History of Game Controllers
Video games have progressed over time, and as they have, more complex controllers have been necessary to accomodate those games. The history of video controllers is a very interesting subject. Here is some of the history.
First of all, the Atari 2600's standard controller was very simple. It had an 8-way joystick with one button on the base of the controller. The controller looked identical from all sides. The Atari also had its own fair share of special game-specific controllers, like the paddle wheel for example. The controller was like the joystick, but it was just one dial and one simple button. It really only had one movement.
Secondly there was the Intellivision. The controller was a little more complex. It was a pad with 12 buttons on the face and two triggers on each side. An overlay was slid over the face to tell you which buttons did what. It didn't have a dedicated movement pad or stick.
Third of all, when the Nintendo Entertainment System hit in 1985, its controller was designed to be a lot better and easy. It had a pad on the left and two buttons on the right, as well
as a Select button to change modes and a Start button to, well, start. This button eventually evolved into a pause button as well. The rectangle shape and labels made sure you were holding it the right way
And lastly, The Nintendo 64 debuted in 1996 with its peculiar 3-handle design. The most innovative design in to date, the controller featured six buttons on the right face, one trigger on each side, one trigger under the middle handle, and a start button. On the left handle was the standard crosshair D-Pad. On the middle handle was the best feature: the analog stick.
So in conclusion, controllers have came a long ways in the past. The history can be very interesting if you do a little digging.