» Released: 1998 » Platform: DREAMCAST » Cost: £19.99 (launch), £5+ (now)
When designing the controller for the Dreamcast, Sega clearly looked back at the Saturn’s 3D Controller, which had been bundled with NIGHTS Into Dreams. Both controllers share a similar bulky body and button layout, although the Dreamcast’s controller offers a more conventional (and rather sensitive) analogue thumbstick, and has two fewer face buttons. The Dreamcast controller also offers two expansion bays, with a window in its face to allow you to see the peripheral in the front bay – usually the LCD screen of a connected Visual
Memory Unit (right). Other peripherals, such as the Vibration Pack and the Dreamcast Microphone, are more commonly used in the rear bay. Oddly, the controller’s cable is located at the bottom of the controller, and directed upwards by a clip on the rear of the expansion bay.
The Dreamcast controller was good for general 3D adventure games and, thanks to its analogue triggers, racing games. However, it wasn’t so well equipped for the Dreamcast’s many fighting games, nor its first-person shooters. Additionally, players with larger hands tend to find the controller less comfortable to use. Though it was to be Sega’s last all-purpose home console controller, the Dreamcast controller’s design was a clear influence on Microsoft’s Xbox controller.