I love the SEGA Mega Drive. The 16-bit era gave graphics quite a significant boost in quality and for the first time in my gaming experience, I wasn’t just controlling a character made up of a few pixels. Instead, Sonic could well be a real blue super fast hedgehog racing along the screen or the representation of Donald Duck from Quackshot actually helped you believe it was Donald himself throwing plungers at walls and his on-screen foes. The Mega Drive controller is one of my favourite designs. It is simple, just enough buttons to be useful without it being confusing and is also very comfortable.

In this video, I explore the original SEGA Mega Drive controller I recently acquired – along with the dust, skin flakes and other yucky elements that came as a rather dirty bonus. After disassembling the unit, giving it a good thorough clean and putting it back together to test – this potentially 30 year old controller is back in action for exploring the fantastic library this console has to offer.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to examine and refresh your own retro collection. Starting with something small and simple, like cleaning a controller, can breathe new life into your vintage hardware, whether it’s a cherished item from your original collection or a recent online purchase. No one wants to use controllers with yucky elements peeking out for all to see. The Sega Mega Drive controller is a great starting point for beginners as there are no back triggers, no vast array of buttons, no analog sticks, no rumble motors – just a simple effective design.

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James Woodcock

James is a Freelance Journalist, Copywriter, Author, Blogger & Podcaster specialising in gaming, gadgets and technology, both retro and modern. Ever since he experienced the first controllable pixel movement on the television screen, he has been entranced by the possibilities and rewarding entertainment value generated from these metal and plastic boxes of delight. Writing hundreds of articles, including commentary and reviews on various gaming platforms, whilst also interviewing well-known industry figures for popular online publications. Creator of the ScummVM Music Enhancement Project and host of the Game & Gadget Podcast. View his portfolio here: James Woodcock's Portfolio.

James Woodcock has 1096 posts and counting. See all posts by James Woodcock

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