Nintendo Entertainment System (Controller)

The NES controller.

The Nintendo Entertainment System controller is the main controller for the NES. While previous systems had used joysticks, the NES controller provided a directional pad (the d-pad was introduced in the Game & Watch version of Donkey Kong). Its four buttons along with the D-pad simplified the controls, helping the NES to be phenomenally successful. The controller was colored grey with a black face with gray stripes. Nintendo of America employee Lance Barr designed the controller. The controllers were first available with the Control Deck and Deluxe Set bundles for the NES in 1985. Later, additional controllers (sold in packs of two) would be available for purchase. A slightly modified NES controller with an all-black casing was released with the Sharp Game Television. The first version of the controller was discontinued in 1993.


When the NES2 was released in 1993, designed to resemble the SNES, the controller was redesigned to resemble the SNES controller while retaining the palette of the original. Its "dog bone" shape was notably different from the simple rectangular shape of the original. Also the A and B buttons were diagonal instead of straight across like on the original controller. This version of the controller was discontinued in 1995.


The NES controller is the most widely-known controller in Nintendo history. It has appeared in subsequent media along with Nintendo merchandise and even future games. The Wii Remote acts as an NES controller substitute for all NES Virtual Console titles.

In Captain N: The Game Master, the NES controller appeared as Kevin Keene's Power Pad, which he could use to move fast, jump to high heights, and even freeze the action around him (strangely, he was always shown pressing the Select button to pause things instead of the more commonly-used Start button).

Konami Code Secret[]

On the original console it was possible to do the Konami code on Contra and other Konami games. The code is: up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, START.

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Bandai made a shell called the NES Super Controller, which replaced D-pad with a disc shaped pad with the option to put a tiny joy stick in the center.