What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

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Ben Boldt
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What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Ben Boldt » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:09 pm

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000277579104.html

It is an SNES USB controller, with buttons very rearranged. Even the D-pad is on the wrong side! Any idea what it could be meant for?
Wired-Game-Controller-Gamepad-For-Nintend-for-S-F-C-for-S-N-E-S-game.jpg_640x640q70.jpg

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Pokun » Tue Dec 31, 2019 7:23 am

Wow what a horrible layout! A controller for right-handed people? Even right-handed people generally prefers to have the d-pad to the left like the joystick is on arcade machines.

It says SFC and SNES but even the colours of the buttons doesn't match. Buttons in a straight line is horrible even for an arcade panel and I can only imagine it being disastrous on a joypad. SELECT and START, the least used buttons are in the more accessible part of the controller. But the spacing makes it look like it's hard to access them as well. Without testing it, it looks like only the green "A" button seems to be really easily accessible of the face buttons.
Also the d-pad, besides being on the wrong side, looks kind of cheap, but that's the smallest problem here.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by TmEE » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:10 am

It looks like something for those guitarsomething music games.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by lidnariq » Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:12 am

... I was briefly thinking it was the kind of controller that they'd partially intended to be used flat against a surface, with one's fingers resting on the button like a keyboard or maybe an arcade controller.

But then I noticed the shoulder buttons again.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by olddb » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:19 pm

Image
Image

Colors don't match. But this is probably it. Why change the dpad location thought? :?
...

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Ben Boldt
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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Ben Boldt » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:55 pm

That makes a lot of sense that it would be for a guitar game. The white button is marked "TURBO" though, seems like it would not function as a normal button for the 5th guitar string. Also, what do you think the small black button says beneath the D-Pad?


Edit:
I found another picture, the small black button says "CLEAR"
e89f872f54332daba50a4b0b264aab9a.jpg

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Pokun » Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:40 pm

I guess CLEAR is for clearing assigned turbo buttons.

Guitar controller makes most sense I guess, then again the L and R buttons are still mostly inaccessible if held like a guitar as well. They might be there just for completeness in case they are needed, so that no buttons are missing. Or maybe they just happened to be on the SNES-controller-style mould they used or something.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Bretfromhope » Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:43 pm

TmEE wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 11:10 am
It looks like something for those guitarsomething music games.
Yeah those button colors are guitar hero buttons. Never seen this one in real life and to be honest, it would be SUPER hard for me to use this anyways - ha!

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by tepples » Tue Apr 21, 2020 2:30 pm

Years ago I photographed myself holding a Nintendo 64 controller as if it were a plastic guitar. Guitar Hero Live eventually ended up using the same 3x2 matrix.
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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Bregalad » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:41 am

Ben Boldt wrote:
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:09 pm
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000277579104.html

It is an SNES USB controller, with buttons very rearranged. Even the D-pad is on the wrong side! Any idea what it could be meant for?

Wired-Game-Controller-Gamepad-For-Nintend-for-S-F-C-for-S-N-E-S-game.jpg_640x640q70.jpg
It's funny, because it's shocking for everyone to have the D-Pad at the right, but that's actually the default control for most if not all emulators when hooked up to a PC keyboard. Initially I changed it to have the buttons on the numeric pad, but it was so annoying to re-configure emulators I eventually gave up the idea and gotten used to play with the buttons at the left and the D-Pad at the right when playing an emulator. Also this has the advantage of spacing your hands normally and keep the keyboard in its normal position (you don't have to move it leftwards), which in turn allows you to have more stuff on your desk.

I am left-handed, and I have no problem using either configuration. But I supposed I'd still be surprised to have to play with a controller with the D-Pad on the right, since that never happened, and it's different than a keyboard with the arrows at the right.
Years ago I photographed myself holding a Nintendo 64 controller as if it were a plastic guitar. Guitar Hero Live eventually ended up using the same 3x2 matrix.
Don't you need a lot more buttons to simulate all frets on all 6 strings ? Even if you were playing a 4-string bass, you'd still need at least 20 buttons to remotely simulate playing the instrument.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by rainwarrior » Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:56 am

olddb wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:19 pm
Why change the dpad location thought?
With a standard guitar, as well as guitar hero / rock band controllers, you pluck the strings / strum with your right hand. The guitar hero strum switch was always equivalent to a d-pad up/down, and I think on rock-band it also had an actual d-pad nearby (in position for the right hand).

