NES Controller

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The original NES controller.

The NES Controller is a video game controller and the original gamepad controller for the NES. It was created by Nintendo and released on 1985-10-18 along with the American release of the NES. It features a 4-directional D-pad, two action buttons labeled B and A, and two function buttons labeled start and select. The controller was modeled off the original Famicom Controllers, only, unlike the Famicom, there aren't two different controllers. The microphone and volume control of the second controller have been removed.

The NES Controller is included in the Controller Font.


Since my brother and I bought an NES Action Set, it came with two NES controllers, and we logged many hours on them. While I appreciate it as being the first plus-style D-pad for home consoles, I don't very much appreciate the uncomfortable boxy shape and sharp edges.



  • The controllers are particularly rugged. Many of the ones manufactured in 1985 are still in good working condition to this day.
  • This is based off the Famicom controller which is video game pioneer of the gamepad layout, but is also an improvement since it's removable from the control deck.
  • The color palette and graphic design are both aesthetically pleasing.


  • The shape isn't very comfortable. The edges and corners aren't rounded enough and they hurt your hands before long.
  • While the controller is a decent size for children, it's a bit on the small side for adult hands.
  • Realistically, there is no need for the select button. It should have been eliminated and a C button added.
  • I don't like that the letter buttons are labeled backwards (B and A rather than A and B). In Japanese, text is read right-to-left, which is why the Famicom gamepads read B A, and no doubt they didn't want to have to create new ROMs and manual diagrams for every grame, but then, why use English letters in the first place?


  • Nothing.



The 8-Bit Guy - Technical.