Gamepads with LED Touchscreens

Discussion in 'Console Technology' started by Shortbread, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. Shortbread

    Shortbread Island Hopper
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    Just thinking out loud... but, why hasn't Sony, Microsoft or a reputable third party offered gamers 'gamepads' with LED touchscreens? Something with a nice 5-6 inch OLED/AMOLED touchscreen, mic/headset input, their respective button layout of course, for about $199-249 dollars.

    Just thinking of the ways gamers (especially during get-togethers) can use their LED based controllers for Hud purposes, leveling up, crafting needs, and much more. Freeing up TV screen clutter and keeping things such as leveling up and crafting more secret during gameplay with friends and family. I know I would purchase one in a heartbeat for such purposes.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Shifty Geezer

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    As an optional peripheral, it'll never get enough numbers for devs to bother targeting, meaning it'll never be used, meaning no-one would want one, meaning it'll never get enough numbers for devs to bother targeting. As a default controller, far too expensive.
     
  3. Picao84

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    Wasn't the gimmicky Wii U tablet that exactly? It did not turn out to be that popular...
     
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  4. turkey

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    Microsoft touted smartglass to extend the game experience to your phone but it never really took off.
     
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  5. Picao84

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    The PlayStation App supports second screen in games if developers want to use it already. A PSVR game called Statik uses it for co-op gaming, with puzzles where players see different things in VR and on the phone and have to exchange information and give orders to each other to solve them.
     
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  6. Shortbread

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    Wouldn't all the touchscreen interfacing be controlled at the OS level, including any contextual/tabbing selection? At most, the developer would just have to point-and-appoint the right touchscreen interfaces provided by Sony.

    As for being expensive, gamers spend hundreds of dollars on gaming controllers (i.e., Elite, HOTAS Flight Sticks, racing wheels and pedals, etc.) and other accessories like gaming headphones.
     
  7. Shortbread

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    The Wii U was just unpopular to begin with, and very clunky.
     
  8. Shifty Geezer

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    Unlikely. Every game has to create its own UI in code. I can't see that ever changing.
    Too expensive to be the default, included controller. And as an optional extra, it'll never be targeted.

    PSVita already has this second screen feature with PS4. It can be used as an ancillary display and input device. There are millions of Vita owners out there, probably a fair proportion have PS4's, and yet barely any games are supporting it AFAIK because the effort isn't worth the reward.

    Most realistic solution is probably a good controller with a mobile-phone dock in the middle, so generic second-screen devices can be targeted.
     
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  9. DieH@rd

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    IMO, a small e-ink display would be a nice addition for DS5. Full compatibility with DS4 games would be retained, and a nice low-powered bonus feature is added.
     
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  10. Shortbread

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    And that's sad. The lack of trying is more of a failure, IMHO.

    I'm a 100% sure I never mentioned anything about it being an included controller. And as an optional accessory, is there any data to support your view of similar products that have failed, meaning LED/LCD touchscreen gamepads?

    The PSVita wasn't initially targeted as a secondary controller (still isn't). The secondary screen was an afterthought that came a year or so requiring secondary software on doing such. I want to see something from the jump, the get-go, and not some roundabout update on moving slowing sales of PSVita.

    But as you stated earlier; wouldn't that still require developers to create their own UI in code?
     
    #10 Shortbread, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  11. Shortbread

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    Something similar (but better) to Dreamcast's VMUs for their gamepads? Good idea!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Shifty Geezer

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    In my initial reply, I covered both options - optional extra or default pack-in.
    Every peripheral ever released. A few have gained traction like Kinect, for specific games. A few are very specialist like racing wheels, which the game developers themselves want to use for realism so will support. Everything else that's a peripheral, either device or feature (motion controls for example) go mostly unused.

    Yes. Difference is there's no hardware cost to price people out of wanting to give it a try. A dev can chance it knowing ~100% of their players will have access to a second screen. There are numerous titles already that support second-screen features on mobile. If someone were to release a second-screen controller, initial audience would be zero. Why bother creating a game that supports an install base of zero? In the hopes it'll sell more. But why would it sell more when it costs a lot and no games support it? It's the classic chicken-and-egg situation.
     
  13. Shortbread

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    But there is no uniformity or consistency in a mobile approach. Sure there are tons of phones, but there is no uniform software on making sure compatibility is reached across all cellphone brands, types, models and so-on. We have seen the type of cluster-fuck Android apps/games not working on all Android based phones, especially cellphones with all manners of configuration. Essentially, they'll be targeting a PC in a sense... the vast configurations, software (updated/outdated) and all of the hidden eccentricities dealing with a particular brand or brands. In my view, a more uniform device (software as well) from Sony or Microsoft would fit this approach much better than an open platform like cellphones.
     
    #13 Shortbread, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2018
  14. Tkumpathenurpahl

    Tkumpathenurpahl Oil my grapes.
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    How much more would it cost to turn the DualShock 4's touch pad into a Casio watch style screen, along with a little ARM processor to drive it?
     
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  15. Shortbread

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    Can't say. But if its inclusive with the system (the controller with screen), the hardware would probably be integrated into the main system, or resources allotted from the primary gaming hardware (CPU/GPU), rather than having specialized logic implemented into the controller.

    Anyhow, to replace the VMU for Dreamcast is around $10-25 dollars.

