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29 Controls of Christmas
Super NES Pad
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on December 05, 2008   |   Episode 9 (Show Archive)  

   

It's that time of year again, a time when Defunct Games celebrates the holidays by posting a daily theme article that should inform and delight gamers all over the world. This year we're taking a look at 29 of the best known video game controls of all time, from the Nintendo Entertainment System to the Nintendo Wii remote. We're going to review each and every one of them, and then give you a short haiku. Join us as we celebrate this joyous season with the 29 Controls of Christmas!



Not only was the Japanese control more colorful, but the actual Super Famicom was a much better looking console!
Brief Synopsis: When Sega went from 8-Bit to 16-Bit they added a third button. When SNK entered the arena they added a fourth button. So what is Nintendo to do when coming up with their first new console in six years? Apparently the answer is to give us a control with six buttons! While the original NES control was simple and not daunting in any way, the control for the Super NES had more buttons than you knew what to do with. You had the four face buttons (emblazoned with random letters) and then the two shoulder buttons, which were used almost immediately in games like F-Zero. Aside from the massive addition of buttons, the Super NES control was very similar to that of its 8-Bit counterpart. The pad was a bit more ergonomic, but it was a light grey, featured the start/select buttons and had the standard D-pad we've come to know and love. It didn't do anything fancy, but maybe it didn't have to. All we cared about was killing Bowser and (eventually) using all six buttons to play Street Fighter II.

The Style: Learning a thing or two from Sega, Nintendo decided that their Super NES control would have non-sharp rounded corners that would more easily fit in one's hand. It added a little style by adding a diagonal tilt to everything but the D-pad, which goes a long way to bring the design together. The problem is the color choices Nintendo made for the American Super NES control. In the U.S. the four face buttons were given two different colors, a dark and light purple scheme. In contrast, Japan's Super Famicom had face buttons that featured buttons with greens, yellows, blues and

Sadly this was not my hot date (though it would have kept me interested in the Super NES control)!
reds. It was a much more colorful design that made the control pop. The Americanized Super NES control still gets the job done, but it just doesn't have the flare of the Japanese original.

What the 13 Year Old Me Would Say: Dude, I can't be bothered with your stupid control questions. Don't you know, I have a hot date with this chick from school; it's going to be off the wall. Actually, all we're doing is going to Terminator 2: Judgment Day. And my mom is driving us around, so we won't even be able to do anything cool. It's probably going to suck. But have you seen this girl? OH MY GOD! Anyway, it's going to be a great, a lot better than spending the day talking to you about this control. Look at this thing; it has what, six buttons? Who is ever going to need six buttons? Okay, look, you've been here long enough, I need to get ready.

What I Would Say Now: The 13 year old me was an idiot, that girl just caused drama and didn't put out. I should have just stayed home talking to the 30 year old me about Nintendo's 16-bit controller. While nowhere near perfect, this control introduced the world to a number of important control innovations. For starters, this was the first control to arrange the face buttons in that D-pad-style shape. Don't think that's important? Tell that to the Dreamcast, Xbox 360 and every PlayStation control. The Super NES control also featured shoulder buttons, a mainstay in our modern control world. It certainly isn't the best control, but it's impossible to ignore the importance of the Super NES pad.

The Super NES Pad Haiku:
Four more face buttons.
Everybody else copies.
Except for the Wii.
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