Joysticks getting less popular in the mass market over time

The joystick market has changed. In the NES days, having ANY joystick is satisfactory enough on its own, so if it saves you money, a little cheapness can help boost sales if done in bigger quantity. In the NES days, there were so many people, usually older, naturally used to joysticks that that would be their universal controller.

Nowadays after so many generations of thumb pads, a lot of people got used it it a default controller. Ever since 360/PS3, joysticks are advertised as Fight Sticks, and are seen as specialty controllers only used for certain games. There will be certain games that won’t function AT ALL with a joystick.

This is mainly because the Arcade died in 2000. Now all I see are “skill arcades” that pay tickets to win prizes. Very rarely I see an arcade game today.

That’s why since the 360/PS3 there’s a rise in players who prefer pads. IF SF4 was their first SF game, they’ve had no exposure to an arcade, hence no exposure to a fight stick. There’s nothing to compare it to. So people think THEY suck instead of their controller. Plus because it’s alien, if they take up the stick with no prior experience, their scores will lower before they raise, if they do at all.

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I miss telephones with keypads too :frowning:


You sound SUPER elitist when you keep bringing up how “older generations of gamers are more used to arcade sticks than the younger generation”.

No and no and no and HELL NO.
Where the HELL are you getting your facts from? You’re just making stuff up at this point.
Have you even SEEN what SF4 had done to revitalize the arcade sticks scene?!?!?


Hey everyone. Stop trying and feeding this idiot. If we ignore him maybe he will disappear…


OP, you’re not old enough to spout facts about the Arcade or NES days. You weren’t there, you were barely an itch in your daddy’s pants when the Arcade scene was hot, before the crash.
You also failed to even acknowledge the Pre-NES consoles that had stock Arcade like controls.

Please, just stick to your left-handed crusade.


This is amusing. Don’t think I’ve someone know less about arcade sticks while trying to show he knows a lot then this guy.

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raidantsilvergun3 In terms of construction, I know very little of the actual joystick parts. In 1993 I didn’t have to. The main thing I wanted that I couldn’t find was right-stick for Genesis systems and afterwards.

I understand that parts can give you an advantage. If you like a left-stick, then parts is the only place where you can improve. But if the market was shoving stick-left controls since 1985, you just sat there and ate it. The few times you DID have a right-stick you crushed it consistently by wide margins compared to left-stick, you look for the right-sticks. A cheap, questionably-contoured right-stick gave me better performnace than an arcade stick. And if you find none, you ask Nintendo and Sega for a custom solution

@opt2not About old controllers: Atari 2600 joysticks are notorious for breaking down. I didn’t want a d-pad on the Nintendo, because I remember the Intellivision was so unergonomic. The coleco standard stick felt stiff. The Super Action controller was the best home controller at the time. (unfortunately the buttons are high maintenance and have to be sand-papered out. Atari invented the first home analog controller, yet most of the games never took advantage of analog, and were handicapped by the non-self-centering of the joystick. Third parties freely tried many things to improve. INTV add on sticks, 5200 digtial controllers, 2600 control adapters for CV and 5200.

Heck on the topic of right handing, people made 2600 joysticks with mirror buttons, a “lefty” DB-9 Pin Swap adapter, and even some software for Atari 800 computers, which used the same 2600 stick, and had a “software based left handed option”.

a back-then review of improvement in controller for NES.

@darksakul are microswitches quality joystick parts for a stick? You said Beeshu NES Ultimate Superstick was cheap. This web page with mostly facts and few opinions says Beeshu Supersticks use Microswitches. When you dissected a Beeshu, were there no microswitches and this article is wrong? I want to be charitable and if you find Beeshus cheap, but microswitches are arcade quality, then maybe you can explain a different part where Beeshu cheaped out?

And the reason why I say a joystick is more handy on a system with no built in analog controls, like the SNES, Genesis and before, is because, unless there’s something fundamental about the pad layout that doesn’t make sense with a joystick, like F-Zero’s shoulder button shifts, pretty much every game could be played with a joystick, and a lot of them should.

When you get to analog controllers and new formats like first person shooters and 3D platformers, joysticks become more and more of a niche product. I only see them in Best Buy or Gamestop occasionally, and never in Wal Mart, when in older days, they always had joysticks. Some people today say if you don’t play fighting games, there’s no reason to buy a fight stick. There was a lot more reason many years ago.

YES. Most definitely.

That page is bull shit, I tore down a Beeshu Superstick, it uses nothing but rubber dome contacts.
And that Joystick is very easy to snap in half as the shaft half plastic.

