SnakeBite was the first mobile phone controller in history. Created for the Nokia 3310 and 6110 around 2000, the controller was a plastic piece shaped like a joystick that was attached to the phone. Learn more about it in this article.
The controller was basically a plastic piece that was attached to the phone and pressed the “2,8,4,6” keys instead of using fingers.
The controller’s sole purpose was to be used for the game Snake, the popular “snake” game from the “Nokia Brick,” hence the name: “SnakeBite” or “snake bite” in English.
Who invented the controller for playing snake on the phone?
Created by Christian Simpson, now a YouTuber and owner of the channel Perifractic, SnakeBite was a curiosity sold only on a small site at the time and few people remember it today.
Christian revealed the secret in 2017 on his Facebook page.
“Little-known fact: I invented a joystick in 2000 for playing Snake on this phone”
The SnakeBite could be ordered through the English website www.ismo.co.uk, and was sold for about £8 sterling pounds.
The joystick was designed for Nokia 5110, 6110, 6150, 3210, and 7110 phones, with modifications for each type of phone made through swaps on the sides of the joystick. They were equipped with small plastic pins that fit into two holes on the sides of the phone. Their arrangement varies in different models, hence the need for swaps on the sides.
Was the first mobile controller bad?
During the game itself, the joystick was more beneficial for inexperienced players who had not spent much time playing Snake, but as history showed, the controller was more of a “gimmick” than something that really helped in playing. In reality, playing without the controller was much easier and more comfortable.
It’s even iconic that the first mobile phone controller is very similar to the Atari 2600 controller. Just a lever to control the game.
See more photos of the SnakeBite joystick controller:
Sorry for the quality of the photos, but they are original photos from the time the controller was released.
Video of the controller:
We discussed this controller in our special series of articles about the “History of Mobile Games.”
- History of mobile games – Part 1
- History of mobile games – Part 2 – The Eternal Java (J2ME)
- History of mobile games – Part 3 – The Symbian Era
- [CURIOSITY] The History of Snake Games
- The absurd evolution of mobile games