Pe­riph­eral Vi­sion: Mas­ter Sys­tem Con­trol Pad

1986 Mas­ter Sys­tem £7 (orig­i­nal re­lease), £8+ (to­day, un­boxed)

Retro Gamer - - CONTENTS -

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.

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