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Should Music Controllers Standardize?

As owners of Guitar Hero + Rock Band know, those giant plastic instrument controllers consume a lot of real world real estate. The drum kits are particularly huge and they tend to dominate the whole room that they occupy. No one wants to have multiple versions of these controllers for different games or different versions of the same game.

Is this a good time for platform holders (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo) to step in and set some universal standards?

Here are some reasons I can think of that there should NOT be standard-enforced controllers:

– I only want one game that is centered around a five-colored-button guitar controller. Sure, if the industry keeps making endless variations of the exact same game for the exact same type of controller, a universal controller standard is great. That’s exactly what I don’t want.

– I do want different controllers. For guitar, I’d like to get a controller with actual strings rather than colored buttons. Parents shopping for small kids probably want simpler controllers that are smaller, easier to use, cheaper, and harder to break. I don’t want that type of innovation and diversification to be hampered by some bureaucratic standards.

– The decision should be in the hands of the developers. If studios make terrible decisions, people won’t buy their games. If a new game requires a new peripheral purchase, that game better deliver enough innovation to justify that.

– I’d rather see standardization in music DLC purchases. Why should my music purchases be tied to particular vendor? Standardization isn’t an either/or situation, but still, the music format standardization is more important than the controller issue.