From Sega Retro
A control pad (also called joypad, controller or game pad), is a type of game controller held in the hand, where the digits (especially thumbs) are used to provide input. Control pads generally feature a set of action buttons handled with the right thumb and a direction controller handled with the left. The direction controller has traditionally been a four-way digital cross (also named a joypad, or alternatively a D-pad), but most modern controllers additionally (or as a substitute) feature an analog stick.
Some common additions to the standard pad include shoulder buttons placed along the edges of the pad, centrally placed start, select, and mode buttons, and an internal motor to provide force feedback.
Control pads are the primary means of input on all modern video game consoles except for the Nintendo Wii (though the Wii Remote can function alternately as a gamepad). Control pads are also available for personal computers, although a keyboard and mouse combination tends to be utilized more often for certain genres.