Preferencial control

When I plugged in my first Xbox 360 there was a little known dashboard preference that impressed me greatly.

To most people, at the time, it didn’t seem like much, but I think it’s a concept that could be taken further and with the soon to be released Fall Dashboard Update, I’ve been considering it again.

The impressive preference set allows you to select controller configurations for specific types of games. For instance with action games you can have a default assigned to your profile that inverts the y-axis. For driving games you can choose to have manual gears by default. The great thing is that each type of game, regardless of publisher, can respect these settings.

These days most games offer two levels of controller configuration: those allowing you to change the basics such as vibration and axis and those allowing you to select from a predefined choice of layouts. I would like to see every game offer the ability to map each and every control to specific controller buttons.

Now I appreciate a great deal of design and testing goes into the control mechanism for a game but at best this forces the entire gaming world into a handful of groups.

In addition to the standard set of controller configuration options I would like to see games respect a more granular preference set available from within the dashboard. Not just which way is up on the stick but preferences that allow each user to map such common gaming memes such as primary and secondary fire, accelerate and decelerate, jump and interact to specific buttons common to all games.

Not only would this make a new game easier to get to grips with but it would offer a familiar environment to those less experienced gamers Microsoft are hoping to attract with the new update.

Whilst this may mean more work for developers, the information about how millions of gamers prefer to use their controller in a game can offer an excellent return on the investment.






2 responses to “Preferencial control”

  1. Michael avatar

    Hmm… I think having a greater degree of freedom with controller layout might just be counter-intuitive for new users. Imagine having a basic knowledge of which button does what and then being told that you can change it at whim; not only that, but it can perhaps be changed for a variety of games. Daunting for a rookie, no?

  2. City avatar

    The boyfriend got very annoyed with Dead Space on the PC recently…. you cant configure it away from WADS and he uses the same arrow key set up for all his FPS’ on PC.. as Do I.
    I think its great you can change controls to suit your style, means you dont have to learn a load of new ones all over again!

    I know Alex here at RU is a massive fan of the inverted camera, was funny seeing her change every game we played to inverted, and her utter frustration when she couldnt change RE5

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