The Control Pad Page.

Standard Saturn Control Pad

This pad has a great button layout, with the buttons running slightly up and across the pad. A comfortable feel in your hands, and an excellently shaped d-pad with plenty of movement in it. The L & R Shift buttons have a nice click that gives you re-assurance that you’ve pressed them, and overall it’s light and just the right size. The best console pad around.

Analogue Saturn Control Pad

Not as comfortable to use as the standard Saturn controller, but still reasonably good. The analogue d-pad moves freely and isn’t stressful on your thumb. A good button layout and also light weight, but slightly large in overall size.

Standard Dreamcast Control Pad

This control pad is nice and light weight, and thankfully too, because once you add a vibration unit and a VMS, it adds on the grams. The analogue d-pad is no where near as comfortable as the Saturn analogue pad and feels too high. The digital d-pad is completely lame when it comes to fighting games and the like and the pad also suffers from a lack of buttons, and a poor layout also. And what’s the deal with the cord coming out the bottom?

No Picture

PlayStation Control Pad

This control pad is quite a good size, and a nice weight, plus it feels good to hold also.
The “d-pad,” if you’d call it that, is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever used. Although it appears to be of a single plastic construction, only 4 button like parts protude through the front, making “rolling” movements virtually impossible for the likes of the Street Fighter games. The additional analogue d-pads added to the newer models, feel a bit loose, like the Mad Catz Dream Pad, although the 2 L & R Shift buttons do seem to have a nice confirming click to them. Like the Dreamcast pad, there aren’t enough buttons on the front, and the layout of the , , & buttons is yucky also.

XBOX Control Pad

This thing is loaded with buttons and directional pads, which is always good to see. However, due to that fact, and that it also contains vibrators in either side, makes it weigh a considerable amount. About 335 or so grams, in fact, compared to about 225 grams for the Dreamcast pad. The digital d-pad is responsive, but feels rather stiff, and is possibly a nightmare to use with “rolling” type actions. The 2nd analogue “stick” thing is handy when playing games such as Halo and other F.P.S. games & also Morrowind. Not only that, both analogue controls can be pressed in to act as buttons while you’re doing other things. Kudos for that idea. Plus they feel firm also, which is a plus. The main 6 buttons unfortunately go almost straight up the controller, which is positively nasty, and the black & white buttons are hard to reach to. The L & R Shift buttons at the back work pretty well, but can be absolute finger killers when playing driving games for a few hours. The back of the pad features 2 expansion slots for memory cards, etc., like the Dreamcast, and in case you were wondering, the big round XBOX logo bit in the middle does nothing at all. The comfort factor of this controller is some what low, because it feels big and chunky and it weighs a lot.

XBOX Controller S

This much improved XBOX pad feels a heck of a lot more comfortable and lighter than the big, chunky original. The digital d-pad and right analogue d-pad have been moved closer togther now, and hence the reason to move the Start & Back buttons to the side, in order to fit them in correctly. The A, B, X & Y buttons now resemble the respective positions of these on the Dreamcast controller, which is a big plus to previous Dreamcast owners, who are used to that control pad design. The black & white buttons have now been moved downwards, as you can see also. I recommend buying this as a 2nd control pad for your XBOX.

XBOX 360 Controller

Similar to the Controller S from the 1st XBOX, this is also a comfy pad to get your mitts on. Unfortunately someone saw fit to remove the analogue black & white buttons and then make 2 new ones at the top instead, which are just digital I think. Another really bad design flaw is the big X button in the middle, which is actually called the Guide Button. This would be the ideal position for Start, but instead, the Start button is to the right of it, and gets bumped quite a lot when you mean to press the blue X button. The Guide button is mainly for useless annoying pop-up c**p on the XBOX 360, so I removed it from the controller. In Windows XP, the button doesn’t do anything with Microsoft’s drivers, but it DOES function in Mac OS X with the 3rd party driver from Tattiebogle. The control pad is ready to go in Windows 7 without needing to install anything.

GameCube Control Pad

This controller’s pretty comfy to hold overall, and has a similar d-pad layout to that of the XBOX pads. The button positions are a bit bizarre, although the B, A and X buttons are on quite a nice line. The Z button on the right top back is kind of like how the PlayStation controller and Creative Cobra GamePad has 2 sets of shift buttons, although with this it’s only on the right side. The 2 analogue shift buttony thingies feel quite unusual compared to the other control pads I have with them, and they kinda “click” when you push them right in.

Atari 2600 Control Pad

If ever there was a prime example of a complete lack of ergonomics, then this rectangular prism of a control pad is it. Featuring 2 buttons which seem to do exactly the same thing, and a d-pad, (with an un-screwable “stick,”) this miniature brick is the most uncomfortable game playing device there is, next to playing racing & fighting games on a keyboard. The d-pad is stiff and hard on your thumb also. Ah the “classicalness” of it all…

Mega Drive Control Pad

This sensationally cool controller is just the thing when it comes to the likes of fighting, platformers and what have you. Upgraded from the standard 3 button pad, this newer version has 6 buttons, a great feeling d-pad and a handy “MODE” button on the top right corner to make games think that they’re using a 3 button pad, instead. A smidge smaller than the Saturn pad, but still quite comfy to hold. A big improvement over the Master System control pad also.

Miscellaneous Pads:

Mad Catz Dream Pad

With 2 extra front buttons (Z & C) that act as the L & R Shift “triggers” at the back, this gives better performance for the likes of Capcom fighting games and V.F. 3tb over the standard Dreamcast pad. The buttons however, run at too great of an angle up the front, rather than across it, which makes it trickier to use. It also has a badly placed “program” button, which you often hit when resting your thumb, resulting in the accidental re-configuration of one of the buttons.
The analogue d-pad is a bit loose for my liking, although the digital d-pad is an improvement over the standard Dreamcast pad. It looks nice, in whatever colour, but it weighs 5 000 tonnes when you have stuff plugged into it.

Creative Cobra GamePad

This little beauty was the best control pad I could find for the PC at the time. Featuring 6 main buttons on the front, plus smaller “Start” & “Select” buttons plus 2 L & R Shift buttons, this thing is really loaded. It features rubber grips at the bottom, and the usual extra control pad expansion socket on the back, plus a switch to chose analogue DOS mode, Windows digital mode or by-pass to only allow a 2nd pad that’s plugged into it, to operate. The d-pad is quite a bit stiff to operate, so it’s a bit of a pain for stuff like fighting games but it’s good for my racing games. All up, a great pad. It was also available in a USB type.

Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 Round 2 FightPad

6 button joypad action finally comes to my XBOX 360! The d-pad is a bit weird on diagonal movements and it doesn’t work in Mac OS X with Colin Munro’s XBOX 360 driver. It does work in Windows XP and in Windows 98 with a 3rd party driver.