Keep in mind Beeshu made Non-ambidextrous sticks and controllers as well

This Game pad here was awful, break so quickly.

Wow, know how I know you’re full of shit?
Atari did not invent the first analog joystick. The Vectrex predates Atari and all consoles, and shipped stock with a 4-button analog joystick. The joystick is your basic potentiometer set-up very much like controller’s of today. “If you were around then” you’d know that.


@opt2not Here’s a wikipedia entry on Analog joysticks.

The first consumer games console which had analog joysticks was the Prinztronic/Acetronic/Interton series, launched in 1976. This system was widely cloned throughout Europe and available under several brand names. The 2 sticks each used a pair of potentiometers, but were not self-centering.[5]

In 1982, Atari released a controller with a potentiometer-based analog joystick for their Atari 5200 home console. However, its non-centering joystick design proved to be ungainly and unreliable,[6][7]alienating many consumers at the time. During that same year, General Consumer Electronics introduced the Vectrex, a vector graphics based system which used a self-centering analog joystick.


It says Atari 5200 and Vectrex came out around the same year. It doesn’t make a claim of which of these 2 are first. Basically, wikipedia assume that they both developed theirs independently. So I’ll check the months of releases in various markets:

Wikipedia says Vectrex launch was “november 1982” in the US and 1983 elsewhere, and the 5200 launch date was “1982 in the US” and was nowhere else. So if you were anywhere but America, then you are right. Wikipedia can’t peg an exact date of a 5200 launch, but most likely because there’s more months before November ad only one after, ad the fact that Wikipedia mentioned Atari first and then vectrex, most like the 5200 came out first.

As it turns out, we’re both just talking about America systems only. The first one was in Europe and was the Prinztronic/Acetronic/Interton in 1976. If you’re talking Europe, Atari 5200 wasn’t released there according to wikipedia, and Atari always had a tough time releasing in Japan, but Vecrtex may have had a Japanese releasing partner. If they did, then in Japan had the Vectrex first by virtue of the 5200 not being there.

@darksakul I haven’t found an NES Beeshu superstick used. Some were reeased as Nintend licensed, others were non-licensed. They MAY be different mechanically. Based on what se and feel on the Master System and Turbo Grafx 16 version they use Microswitches and have the clicky ones. And a 1988 Chicago Tribune article said te Besshu Suoperstick was superior to the NES Advantage and NES Max and and say ithe Superstick had microswitches.

I know I’m right. You know you’re right. If we’re both to be right, then a possible explanation is that the NES licensed and NES unlicensed version must be of 2 different constructions.

I can see the left-stick Jammer. Let’s just say in the NES days the choices were more consequential then they are in the Xbox 360 days and beyond.

One company alone, Beeshu, made d-pads, left sticks, right sticks, ambi sticke, tabletop sticks, handheld sticks, flight yolks, one-handed sticks, budget versions, deluxe versions, and I’m not scouring the web trying to list all examples. In terms of arrangements, they tried to fit many different ergonomic factors. almost all the other joysticks were me-too Advantages. Some were even blatant rip offs. If Beeshu was anything, they were diverse and unique, and carving their own niche.

Compared to the 360.PS3/Wii era and beyond, you got all left handed sticks, a button arrangement that is specific to that company, (but there were multiple companies so you DO have some choice) Basically your only decision is character/design on stick and maybe economy vs premium quality stick parts and maybe the ability to mod in your own equipment.

I’m trying to be peaceful. I do not insult people. But what era seems to have more joysticks for ore different types of people. We’ll probably disagree, but you weren’t happy with US NES era, (was this at the time, or when it was retro) so you imported the Hori and either bought premade or did research and bulit a Famicom-to-NES controller adapter. I wasn’t happy with existing stock in the SNES/Genesis era, and in the 360/PS3/WII era and beyond, so at 2 different times I took matters into my own hands.

Assuming you bought the Japanese NES Hori when it was current, we were both pre-SRK pioneers before this site was born. In 1993 hardy anyone was considering custom joysticks. and in 1985-1990 hardly anyone considered imports, especially for controllers.

We are the same unique breed despite being polar opposites.

Again, this is how I see through you.
The Vectrex was released in late Sept. 1982, while the 5200 was in November.
I know this because they were both competing for Christmas sales from the Sears catalog, but as old assholes like me remember, the Sears catalog was released in September each year and didn’t include items after that month till supplemental issues were released afterwards. The Vectrex was listed in the main catalog, while the 5200 wasn’t.
But this information is neither here or there. The point is you are not equipped to discuss how the arcade days were, nor the market that existed during those days, to make any claims that people preferred one type of control over the other, just to fortify your lefty crusade.

