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What are Wireless Game Controllers?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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Wireless game controllers are handheld controllers for gaming consoles that have no cord. Wireless game controllers use wireless technology to enable game play to be less restrictive, allowing players to sit virtually anywhere in the room. They are available for all major gaming consoles and computers.

If you’ve ever sat down to play a video game on a home console, then you understand the meaning of restricted movement. Traditional game controllers plug into ports on the console, and the player or players can position themselves only as far from the console as the wires on the controller will reach. This problem can greatly reduce the comfort level of a player settling down for the long haul, especially if the couch is too far away from the TV. Wireless controllers provide gamers the freedom to sit down anywhere in the room they choose, as long as the receiver is within operating distance.

In addition to freedom of movement, one of the greatest benefits of wireless game controllers is storage. The wireless receivers remain plugged into the console’s controller ports, and the controllers themselves have no wires to bulk up storage units or become tangled. Not to mention, there is no need to move the console around. You can simply give it a permanent location in an entertainment unit or cupboard below the television, or however you choose to arrange your systems, and there are never any wires hanging out. Set up and clean up becomes a breeze, even for kids. The only disadvantage, which is insignificant when compared to the advantages, is the need to have replacement batteries on hand.

Wireless game controllers come equipped with the same functions as their hard-wired predecessors, including the rumble functions that are essential in some games. They are designed to have the same response time, though frequent gamers might notice a slight difference when first using wireless game controllers. Of course, you must purchase controllers that are specifically compatible with your gaming console, and you should choose carefully. Knock-off brands manufacture wireless controllers for different systems which retail for slightly less than name brand, but they don’t always perform at the same rate. It is best in the long run to purchase controllers manufactured by the retailer of your specific game console. You can find wireless controllers at any electronics retailer that sells games and consoles.

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Discussion Comments
By GiraffeEars — On Mar 25, 2011

Are there any good wireless PC game controllers that allow for motion sensitive game play? If not now, are there any plans for motion sensitive PC gaming on the horizon?

By Glasshouse — On Mar 23, 2011

Has anyone tried the new PS3 or Xbox 360 motion controllers? How do they compare to the Wii controllers? I am not partial to any system, but I am wondering if it is worth investing in either of these two new systems because they offer exclusive games not found on competing systems. I would appreciate anyone's opinion.

By cougars — On Mar 20, 2011

I think the new wireless video game controllers are great. Until they were released, the outcry amongst parents and conservative groups across the country were that video games and television were making people lazy and overweight. It is not practical to think that people will just give up video games. Instead, the market responded by bringing games to people that force them to move. The new motion sensitive video games make gaming less of a sedentary activity. There will surely be a new complaint that pops up surrounding video games as well as new studies that try to back up these complaints, but at least for now, the critics are silenced.

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