...though those games also had a left handed flip option, generally. The toy guitar controllers were symmetrical enough for that.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Ben Boldt » Wed Apr 22, 2020 8:27 am

Bregalad wrote:
Wed Apr 22, 2020 1:41 am
It's funny, because it's shocking for everyone to have the D-Pad at the right, but that's actually the default control for most if not all emulators when hooked up to a PC keyboard.
I started playing with emulators in 9th grade, gosh 20 years ago now... I am right-handed and I remember it being very awkward at first, I really had trouble but got used to it after not too long. I can still play slightly better with a real gamepad, have not yet found an advantage of the keyboard after all these years except of course emulator buttons like fast forward, freeze, defrost, etc. Mapping those to extra buttons/triggers on a gamepad ALWAYS ends up with pressing them by accident, where that doesn't happen on a keyboard.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Bregalad » Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:13 pm

For the right vs left handed debate, IMO, it is only meaninful in context where you only need one hand to accomplish a task, such as writing, drinking, etc... As soon as you need both hands, and especially if both hands does something important such as responsive button presses, it doesn't matter which hand is what, and whether people are usually right or left handed.
Mapping those to extra buttons/triggers on a gamepad ALWAYS ends up with pressing them by accident, where that doesn't happen on a keyboard.
Oh man I see what you mean here. The worst thing is loading a save state accidentally. I hate when that happen. I also saved a zillion of accidental save states and took a zillion of accidental screenshots, so much we could almost make a photo album of me playing with them ^^

That's why emulator-specific buttons should be outside of the "letter" area of the keyboard IMO.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Pokun » Wed Apr 22, 2020 3:20 pm

Yeah these are not left-handed VS right-handed things. Hockey sticks, golf clubs, guitars, two-handed swords (like used in kendo) and video game controllers are all things where left-handed and right-handed people generally hold them the same. For golf clubs and hockey sticks you have both types, but holding the upper part of the handle with the left hand is the most common way to hold all these for both left-handed and right-handed people. In kendo this way of holding the sword is the only legal way, and they say left-handed people generally have an advantage in kendo because you have more control with the rear hand, which is the left hand.

For drinking I can do it with either hand. Dual-wielding beer is no problem. :P

Old arcade cabinets often have the joystick in the middle like for Pacman, and if there is a button, it's often cloned on each side of the joystick so people can choose which hand to hold the joystick with. But I guess arcade manufacturers eventually noticed that most people like to use the joystick with the left hand and that was eventually standardized. I read that when Gunpei Yokoi first made the Game & Watch version of Donkey Kong (which is when he invented and patented the d-pad), he first put it on the right side since more people are right-handed. But other developers found that awkward since the DK arcade machine uses the joystick on the left side, so he changed it and the standard was basically set for video game controllers. Especially since they used the same design with the highly successful Famicom and everything after that.


Bregalad wrote:It's funny, because it's shocking for everyone to have the D-Pad at the right, but that's actually the default control for most if not all emulators when hooked up to a PC keyboard. Initially I changed it to have the buttons on the numeric pad, but it was so annoying to re-configure emulators I eventually gave up the idea and gotten used to play with the buttons at the left and the D-Pad at the right when playing an emulator.
Because computer keyboards have the arrow keys on the right side as standard since a long time ago. I guess that when playing games on computers, most people uses joysticks if they can (except for modern crap that uses both keyboard and mouse at the same time), while arrow keys are mostly for moving the cursor with, which can be done with either hand. I find the arrow keys works fine for many type of games (but I would never touch a joystick or joypad that was made backwards). Especially non-action games like RPGs or puzzle games like Eggerland (which started out as a computer game). Heavy action games like fighting games or platform games really needs a good joystick or joypad though.

I also used to remap buttons in emulators to the numpad, but nowdays I use that setup for the second controller and use WASD for the first controller's d-pad. I'm also left-handed, and I can't imagine how it would be if you couldn't remap the inputs in emulators. I always remap them for every emulator I use, so that it gets somewhat close to the layout on the real controller for the emulated system. The default setup is almost always unintuitive IMHO, and seldom uses the real controller's layout. Setting up the inputs is very fast and the settings normally saves.

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Re: What on earth is this strange SNES controller?

Post by Fiskbit » Wed Apr 22, 2020 4:03 pm

It's funny that you cite hockey, since apparently 60% of pros play left-handed, and stick sales are 60-70% left handed except in the US, where it's reversed. The argument I see is that it's more natural to have your dominant hand on the grip, which reverses your handedness. From my experience in both hockey and golf, I agree with this.

Personally, for controls, I find movement on the right hand to be unplayable. If a game doesn't allow me to remap this, I'll play cross-armed or not at all.

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