If you want this to be peaceful, stop being an annoyance to other members and cut 95% of your posts down. No one wants to read someone’s novels of assumptions and misinformation, ad nauseum.
I challenge you to post your next reply in < 1 paragraph. I honestly don’t think you are capable.

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Okay I missed a detail. in 1982 I was happy playing my Colecovision. I was 8 on Christmas 1982.

I’ve seen and played with left right and ambi in the acades. In the arcade, you lived with it. But if you had an INTV, a Coleco, a 5200 or (try to out-obscure this one) An Emerson Arcadia 2001, you can choose your side.

And yes there’s a difference between an arcade mentality of panel design and a home one. in the arcade, the owner is the direct customer of the game maker. Hence the Fact Hunt video has truth in it. (unless you ca find another reason why everyone went stick-left so quickly)

At home, the consumer is the direct csutomer. That’s why Beeshu offered all sorts of sticks. And they carried their most successful, the Superstick, to the Master System, the Turbo Grafx 16, and to the Genesis under the name Gizmo.

In your opinion, which era had more and more meaningful varietyr in Joystick selection: NES days, or 360/PS3/Wii days?

(short enough? Direct enough? Light enough on tangents?)

There you go. That’s a lot more digestible. You should post like this more often.

Arcade cabinets stopped supporting ambidextrous control panels purely from a financial standpoint. Since the lefty group is a very small market, and after the 80’s arcade crash, manufacturers were looking at ways to make cabinets cheaper and easier to produce. Also, with the complexity of some of the controls, they couldn’t always support both left and right handers. Think about it, the amount of money cabinets would make from lefties didn’t justify the cost of extra wiring, hole cutting, and CPO graphics to support both lefties and righties. Also the complexity of games had started increasing after the 80’s, and multiplayer games were more prevalent. It’s hard to support ambidexterity on a control panel for 2 players. JAMMA standards were expanded with auxiliary harnesses (kick harnesses), let alone the different games that had unique controls, it just didn’t make sense for manufacturers to continue to support both handed players.

In terms of what “era” had a meaningful variety of joystick selection, I’m trying to understand what you’re asking. If you’re asking which era had multiple controller peripherals choices, then it has to be post 16bit , aka 4th gen. But for left-handed support, I don’t really know.
The era of the Panasonic 3DO, Sega Saturn, and early PSX had the most variety of controls, and in some cases some ground-breaking advancements. For example, the 3DO was the first controller to feature a headphone jack and volume control. The Sega Saturn had the first Analog controller that also had a Digital pad.
Both the 3DO and Saturn had Arcade sticks available, some pretty great ones too (at the time, the 3DO was the best way of playing SSF2T at home). The Saturn also released a CP replica from a Astro City cabinet, with their HSS-0130.
But in terms of lefty support, Sega did put out an official Flight Controller, the Mission Stick, that had a detachable joystick section that can be mounted on either side for both left handed and right handed player support. This was a fantastic flight stick, and though I couldn’t afford one, I got a chance to play on it when they were featured in stores.
The PSX also had some experimental peripherals that could be considered ambidextrous, like the Namco neGcon, or the Namco Jogcon. Both analog controllers that were geared more towards the racing titles like Ridge Racer. But also, the PSX had a plethora of controllers for all types of games that gave a more arcade experience at home than generations before it.

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Yes, but what is lefty? I’ve always thought of myself as right handed in most things. I bat and throw right in baseball, I write with a pencil right handed (a very non-traditional grip, but right handed none-the-less). Unless there’s an obstacle in a miniature golf course causes a situation when a normal stance leftie putt is easier than a more gymnastic right handed putt, I putt right, but I am glad for the ambidextrous putter in that case.

Based on that, when given a choice, like on a Colecovision, I’m stick-right, button-left. (defining it ths way t be clear)

Are you a natural rightie in batting, throwing, writing, and golfing, and thought button-right stick-left is natural rightie video game position.

I’m not a philistine who refuses to play left-stick games if that was the only choice.

A strange thing is even though most joypads are “stick left” since the NES, before shoulder buttons, it felt like typing on a keyboard, which is a two-handed symmetric activity. When shoulder buttons forced me to use thumbs, even though it’s harder to two-finger buttons to make Mega Man games easier, it may not be optimal, but I didn’t yearn for a rightie pad. Once analog games became the norm, the joystick was less of a universal tool.

Joysticks-button combos are asymmetric. Different muscles are used in the two different hands. That’s why I’m more angered about joysticks.

