That would be a much better layout I think. I'm a bit concernd about attempting to extend this flexible material though. I'm not sure how well I could connect to it, or how long those connections would last.
I hope you fare better than I did. I tried to help on a PS3 controller modification (tying into the lines) and because all of the buttons are analog and connected to a flex circuit which is just pressed onto the board (no connector) it was absolutely miserable. We tried soldering to the pads on the board, then it made a finicky connection instead, I tried attaching a wire to the flex circuit thinking that it was copper like similar circuits, and the ink came off, it was just terrible.
My suggestion, get a PS3 compatible USB controller and hack that, all digital, you can move switches around, hopefully no nasty sony flex board in it, etc.
My video playing games took sometime with the Atari box and I don't know why but I remember well the simple joystick. Then I was kind of surprised when I started seen that the controls were changing in other consoles. Looks like the joystick is out for good as no console got it back. This makes me wonder why? Is it that games got more complex and thus required more buttons? And the next question is ... which of the controllers out there would be the best design ... ergonomically?
You seem perplexed at the notion that insurance companies won't insur your hacked-together design methodology device. Their actuaries crunched the numbers (with a magic wand) and calculated that your hack design is 65% likely to kill someone 100% of the time;well what about the 35% who survived, why should they miss out?
The items that cost a ridiculous amount, I agree should be cheaper (why, well I just do that is why). Unfortnately if you want something in nature to last a while it seems that that part of nature designated the task of designing it must perform some due diligence. This takes real engineers with real talent and some pride thrown in to boot.
The client says: I want a sun not a A Bell (Bell Labs) (okay he stole the idea but who cares about that), light bulb, can you design one of them for me? No it is too hard, how about 13489714305987134095871345 light bulbs glued together with a bonus connection diagram?
You want an idea on how to reposition those black boxes quickly and cheaply, I would try using the same software you used to put them there in the first place, either that or place the controller on the ground and jump up and down on it.
What are you even talking about? I mentioned that insurance companies don't cover the cost of people getting devices at all, not my specific stuff. They don't cover the expensive "professional" either.