The Nintendo Switch is soon getting its own first-party Sega Genesis controller – but different versions are going to be released, counting on the country.
The newly-announced Sega Genesis controller for Nintendo Switch will have a special version available exclusively in Japan. Nintendo revealed the wireless Genesis controller during its Nintendo Direct presentation yesterday, alongside the new Switch-compatible edition of the Nintendo 64 controller.
When the Sega Genesis first hit the shores of the us in 1989, it came with a controller that featured only three face buttons (and a start button). This made it ideal for various games that might begin within the following years, which were making use of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s eight-button controller. To deal with this, Sega released a six-button controller around 1993 that became the new standard alongside the Genesis (without the Sega prefix, also referred to as the Mega Drive II). With Nintendo’s recent announcement that Genesis games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online, the corporate also will release new first-party N64 and Genesis controllers for the Switch. Of course, many are wondering which versions of the Genesis pad are going to be available, and now Nintendo has a solution .
As spotted by IGN, a tweet from the official Nintendo Twitter account shows a six-button version of the Genesis (or Mega Drive II) controller for the Switch. Against this, only the four-button version of the controller was shown in promo materials for western countries. IGN reached bent Nintendo for clarification and confirmed that, although the Genesis and N64 controllers are going to be available to all or any subscribers of Nintendo Switch Online, the seven-button Mega Drive controller will only be sold in Japan. A Nintendo spokesperson explained the reasoning: “For the U.S. and Canada, a reproduction of the first SEGA Genesis controller is that the available model. This was far and away the more widely used and well-known Sega Genesis controller in these regions.”
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) September 23, 2021
It’s worth noting that both regional versions of the Nintendo Switch’s Genesis controller are presumably compatible with all different models of the Switch, a bit like the bulk of other Switch peripherals. Western gamers could still get their hands on the six-button Genesis pad through international sellers, but the pricing may change naturally. With 14 Sega Genesis games coming soon to modify and more to be added within the future, the six-button controller might be more necessary than one might think.
This is another odd little bit of marketing from Nintendo. The brand recognition of the first Genesis controller could also be stronger within the West, but most of the people who are sufficiently old to acknowledge it also remember why the six-button version was more useful. Thankfully, there is still a spread of quality third-party Genesis controllers for the Switch available to those that don’t need to travel through the difficulty of importing the first-party one from Japan.