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3D Control Pad

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AnalogPad.jpg
Fast facts on the 3D Control Pad
Manufacturer: Sega
Made for: Sega Saturn
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
JP
¥3,800[1] HSS-0137
Sega Saturn
US
$39.99[2] 80117
Sega Saturn
UK
£?
Sega Saturn
FR
?F
Sega Saturn
DE
DM ?
Sega Saturn
ES
?Ptas
Sega Saturn
BR
R$? ?
Sega Saturn
KR
₩? ?


The 3D Control Pad, called the Sega Multi Controller (セガマルチコントローラー) in Japan and the Joystick 3D in Brazil, is a control pad developed for use with the Sega Saturn. Debuting with NiGHTS into Dreams, it was Sega's answer to the then revolutionary Nintendo 64 controller, which featured an analogue stick as opposed to relying solely on D-Pads.

Analogue sticks generally allow for greater precision in a 3D environment, which in 1996 were becoming more common in the console video game market.

Hardware

The 3D Control Pad builds on the features already seen in the standard Saturn Control Pad, containing an eight-direcional D-Pad, and A, B, C, X, Y, Z and Start face buttons. New to the controller is an analogue thumbstick (or "3D Directional Pad" as Sega called it), positioned on the left hand side of the controller above the D-Pad. Also inlcuded are analogue L and R shoulder triggers, a first for mainstream video game controllers.

To avoid compatibility issues, the analog controller has a switch under the start button to swap between "Digital" and "Analogue" modes. Switching to "Digital" mode disables all analogue settings, essentially turning the controller back into a standard control pad. This switch was vital, because earlier games were not built to understand the analogue technology and will not function correctly if the wrong mode is chosen. The original PlayStation and its latter dual-analogue controllers also required this feature.

The lead can also be removed from the controller for storage purposes.

The 3D Control Pad did not see widespread adoption for the same reason the Sega Saturn failed to capture a large share of the market in the west. The Saturn's 3D output was low, and as the controllers were never bundled with the console, consumers were more familiar with the standard Saturn control pads. It also has some design issues, namely the fact it is quite a lot bigger than most other controllers and arguably less comfortable than the standard pads for certain genres. Even in Japan, where the Saturn was successful, the controller was not used by many games (many of them coming from Sega, though some developers, such as KID, supported it quite a bit (in their case, even after Sega introduced the Dreamcast)).

The 3D Control Pad also works with games compatible with the steering wheel controllers, and the Sega Mission Stick.

List of supported games

North American games which support the 3D Control Pad have this icon indicating compatibility on the back of the box.
note: this list is missing games not released in Japan and may use Japanese names for games released in the West as well

History

Development

The 3D Control Pad is one of Sega's most significant video game controllers, with Sega filing a patent covering a number of possible extensions to the designMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[3], achieved through the port at the top of the controller.

Covered ideas include wireless connections to the console (and light gun-style support)Media:Patent US7488254.pdf[4], extra joysticksMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[5] and trackballsMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[6], memory cardsMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[7], a second displayMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[8], clocksMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[9], a curious rotatable standMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[10] and motion controlMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[11].

Vibration feedback is also consideredMedia:Patent US7488254.pdf[12] which may pre-date attempts by Nintendo.

Release

Notably the 3D Control Pad beat the Nintendo 64 to market by a month in the US and several months in Europe, so while clearly inspired by the Nintendo 64 by design, the Sega Saturn can stand as the first video game console to support modern analogue stick support.

Legacy

The 3D Control Pad can be credited for many common features seen in controllers today, with its design greatly influencing that of the Sega Dreamcast Controller. Analogue shoulder buttons have since been adopted by both Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony in the Nintendo GameCube, Xbox and PlayStation 3 (and their successors) and the placement of the analogue stick has also been copied by several firms.

Gallery

Physical scans

Saturn, US
3DControlPad Saturn US Box Top.jpg
3DControlPad Saturn US Box Back.jpg3DControlPad Saturn US Box Spine.jpgSaturn 80117 box.jpg3DControlPad Saturn US Box Spine2.jpg
3DControlPad Saturn US Box Bottom.jpg
Cover
3DControlPadSaturnUSManual.pdf
Manual
Saturn, US (NiGHTS into Dreams)
3DAnalogGamePad NiGHTS US Box Back.jpgNospine.pngSaturn 80117 box-2.jpg
Cover
Nights Saturn US Disc.jpg
Disc
NiGHTS Saturn US Box Back CD.jpgNiGHTS Saturn US Box Front CD.jpg
Jewel Case
Saturn, EU
Saturn MK-80314 box.jpg
Cover
Saturn, EU (NiGHTS into Dreams)
3DControlPad EU Box Back NiGHTS.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn MK-80314 box-2.jpg
Cover
NiGHTsIntoDreams saturn eu backcover.jpgNightsBoxEU.jpg
Jewel Case
Saturn, JP
Saturn HSS-0137 box-3.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn HSS-0137 box-1.jpg
Cover
MultiControllerSaturnJPManual.pdf
Manual
Saturn, JP (NiGHTS into Dreams)
MultiController Saturn JP Box Back NiGHTS.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn HSS-0137 box-2.jpg
Cover
Saturn, JP (Magic Carpet)
MultiController Saturn JP Box Front MagicCarpet.jpg
Cover
Saturn, BR
Joystick3D Saturn BR Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngJoystick3D Saturn BR Box Front.jpg
Cover
Saturn, KR
3DControlPad Saturn KR Box Front NiGHTS.jpg
Cover

External links

References

Sega Saturn Hardware
 Saturn Variations   Sega Saturn consoles (HiSaturn, V-Saturn, etc.) | North America | Europe | Brazil | Asia

HiSaturn Navi | SunSeibu SGX | Sega Titan Video

 Console Add-ons   Backup Memory | Sega PriFun | Video CD Card | Extended RAM Cartridge | ROM Cartridge
Game Controllers   Standard gamepad | 3D Control Pad | Arcade Racer Joystick | Infrared Control Pad | Sega Mission Stick | Shuttle Mouse | Twin Stick | Virtua Gun | Virtua Stick | Virtua Stick Pro
Online Services/Add-ons   NetLink Internet Modem (NetLink Keyboard | NetLink Keyboard Adapter | NetLink Mouse) | Saturn Modem (Floppy Drive | Keyboard)
Connector Cables   21 Pin RGB Cable | Monaural AV Cable | RF Unit | Stereo AV Cable | S-Video Cable | Taisen Cable
Development Hardware Programming Box | Sound Box | E7000 | CartDev | SNASM2 | Saturn Address Checker | PSY-Q Development System
Misc. Hardware   6 Player Adaptor‎ | Action Replay | Action Replay Plus | Pro Action Replay | SBom Multitap‎ | S-S Promoter