Aesthetics are nice, but when most designers create riffs on today’s standard gaming controllers – most often the Xbox 360 gamepad and PS3 Dualshock 3 – ergonomics and functionality tend to take precedent over elaborate decoration and fancy button designs.
Don’t tell that to eBay user “trioxin_kustoms”. They’re the seller of this rustic masterpiece of an Xbox 360 controller mod pictured above, hand-aged and painted, and intended as an homage to to the wooden and brass furnishings of the 1940s (back when video game controllers were made by men and built to last, dammit!). Even better, though, it allegedly works.
“trioxin_kustoms” only ships to the United States and Canada, and with 2 days left to go at auction at the time of this writing, the going rate has already surpassed the $100 mark. But even at a premium price, the controller has an appeal beyond gaming and esoteric design.
Each button, along with the two analog sticks, is said to be pulled directly from a late-1940s Woodstock typewriter. The bumpers are painted to look like brass, and the entire plastic casing has been dissembled, sanded, painted to resemble genuine repurposed wood in the front and a metallic steel casing in the back. Perfecting the steampunk-esque look, a brass skeleton keyhole is even affixed to the rear battery pack. You’ll have to take the seller’s word for it that the controller is “smooth to the touch” and “very comfortable to use,” but we can’t say it wouldn’t go perfectly with upcoming games like Dishonored or BioShock: Infinite.
In celebrating the avant-garde spirit of controller mods, however, we’re also compelled to acknowledge a man who’s ventured beyond the limiting confines of gamepads and keypads. He goes by “Turbo Corvair” on the MechWarrior Online forum where he was discovered… and he built his own mech cockpit simulator.
The poster refers to his new contraption (and, likely, main living space) as the Simpit, and says that he designed it in anticipation of MechWarrior Online’s upcoming release (which is still slated for this summer). Knocking out a window and taking up the space of a large closet, the cockpit’s width is spanned by three 28″ monitors with AMD Eyefinity. Every minute detail seems accounted for, as surround-sound speakers, blue LED strip lights, cooling fans, and an 11-button mouse are just a tiny fraction of the furnishings and accessories comprising the cockpit.
Needless to say, this one’s not for sale on eBay.
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