Control Pad (Saturn)

From Sega Retro

Fast facts on the Control Pad
Manufacturer: Sega
Made for: Sega Saturn
Release Date RRP Code
Sega Saturn
¥4,800[1] HSS-0101
Sega Saturn
JP (White)
¥4,800 HSS-0101-S
Sega Saturn
JP (Cool Pad)
¥2,500[1] HSS-0162
Sega Saturn
$? MK-80100
Sega Saturn
US (JP-style)
$? MK-80116
Sega Saturn
EU (JP-style)
€19.99[2] MK-80313
Sega Saturn
£? MK-80301
Sega Saturn
?F MK-80301
Sega Saturn
DM ? MK-80301
Sega Saturn
?Ptas MK-80301
Sega Saturn
R$40.00 ?

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 accommodate 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.

Magazine articles

Main article: Control Pad (Saturn)/Magazine articles.


Promotional material

Physical scans

Sega Retro Average 
Publication Score Source
100 №193, p67[2]
Sega Saturn
Based on
1 review

Saturn, US (MK-80100)
Saturn 80100 box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn 80100 box.jpg
Saturn, US (MK-80114)
Saturn 80114 box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn 80114 box.jpg
Saturn, US (MK-80116)
Saturn 80116 box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn 80116 box.jpg
Saturn, EU (MK-80301)
Saturn MK-80301 Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn MK-80301 box.jpg
Saturn, EU (MK-80313)
Saturn MK-80313 box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn MK-80313 box.jpg
Saturn, JP (Grey)
Saturn HSS-0101 box-2.pngNospine-small.pngSega Saturn HSS-0101 A.jpg
Saturn, JP (White)
Sat digi gamepad jp box back.jpgNospine-small.pngSat digi gamepad jp box front.jpg
Saturn, JP (Cool Pad)
Coolpad Saturn JP Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn HSS-0162 box-1.jpg
Saturn, JP (V-Saturn, RG-CP5)
Saturn RG-CP5 box-2.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn RG-CP5 box-1.jpg
Saturn, JP (V-Saturn, RG-CP6)
ControlPad Saturn JP Box Back RG-CP6.jpgNospine-small.pngSaturn RG-CP6 box.jpg
Saturn, JP (HiSaturn)
Saturn HSS-0118 box-2.jpg
Saturn, BR
Joystick Saturn BR Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngJoystick Saturn BR Box Front.jpg
Saturn, KR (Samsung Saturn)
Samsung Saturn Control Pad Box Back.jpgNospine-small.pngSamsung Saturn Control Pad Box Front.jpg


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 (archived)
  2. 2.0 2.1 File:CVG UK 193.pdf, page 67
  3. File:AcaoGames BR 091.pdf, page 10
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