers just feel like clean balls to me.

Until you get a spec of dust under that lazer then HOLY CRAP the mouse no longer works :p. I experience this all the time with my laser mouse.

spinal
05-29-2014, 06:06 PM
I can't see a benefit myself, but then I play very few games that actually require analog stick for anything other than accurate directions (I either stand still or run full speed). Most stick offer input of a 0 to 255 (or rather -127 to 127) range, I cant see increasing that range helping much, nor would updating the values faster.

IIIIUnknownIIII
06-03-2014, 07:09 AM
Thanks for your reply spinal, Maybe it wouldn't help much but maybe something else would, PC gamers just lay into console gamers for there controls all the time on youtube, It's not just hate there's something to this, Maybe at some point in the future it will be possible for console gamers to play online with PC gamers across a lot of games (there may be a couple of games that allow for this now but not many) and if so a controller will have to be made so console gamers won't just get crushed out there, I may be dreaming too big now but I can hope, right?

spinal
06-03-2014, 07:29 AM
The best way I can think of to modify a controller, would be to add a trackball in place of the right thumb stick. 99% of right stick use is for camera controls, which would benefit 100000000% by being controlled by a track ball, you'd have way better control over the movement, it could be mapped 1:1(ish) to the actual trackball movement bringing the whole experience closer to PC gaming.

flamepanther
06-03-2014, 07:34 AM
It's a fact that hardcore PC gamers notice a bad lack of performance with thumbstick controllers compared to mouse and keyboard they say it all the time on youtube. But what are your thoughts about the future of console controllers?

This is a matter of the physical format of the device, not the method used to read its exact position. It is also specific to certain genres and not universal. For example, Nintendo consoles already use optical thumb stick tracking, but they still suck for FPS games.

Here's the issue. A mouse tracks movement across a larger physical area, which makes fine precision easier. Pinpointing your foe for a headshot becomes a matter of centimeters rather than milimeters. Keeping your sights steady with a mouse also requires literally no effort at all, whereas on a gamepad you have to maintain perfect constant pressure on the sticks to avoid wiggling around like a spaz. To top all of that off, people generally have better fine control over their entire arm than they have over their digits--seemingly counterintuitive, but it's something you learn if you take painting.

But using a keyboard and mouse to play a 3D platformer or adventure game isn't a great experience, it's certainly not suitable for fighting games, and simple 2D platform and arcade games work about as well on any device you care to use. This is just something that's inherent in console and PC games.