The Evolution of Sega Arcade Sticks – a Retrospective
Feb04

The Evolution of Sega Arcade Sticks – a Retrospective

Sega Arcade sticks assembled… …and their boxes. From the days of the Master System, Sega saw a market for production of its own arcade sticks and went on to produce at least one for every console that followed. Some were pure gaming heaven, some were frankly pretty useless and it is my intention to look back at each of them in turn (European models) hopefully giving an insight into their respective pros and cons. All release dates are European also unless otherwise stated. Click on images to enlarge. The Sega Control Stick (Sega Master System) – A rocky start? Top view of the Sega Control Stick. The wrong way round? You betcha. Segas first foray into arcade sticks, clumsy and unresponsive. I must confess to never owning an original SMS back in 1987 and it wasn’t until 1990 when the SMS II was released that I started on my adventures with Sega (not owning a single Nintendo console until the release of the N64 7 years later!). That SMS II was my first Sega console and I loved it. That love was stretched to the limits when I got my hands on the awfully designed but well made Sega Control Stick. It needs to be noted that there is something fundamentally wrong with the design of this stick, not only in layout but in ergonomics and it’s lack of erm… control. First up is the layout, to put it bluntly – it’s backwards. Take a look at any arcade stick that followed and the buttons are on the right, stick on the left. The SMS standard controller is conventional and predictably has a D-pad on the left, buttons on the right. So why Sega, did you make a right handed stick? Yes, it has two buttons on the left and a disproportionately large stick on the right. My second and last points are down to ergonomics. The all-plastic base is too small and lightweight and the aforementioned stick too large for any real arcade action. Start letting rip in a good fighter and the stick just wont stay put or worse, the stick ends up turning in your hand and the character/spaceship/cursor you were controlling is no longer going in the intended direction. It hasn’t even been endowed with suckers on its base to aid with this flaw when used on a flat surface and consequently, you end up chasing it around whatever surface you have it on. Worth having as part of your collection? Maybe. Worth having to play games with? Stick with the pads. Arcade Power Stick (Sega MegaDrive) – Now we’re talking… Top view of the...

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