I have but one bookcase in my room which I used to store my manga, comics and such. The bottom shelf has always stored my large collection of almost 10 years of GamePro magazines. Lately my comic and manga collection has grown larger, and I stopped subscribing to GamePro over a year ago. So I packed up the magazines, and I’m getting ready to sell the whole collection on ebay.
While sorting out those old GamePro magazines I stumbled upon something very interesting. In the labs section, on page 30, where they review new hardware accessories, of the March 1997 issue #102 there is a small box containing a review of a third party PlayStation controller. The box is titled “The Alps Adventure” and it is a review of a controller simply called “The Gamepad” that is made by Alps Interactive. The picture and text of the review follow.
It looks like a batarang, but fear not, hardy PlayStation gameplayers. The Gamepad by Alps Interactive is anything but sinister. The cool, sleek design is actually very functional, with extra-long, rubber-coated handles for a sure grip and a responsive, thumb-friendly direction pad rather than the four buttons as on the stock PSX controller.
Some downsides are the closely spaced teardrop-shaped action buttons and the triggers, which seem more spread out than on the standard controller. Sill, The Gamepad is ready to help gamers kick some butt–even if it’s not in Gotham City.
I think it is obvious to everyone that this is almost identical to the PS3 controller designs we’ve seen around the web. I couldn’t confirm the current status of Alps Interactive with a brief web search, but I did find this site selling the controller and giving it high praise.
Like others I am skeptical of whether or not the PS3 controller will actually be comfortable to hold and use. But based on a couple reviews of the original I think that it might actually be comfortable despite it’s misleading appearance. Assuming the reviews are to be trusted. Sony had better hope that the patent holder for the gamepad doesn’t come looking for them. I think they have enough lawsuits on their hands already.