Nintendo recently announced during their latest Direct that Switch Online members will have the opportunity to purchase wireless replicas of the Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis controllers.
Astute fans have noticed however that the six-button version of the Genesis / Mega Drive controller was being advertised exclusively to members in the Japanese region.
When the Genesis (Mega Drive for regions outside of the United States) first released in 1988, the three-button controller was the standard model. Years later however, with the rising popularity of fighting games and more complex titles, Sega updated the controller to include six-buttons.
A Nintendo spokesman stated, when speaking on their decision to only release the three-button controllers in North America, that this model “was by far the more widely used and well-known Sega Genesis controller in these regions.” It appears, then, that Nintendo’s strategy in manufacturing the controllers is banked largely on nostalgia over performance and accessibility.
Sega used a similar strategy when it released the Sega Genesis Classic mini console in 2019. In North America, the three-button controller was packaged in the box, while other regions received the six-button variant.
Nintendo has priced the Genesis controller for $49.99 USD, and it will release in late October alongside the Switch Online Expansion Pack, which will include a wide variety of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games for play on the Switch console.
Are you upset that the U.S. will not be receiving the six button controller? Will you be considering importing from Japan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!