Peripheral Vision: Master System Control Pad
1986 Master System £7 (original release), £8+ (today, unboxed)
Take a look at why we prefer Sega’s 8-bit pad over its NES counterpart
Sega’s first western console gained quite a foothold in the United Kingdom, but it eventually lost out in sales globally due to the sheer impact of Nintendo’s own 8-bit console. Although the Master System lost its scuffle with the NES, one area it trumped its rival in was the inclusion of a better controller.
We’re sure that there will be many readers who will happily defend the NES pad, and we can certainly understand why. It features more functional buttons, for a start, and has an excellent d-pad. And yet, while we applaud the NES pad’s functionality, it ultimately loses out to the Master System’s offering in ergonomics.
In comparison, the Master System pad is a far better controller to game on for long stretches of time. Its edges are more rounded, making it surprisingly comfortable to use. Its two buttons are a decent size as well, meaning cramp never tends to set in. It might not be the prettiest-looking thing in the world, but what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in comfort. It’s a solidly built controller that allows you to easily play through the Master System’s interesting library of classic games for hours on end.