If righties can’t agree on what a rightie joystick is, that explains why Beeshu made so many styles of joysticks, and there was a large enough to know about ambidexterity. Even though INTV, 5200, Coleco and Arcadia 2001 were ambidextrous, it had a disadvantage of being “Arm asymmetric”: Your arms are stretch to diffreren degrees because you put one hand in front of the other.

About part 2, I’m not talking about innovations in general. I’m more specifiically talking about diversity between models of fight sticks. If you’re looking for a fight stick for a specific system do you feel you have a bigger and more relavent choice in the NES era or in the 360 era?

Beeshu alone has at least 3 models of joysticks with many factors like stick hand, tabletop vs 2600-style handheld.

But when you see 5 different Xbox 360 fight stick models, assuming you’re not picky enough to buy a custom stick, what makes one pick the the Street Fighter 4 stick, vs the Dead or Alive stick, vs the Virtua Stick, assuming they have no more or less love for these series and are not concerned about joystick art?

I know some people can easily tell me the difference between 5 different 360 fight sticks. But what’s a more important and fundamental decision, leftie/rightie/ambi which are the choices in the NES era, or the layout and physical part material differences.

In other words, if you could pick one of these 2 stipulations to put for Tiger Woods to have a chance to beat him, would you rather give in common house clubs, but he can choose his hand, or give him his favorite brand of all equipment that he says gcveds him an edge, but force him to use opposite handed clubs.

Since Large-Scale golf have no obstacles which force a choice between a gymnastic normal-handed shot, or a standard goofy-handed shot, like in Mini-golf, I think Tiger can adjust to house clubs a lot better than his brand of goofy-handed clubs.

If you agree, then you finally understand me.

One last thing, an Ambidexterous Fight Stick would be the perfect Street FIghter 30th model. Because a couple other people on SRK see the advantage of putting your best hand on the stick in SF2, but when taking it to SF4 and SF5 games, put the strong hand on the button, for reasons stated before.

^^ I have no clue whats going on in this thread and don’t care. But something tells me you’re a newbie here.

Friendly warning: Lots of shameless, devious assholes around these parts, that’ll argue with you just 'cause. Try to keep that in mind when you’re wasting time writing these large essays that they likely don’t care about.

Edit: Although i’ve yet to see some of this forums most notarious douchebags and trolls. But just keep this in mind.

Double-edit: Nevermind! lol. Spotted Dark Sakul and RadiantSilvergun3. I didn’t notice because i have them set to ignore. Oh yeah, these assholes will troll you like no tomorrow. Doesn’t matter why. They just have their “time of the month” where they go after anyone they see posting a lot and start crap. Regardless if there’s merit to that person’s posts. Which may be you right now.

If you have no clue on whats going on when why did you post?

You just want to stir the pot and be an ass clown.

How petty.

Look at this baby bitch calling me a troll because i have different opinions then he does.

Only trolling going on here is from you AlphaCharlie. Tryin to kick up dust for no reason at all.


@AlphaCharile Sorry about the length, but bringing up a VERY important (highly specialized) issue which was considered a non-issue by many on SRK AND challenging a pre-conceived notion that’s held by many requires me to defend my points, which means showing your work, which usually results in a lot of TLDR posts.

I would have not been so gung-ho about my findings if it were just me who benefits by ambidexterous fights stick, but when 4 other people (out of 4 who tried…100%) who normally lose anywhere from 2/3 the time to every time against someone who would later become a elite and famous 2000’s (pre 2010) gamer were perfect against him, and the deciding factor was a right handed stick, (and yes, a left handed joystick was tested too) that’s newsworthy enough event to post on forums focused on such subject matter.

Also I never intentionally insult anyone on these post. The “usual suspects” sound angry by both using T-rated language or higher and by absolute 100% dismissal of my facts instead of finding some truth. In my counter arguments, I show where we agree and either concede or alter my argument, or take it from a different vantage point using a common truth.

Some people jump on a very small detail that may be wrong and assume the whole argument is invalid. If it’s so tangential, I say they aimed for my heart and got a fingernail.

It’s easy to say the world is round when we have satellites taking pictures of Earth. Now it’s hard to say the world is flat. I think arguing for a choice of hands in video game equipment should be less controversial than arguing that the world is flat.

Apparently, it’s not.

Important to who, you?

It seems like everything you bring up is really empirical. Just because four of your friends like the side switched layout doesn’t mean it’s an optimal setup for mass-market. You have a damn prototype, for christsake, why are you here trying to sell us with a laundry list that no one is going to read. Make some videos, get people interested. I remember when the hitbox guys first dropped their cases, they were doing tech videos to sell people on their funky alternate setup. Try that, show us how well it works and you probably won’t be catching so much heat for making so many different threads.

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