New Sega Saturn USB controller

My god the western Mk1 controllers were a shambles, I personally think it had a lot to do with the saturns failure compared to the innovative and more ergonomic PSX controller. Had they thought to simple update the 6 button MD controller in the first place things might have been different.

Anyway this is all very exciting seeing the mk2 controller make its way on latest gen stuff. If Retro-bit are making USB variants then the older official usb controllers will lose their value, assuming they perform/feel the same.

Some of you $100+ charging mofos might want to off load yours quick if you’re inclined to get your monies worth.

Most of those colours are missing on the SegaRetro wiki!

Just like the originals to a tee, every component is the same, measurements are the same, feels the same. It’s just a little different on the face plate, doesn’t affect the game at all. There’s only one thing I can count as different, the L&R shoulders sit a smidge higher, hardly noticeable.

The orange/white is dope

All true, but somehow the Chinese ‘SimpleJet’ USB knockoff of the Model 1 controller was incredible. I had a transparent one that matched the colour scheme of the original iMac, and I got at least a decade of use out of it. It was comparable to the Model 2 pad.

still no word on these 6 months later after e3? Not promising guessing they turned out to be bunk or a bust eh?

Post on their FB page says december

The new Officially Licensed SEGA Genesis and Saturn controllers are being shown off this week at Gamescom in Germany!

Kool, lets hope the d-pads hold up.

Hot damn those look good!

I prefer my controller. XD

Unboxing, they look great!!!

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Look damn near perfect, didn’t realise the USB versions were going to have shoulder buttons! Bring on the SS MKIIs!

Unboxing of the Saturn controller



I imagine they’ll sell quite a few, especially if build quality and reliability proves decent in the mid-long term!

Need a USB version for the Raspberry Pi. Which is pretty much my only game system at this point.

Review from nintendolife

First things first, the rolling D-Pad on both pads is utterly, utterly superb. It’s responsive and comfortable to use and is arguably the dream interface for games like Street Fighter . Because it rolls smoothly, executing those quarter and half-circle inputs is a breeze. This is perhaps one of the hardest aspects of a controller to properly nail, and Retro-Bit has passed with flying colours.

The buttons are equally agreeable, although we do have some reservations – at least when it comes to the Saturn pad, anyway. The Genesis controller’s buttons are perfect, and even have the same dull ‘click’ that the ones on the original Sega version do.

With the Saturn pad, the buttons feel great, but there’s something we can’t quite put our finger on (no pun intended) when compared to the original pad. The buttons are responsive but possess a sponginess that we don’t recall feeling back in the day. We say ‘recall’ because the only original Saturn pad we have in the office has definitely seen better days; its buttons have been mashed almost to the point of being totally useless thanks to countless angry games of X-Men vs. Street Fighter . It could well be that our memory has betrayed us and this is how our Saturn controller felt way back in 1994, but it’s certainly… different . Not that this has any impact on the pad’s performance when it comes to gameplay; the buttons are responsive and easy to press. The shoulder buttons, however, aren’t micro-switched like they were on the original, so they don’t click when you press them. This doesn’t affect their responsiveness but might displease some hardcore Sega purists.


First of all, as a matter of disclosure I do not play games competitively, except for the occasional turn based games, or all too seriously so I do not really test my controllers to their limit, except in terms of how much neglectful abuse they can endure. Also, I have been waiting for news on these for a long time. It finally seems as if they are due out on April 15th.

Anyway, with that out of the way, I do want to be excited for the controllers Retrobit is going to make. I do like the controllers Sega made in the early 1990s, new stock of old hardware is always a goo d thing and the transluscent controllers look stylish. The Genesis style controllers could easily be the most authentic controllers to use with the Sega Genesis/Megadrive Classics Gold Collection disc I bought for my P.C., as well as Sonic Mania if made correctly. I also liked the Sega Genesis Six Button Arcade Pad much better than the SNS-005 for Street Fighter II for reasons I’m sure you folk already know. The bluetooth products in particular would fulfill a niche that went unfulfilled until the Sega/Retrobit partnership was announced, (although it is worth considering that others like Krikzz and 8bitdo beat the Sega/Retrobit partnership to the punch in the meantime). Yeah, I know, wired controllers perform better than bluetooth, but they are also a tripping hazzard, and Sony showed us that bluetooth is much better than the infrared products that were sold to us in the 1990s. It’s so frustrating to have somebody trip over the console.

