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Video Game Controllers

In the world of video game controllers, there are seldom deals to be had: you generally get what you pay for.  Why should you invest in a better controller?  Besides lookng cool, a better controller will save your wrists and wallet in the long run.  Replacing your controller every month or having to wear wrist braces can put a damper on your gaming experience.  While they have a higher initial cost, getting the official controller made by the same brand as your console  is usually your best bet.

Design

Speaking of prices, note this well: no matter how cheap your controller, it will cost you in the long run if it's not ergonomically correct. Look for rounded corners and light weight, and make sure to pick it up and get a feel for how it rests in your hands. For examples of perfection, check out the Xbox 360 control pad  and the PS2's Dual Shock . Is a cheap controller worth the price of your wrists' health?  We thought not.

Style

Colour and shape are also huge factors, especially for gift-givers. Keep in mind the personality, attitude and home decor of who you're buying for. If your nephew is a conservative type, think twice about getting him a flaming orange GameCube stick. If your granddaughter's bedroom is full of stuffed animals, hold off on getting her a drab, black Dual Shock.

Storage

Controllers have a way of ending up sprawled on the floor in an unruly mess. This makes wireless controllers  a solid option, since few things are more annoying than having to untangle an unruly mess of cords. If you're buying a wireless as a gift, be thorough and check out the back of the package for battery requirements. No matter how hot the GameCube Wavebird  looks, it won't be of much use without the double-As.

Before you buy

Check out the seller's warranty. It is not out of the realm of possibility for a cheap controller to break within a few days of purchase. You may be thrilled to get a fantastic deal, but you won't be thrilled when they break and you are left with little recourse but to ante up again. Most importantly, don't slam your controllers out of frustration, or you'll find yourself shopping again and again.

Game Pads

PC

Xbox

Nintendo 

Playstation

Sega 

Other Options

Joysticks

Dance Pads

Video Game Steering Wheels

Gaming Mice

Gaming Keyboards