Control Pad (Saturn)

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SaturnPad.jpg

Fast Facts on the Control Pad

Made By: Sega
Made For: Sega Saturn

Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn JP 1994-11-22 ¥? HSS-0101
Sega Saturn US 1995-05-11 $? MK-80100
Sega Saturn US (JP-style) 1996 $? MK-80116
Sega Saturn EU 1995-07-08 £? MK-80301
Sega Saturn EU (JP-style) 1996 £? MK-80313

{{#ifeq: 1 | 3 |


The Sega Saturn Control Pad, later known simply as the Controller in North America, is primary method of user input for the Sega Saturn. It is an evolution of the Six Button Control Pad for the Sega Mega Drive and was originally seen in 1994 along with the Saturn console.

It has a circular D-Pad, a Start button, and six face buttons; A, B, C, X, Y and Z. New to the Saturn is the addition of two shoulder buttons, L and R, which replace the Mega Drive's "mode" button to bring the total number of buttons to nine. Like the Mega Drive Control Pad(s), it is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort.

The Saturn controller debuted in Japan in 1994 and remained largely unchanged throughout the lifespan of the console. In North America and Europe however, a different, much bulkier controller was released to supposedly accomodate for the "bigger hands" of western consumers. This "MK-80100" control pad is functionally identical to its Japanese cousin, but is slightly larger and has a peculiar concave D-Pad, not seen in a Sega console since. This particular model is often regarded to be worse than the Japanese variant, and was replaced entirely during the summer of 1996, cutting costs as the console was redesigned.

There are many slightly different colour variations of the controller, mostly to match the colour of the console. Japan initially received grey pads, but eventually saw white and clear varieties as well as those designed for V-Saturns and HiSaturns. In the rest of the world (bar Brazil), only black controllers were released.

The Control Pad saw an "upgrade" in the form of the 3D Control Pad, built as a response to the Nintendo 64's analogue joystick.

Differences in Control Pads

There were two primary versions of the Japanese controller though externally they look the same and were both numbered HSS-0101. However, internally they are completely different. Saturn controllers have a "plus-sign" shaped piece of plastic inside the controller under the D-pad. The pad is raised above this and that's what gives the pad the "rocker" feel as opposed to the mushy feel of a Nintendo 64 or PlayStation controller.

  1. First version. Easily breakable within hours of play. This plastic piece *is* plastic, and has ridges in it in such a way that it adds to its fragility. This version has a tan circuit board, and the primary chip on it is a regular "through-hole" IC with the markings sanded off. The board doesn't even say "Sega" on it, if I didn't know better I'd think it was a counterfeit (since one came with the system and the other was a separate controller it's near impossible, besides it still has the official plug that says Sega on it etc.).
  2. Second version. Durable. Plastic piece is now nylon, and no longer has ridges. Circuit board is now green, says "Sega" on it, and uses surface mount chip. With some minor changes all controllers were still like this until the end.

The gray Japanese controllers that Toys R Us sold were the second version, so it must have been changed relatively quickly. The switches for L/R are different on the two versions too, as they were softer on the first version. Parts between the two versions for the most part are not interchangeable, most of the plastic parts have been altered in one (non-obvious) way or another.

Gallery

Physical Scans

Saturn, US (MK-80100)
Saturn 80100 box.jpg

Cover

Saturn, US (MK-80116)
Saturn 80116 box.jpg

Cover

Saturn, EU (MK-80301)
Saturn MK-80301 box.jpg

Cover

Saturn, EU (MK-80313)
Saturn MK-80313 box.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (Grey)
Saturn HSS-0101 box-2.pngNospine-small.pngSega Saturn HSS-0101 A.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (White)
Sat digi gamepad jp box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSat digi gamepad jp box front.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (Cool Pad)
Coolpad Saturn JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn HSS-0162 box-1.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (V-Saturn, RG-CP5)
Saturn RG-CP5 box-2.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn RG-CP5 box-1.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (V-Saturn, RG-CP6)
Saturn RG-CP6 box.jpg

Cover

Saturn, JP (HiSaturn)
Saturn HSS-0118 box-2.jpg

Cover

Saturn, BR
Joystick Saturn BR Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngJoystick Saturn BR Box Front.jpg

Cover

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
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 | Saturn Address Checker | PSY-Q Development System
Misc. Hardware   6 Player Adaptor‎ | Action Replay | Extended RAM Cartridge | ROM Cartridge | SBom Multitap‎ | S-S Promoter