The Sega Genesis controllers are especially interesting for two reasons.

  1. Most other companies making facsimile controllers only support direct input, and the ability to toggle back and forth between x-input and direct with the mode button on the front makes them directly compatibile with the widest arrange of games.

  2. The addition to the shoulder buttons, the new button hole in the front brings the buttonhole count up to 10 from 8. This would emable us to retrofit a new P.C.B. into the shell a a fightpad on other consoles, without omitting any necessary buttons.

However it is very difficult for me to actually be very excited for these products:

For one thing, why don’t the Sega Saturn controllers have a mode button like the Genesis ones? Are these just going to be a reissue of the S.L.S. controllers, except made by Retrobit? I would have preferred to use these with most games, since they were actually designed to have shoulder buttons.

For another, there are alternatives. The Hori Fighting Commander PS4-044 is, in my opinion, a much better controller than anything made during the early 1990s, which trust me, is something I never thought I would ever say about any third party controller until I got its predecessor, the Hori Fighting Commander 3. It basically fuses a Sega Saturn MK-80116 controller with a Sony Playstation SCPH-1080 controller, with some contours reminiscient of the standard xbox 360 controller and tidies everything up with a Nintendo SNS-005 quality directional pad. The only faults I find with it are that it lacks thumbsticks, that the shape of the directional pad can protrude into your thumbs, and the $40 price-tag. Nevertheless, it is worth the cost it if you can fit it into your budget, and unlike the Retrobit controllers it is licensed to work on the Playstation 3 and 4, meaning that at least some of us will probably want to have one anyway, since it is the closest thing to a Sega controller on the market for the Playstation 4, in addition to supporting direct input in Playstation 3 mode and x-input in P.C. mode. These Retroflag controllers also look promising for those of us who want something closer to an original 16 bit console controller, and seem to be functionally equivalent, although I do not have one to verify the quality. I heard the hyperkin GN6 is good, although it doesn’t support x-input. Finally, many Sega Saturn games were also on the Playstation, so the the SCPH-1000r controllers which come with the Playstation Classic are also worth consideration, if you don’t care about having six face buttons. You get two with the console, which is presently available for $40, so even if the console itself is disappointing, you basically get it free with the pair of controllers.

Most importantly though, based on prior experience and knowledge, I lack faith that retrobit or sega has what it takes to do this right at this point in time.

Retrobit is not known for the quality of their fascimiles. Their old unlicensed saturn pads have reviews scores averaging in at three stars on Amazon, and a side by side comparison of an original Sega Genesis Six Button arcade pad and the Retrobit Generations controller that is based upon it shows that the Retrobit controller is smaller and has the buttons raised much higher. If the buttons and directional pad felt just about the same, that would not be so bad, but they have much more travel and it feels pretty bad overall.

Now granted, these were not specifically sold as substitutes for the six button arcade pad, and I do not presently have any other retrobit controllers to which I can compare, but I suspect this design was used so they could use their old molds for cost saving purposes, since its replacement, the Retrobit Super Retrocade uses retrobit’s own original controller design. The Retrobit Generations plug 'n play console itself was also released to market despite being unable to properly emulate any of its 16 bit games, suggesting that the quality control at this company is really poor. The main problem is that it had speed up slowdown issues. The quality control at that company is suspect.

Now the partnership with Sega might have given me some comfort that this would be done right, since it is possible that Sega might be able to redeem Retrobit, like how Capcom did with Madcatz, but Sega has proven time and time again that they are not what they used to be in the 1990s, so this would be a case of the blind leading the blind.

