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Which controller has/had the best D-Pad?

posted on June 28th, 2007 by matt

I would try to answer this question, but there’s no way in Hell I’d do it justice. I’ve used a lot of different controllers in my life, but as I’ve learned in the past, there are still a lot of them, on home consoles and handheld, that I’ve never even heard of, hiding in the shadows of gaming history. I mean, wtf is a Nuon?

So if I tried to answer the question of “Which controller has/had the best D-Pad?” I’m sure I’d skip over one of them that may deserve the coveted award more.

So I leave this up to you, my fellow readers. In your gaming trails, which console was/is home to the greatest D-Pad ever?

For me, and I know I’m gonna get burned for this one, I gotta give it up for the PSP’s d-pad. I find it comfortable, extremely responsive, and pretty darn slick looking. I know, I’m such a fanboy.

Hit up the comments, dear readers, and debate… to the DEATH!

7 Comments

  1. don said on June 29, 2007:

    Though I am not a traditionalist, and really don’t think the NES gamepad is the holy grail, as some have argued, I do think that it had the best d-pad.

    I would say the Wii-mote has a close second, though I don’t use it as much.

  2. jay said on June 29, 2007:

    I’m very partial to the Genesis/Saturn pad. I like the diagonals.

  3. Stefan said on June 29, 2007:

    I’m seconding jay here…the NES d-pad is really precise, but the precision in vertical and horizontal movement makes it almost impossible to hold a straight diagonal, whereas the genesis actually had defined diagonal “channels” for the pad to move into, the same way the NES had the up/down/left/right ones.

  4. SAGExSDX said on June 29, 2007:

    i third that…. when ppl talk dpads (which honestly shouldnt be that often but… sadly it is) i always bring the genesis/saturn dpad into it. they really had the best dpads.

  5. chris said on June 29, 2007:

    I liked the SNES/NES D-pad more than the Genesis. When playing Gunstar Heroes you needed more precision which you couldn’t get what with the diagonals. They were great for slower-paced games (which I prefer now) but I just didn’t find them as comfortable.

  6. christian said on June 30, 2007:

    I’ve got a 6 button fighting pad on the PS2 that is said to be quite similar to a Saturn pad, so based on its performance I’m going to go with the Saturn.

  7. nekoken said on July 14, 2009:

    I think there’s pretty much a universal consensus based on past reading and my own experience. The Japanese blue and grey Sega Saturn controller had the best D-pad. I still have two of them that I paid way too much for back in the day.

    Your article should have been asking what the second best D-pad is. You’d get a lot more varying responses I think. Personally I think the X-Box S controller fits that description, but the ASCII Super Nintendo controller and the Capcom 15th Anniversary Street Fighter PS2 controller aren’t too shabby either.

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