ByMichael Mitchell, writer at Creators.co
Gamer, writer, occasional pedant. Mitch lives up to all these adjectives and more by writing for Now Loading and Blizzard Watch. @Fizzl_CTR.
Michael Mitchell

Every so often, you come across something that doesn't really have a proper or easy way to be described. These things may look like a work of genius, far beyond your comprehension but clearly a peek into the future. Sometimes, they may look like what happens when you magically manage to tangle all of your electronics together in a giant ball of stuff. Sometimes, they're both.

Enter: The Russian (work-in-progress) controller, the R-Handle.

The R-Handle aims to be the next generation of gamepad, combining aspects of a keyboard and mouse with those of a console controller. The result is...well, you read the title, didn't you? See for yourself:

August prototype images via Twitter
August prototype images via Twitter

It's hard to know what exactly to make of the controller, to be honest. There are several videos of the controller in action, each which gives testament to the R-Handle's functionality and usability. From Dota 2 to Age of Empires to a slew of first-person shooters, it certainly proves it can work for more than just FPS games.

The Real Test Will Be How It Performs Over Current Controllers

This is likely to be the aspect of the R-Handle that will make or break it once it hits the market. For casual gamers, it might be too complicated already to actually be worth learning. After watching the test videos, my interest is certainly piqued, but I kept wondering what exactly it was doing that I couldn't already do. There's not much in the way of explaining all the additional buttons, either.

But I'm probably not the key audience anyway. It seems clearly designed at the hardcore, who want to have the highest APM and the quickest reaction time. And if that's the case, I have to wonder what specifically makes it better than what hardcore gamers are already using.

I Want To Know More!

This is not me criticizing the controller; I genuinely have a hard time telling the benefits of this over standard controls just from watching the videos. I'm interested to see a few things that will hopefully become clearer as the controller is closer to completion:

  • What do all the buttons do?!
  • How does it handle in the hands of pro gamers?
  • Seriously, what do all the buttons do?

All in all, the controller looks like one of those crazy gamepads from the '80s and '90s while at the same time clearly showing it has the functionality to be effective. I'll be interested to see if this device catches on — whether among all types of gamers or solely the pros.

And Speaking Of Those Crazy Gamepads Of Yesteryear...

Why not take a look at just what sorts of offerings gamers have had over the past few decades?

But nothing quite beats this person's supply of weird controllers:

Would you use something like the R-Handle for gaming?