I bought from the last batch of Sega Limited Service arcade controllers that were flooding ebay. In most respects it was great, but it had one fatal flaw: The directional pad. It feels bendy in comparison to original MK-80116 and HSS-0101 controllers and happens to be quite flimsy. I dropped a Tatsunoko vs. Capcom joystick on the directional pad once, and it snapped right off of the controller. As a result of that, I ended up taking the advice of one of the forum members here and swapping the Sega Limited Service P.C.B. into an original MK-80116 controller shell, alongside the grey shoulder buttons. You have to swap the shoulder button shells alongside the P.C.B., since Sega used different sized tact switches in each and the pads won’t fit right otherwise. It works great, even if the shoulder buttons are different colors, but I should have never had to do that. Yes, I do acknowledge that it is my fault that I broke the controller, but I doubt that woud have happened with the original stock controllers, even despite their age, and newer products meant to emulate older products should be made the same standard of quality. It also reminds me of reports on these forums where people did report breaking their S.L.S. controllers with rough play. Besides that, it could just be my imagination since I am more used to using the Genesis controllers, but I think the directional pad on the Sega Limited Service and Playsega controllers is somewhat smaller, but I would need measuring equipment to make that determination.

Now if it was just that one instance of a problem, then perhaps I would be willing to overlook it as an isolated misfortune, but, my impression is that it is not. I also have playsega controllers that feel the same as the S.L.S. controllers. The Radica consoles have terrible sound. Also, reviews of other products I do not own Sega is a company that will let anybody slap their branding on a product just so long as they pay the licensing fee, irrespective of how shoddy the final result may be. The Atgames consoles are infamouslu bad, and Paladone’s Sega Smartphone Controller For Android reportedly has a fault where if C and Z are held down at the same time as other buttons, they will remain in that held down state until all buttons are released. Sega is a company that no longer knows how to make good hardware, and will let just about anybody slap their name on a product, irrespective of if it lives up to the reputation they made for themselves during the early 1990s.

Anyway, I do not know where my any playsega controllers are right now, but I took some photographs of my other Sega branded controllers to help corraborate my claims. Here you can see at least one of each of my original Sega controllers, alongise a couple of S.L.S. controllers:

You can sees the difference in size between my present retrobit controller and the real deal. Also the one with a broken off directional pad is the shell of the S.L.S. controller I broke with the Tatsunoko joystick. I kept it to house the P.C.B. and shoulder buttons of an original controller, so I can undo the modification I made if I ever want to do so.

These photographs show the S.L.S. sticker and the embossed Sega logo on the U.S.B. plug, which is what I read I should check for to make sure the controllers are genuine:

The sticker had to be photographed with the lights off, because the reflective surface of the S.L.S. sticker overexposed the sticker in the light, as shown from my first attempt to take a photograph showing that the controllers were all in the right position:

Finally, here is a side by side comparison of the Retrobit and original Sega Genesis Six Button Arcade Pad, as shown from the bottom profile, that shows how much more raised the retrobit controllers are in comparison to the original:

So naturally, this partnership worries me. In some ways I wish Hyperkin was doing this instead of retrobit. I read that their GN6 controllers were great, even though I don’t own one. It’s too bad those, like most other U.S.B. copycats, don’t support x-input, which puts them out of the running for me.

I do have a little hope thouggh, since the people who saw the review and prototype units seem to have a good impression, and retrobit probably knows that people are going to be scrutinizing these controllers against the originals, but it seems like we are relying entirely on a questionable company to put out a good product, since Sega can’t do it right themselves and probably does not care if the Retrobit controllers have a serious fault. Irrespective of my concerns, I am tempted to buy these, against my better judgement.

Anyway, if any of you do want to buy the retrobit controllers, the best prices I have seen are presently on Toywiz. It’s only by about a couple of bucks, and it looks like you may have to wait longer, but considering that these are preorders for new products, that is pretty decent.