    VMU Technical Specs:
    * CPU: Sanyo LC8670 (8-bit CPU)
    * Memory: 128KB flash memory.
    * Display: 48 dot width × 32 dot height, LCD
    * Sound: 1-channel PWM sound source
    * Switches: Digital D-Pad, 4 input buttons, 1 reset button
    * Functions: Memory card, second screen, mini-games/apps, calendar, file manager
    * Display size (width×height): 37 mm × 26 mm (1.46 in × 1.02 in)
    * Case dimensions (width×height×depth): 47 mm × 80 mm × 16 mm (1.85 in × 3.15 in × 0.63 in)
    * Power source: 2 × CR2032 batteries with auto-off function
    * Weight: 45 g (1.6 oz)
     
  16. cheapchips

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    I think this is an idea that works better in theory than in practice.
    • It's a poor place to display live information as you stop looking at the game
    • It's poor for buttons, as you can't feel what your hitting
    • It's slightly better for inventory management
    • A vmu sized screen is piddley and useless
    • A phone size screen is bulky and expensive
    • The controller is generally in the wrong place to be a nice peripheral display, like a car speedometer
    If Nintendo and Valve * fail do anything interesting with controller screens then it's a pretty good sign it's not very useful or fun.

    Edit: but having said that, consoles are crying out for better input options. Maybe if you could gesture at your TV or speak to it. That would be amazing! ;)

    * The Steam controller had a touch display for a while.
     
    #16 cheapchips, Jun 22, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  17. Shortbread

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    * That's debatable. A glance at vitals or HUD information isn't going to destroy immersion.
    * Why? The traditional gamepad buttons aren't going to be replaced. The screen is geared towards information and/or specialized situations (crafting, leveling up, etc.).
    * Depends on your inventory management skills and the complexity of it. So, bad, poor, fair, good, excellent and so-on can apply.
    * No one is strictly talking about a VMU size screen... but rather the integration of certain screen technology that could exist within a gamepad.
    * Also debatable. I find most modern size handheld electronic devices (cellphones, tablets, Switch, etc.) quite comfortable, even after 3-4 hours of straight usage.
    * What? I mean; the screen is in the middle or top center of the gamepad. How could someone lose track of it?
     
  18. Silent_Buddha

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    Here's basically how to distinguish if a non-standard controller (meaning not included with the base console) will be a long term success.
    • If the controller was made specifically for a popular game genre and significant improves the game experience it will have long term success. It'll still be just a niche market, but it'll persist as long as that game genre remains relevant.
      • Flight sticks, steering wheels, etc. fit this.
    • If the controller requires games to be modified to support it or new games created to take advantage of it, it won't have long term success.
      • Eye Toy and Kinect were successful for a period but quickly lost relevance.
      • Nintendo Power Glove, Virtual boy, etc.
      • Light guns.
      • Many others.
    Hell, even things included on base controllers often go mostly unused if it only exists on that one console.
    • Motion sensors on the PS4 controller, rarely used.
    • Touch screen gets more use, but often it's just used as another button. Yes some games take more advantage of it, but it's more rare than it being used as just another button.
    • Wii-U screen sometimes used to facilitate innovative ideas, mostly it was just there.
    I like the idea of a screen on the controller. That was one of the things I LOVED about the 3DS, that extra screen that could be used for a lot of stuff. I really miss that on the NSW. But the thing is, it came with every single 3DS and most games on 3DS weren't being ported to other consoles that didn't have that extra screen.

    The problems a hypothetical console controller with a screen faces is that.
    • It must support all consoles or at the very least both PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
    • It must be included with every console as the base console controller.
    • Alternatively it must significantly improve the experience of an existing genre of games that have a passionate and hardcore following.
    I could see a controller fitting the first requirement. I don't see such a controller fitting the second requirement. And I can't think of a game genre where it could fulfill the requirements of the alternate third requirement.

    Granted, these are all my opinions and observations, but they fit in with past controller accessories that remained relevant for long periods of time or just faded into non-relevance.

    Regards,
    SB
     
    #18 Silent_Buddha, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  19. cheapchips

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    My HUD issue isn't about immersion or "losing track of the screen". It's that your not looking at the TV anymore. You either have to move your eyes or the controller to see the HUD, since a natural controller position doesn't have it sitting in your peripheral vision relative to the TV. For action games that's (videogame) live and death.

    3DS style duel screen works because both screens sit in your vision at the same time. It's essential a single portrait screen split down the middle. The 2DS is actually a portrait screen with a bar in the middle.

    I could have articulated my screen size thoughts better. The Switch isn't bad to hold as a large screen example. The issue with screen interaction is that to use it, you have to be looking at it. You can only do things that are pausing the game. You might as well be look at a menu/map on TV.

    Due to the screen's placement, if it's Switch sized, you're having to remove both hands from the physical controls to use it. Both hands, because you have to reposition your left hand to hold the controller in a solid enough way to poke and swipe.

    If you make the screen small enough to be reachable without removing hands, like with the prototype steam controller, you only get ~4 buttons. You might as well have four physical buttons or a touch interface without a screen, like DS4.

    Those are my current feelings on it. Examples in existing AAA game might persuade me otherwise. I used to be a fan of the idea!
     
    #19 cheapchips, Jun 23, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  20. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    sony kinda supports that thru "second screen" thats available on PSVITA and android/ios phones/tablets.

    depending on the game, it can be used for map, hud, rear mirror, second-view asymmetric multiplayer, etc
     
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