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Nintendo 64 Controller

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Nintendo 64 Controller
Nintendo 64 Controller.jpg
Standard gray Nintendo 64 controller
Release year: 1996
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Compatible: Nintendo 64
Model no.: NUS-005

The Nintendo 64 Controller is the standard controller packaged with the Nintendo 64. At launch the controller was released in six different colors: the default gray, black, red, blue, green, and yellow, though many other variants were released alongside numerous different console colorations. Up to four controllers can be used with one console, the first Nintendo console to natively support more than two; the previous two consoles required separate accessories to increase the number of inputs.

According to Nintendo, initial mock-ups of the controller were designed out of clay, as the new controller was too complex to design using 3D modeling. The final design of the controller was decided at the same time Super Mario 64's mechanics were solidified. It was initially revealed alongside the console at Nintendo Space World 1995.

Features and functionality

The Nintendo 64 controller features ten buttons. Rather than using the directional pad as the primary input, the Nintendo 64 features a "Control Stick" on its center handle, allowing for more precise movements in 3D games than the Control Pad would provide. When the console is switched on, the position of the control stick is calibrated and its current position is designated as the "center position"; at any point while the console is on, the controller can be recalibrated by pressing L+R+Start. The controller has six face buttons: the A and B buttons, and above them four C buttons (up, down, left, and right), meant for camera control but also given various other functions. In addition to the L and R shoulder buttons, there is also a Z trigger button on the back of the center handle.

The controller was designed with three handles as a means to be held in three different ways when playing games.[1] One of these methods is to hold both sides of the controller to use the Control Pad and face buttons, similar to the previous Nintendo controllers. The second way is to hold the center and right sides to use the control stick, Z and R, and face buttons, the positioning used by most 3D games for the console. The third way is to hold the center and left sides to use the control stick, Control Pad, and Z and L buttons.

On the bottom of the Nintendo 64 controller, behind the Z button, is an expansion port. This can be used in conjunction with various accessories, such as the Controller Pak, Rumble Pak, and Transfer Pak.


  • Contrary to popular belief, the Nintendo 64 was not the first console to use an analog stick. The Vectrex was the first home console to have a controller with an analog stick; it also had four controller ports, something else that wasn't popularized until the Nintendo 64.

External links


  1. Electronic Gaming Monthly Issue 78, page 77 (January 1996). Retrieved April 7, 2016.

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