Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Podcast: Sega Hits the Third Mark

with 2 comments



This week Fred and Jam are celebrating Sega’s first console attempt, the Master System.  While a technical powerhouse against the NES, business practices in the US and insconsistencies in Japan made it a commercial failure.  It did thrive in Europe and Brazil, not to mention it’s quite an enticing package in hindsight.

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Written by Fred Rojas

September 10, 2014 at 11:00 am

2 Responses

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  1. With regards to the Sega control stick and the stick being on the “wrong” side…. this is something you young ****s who have never used microcomputers back in the 80s will never get. Nearly ALL joysticks made back then were designed with any buttons on the base to the left, with the shaft of the stick to be used by the right hand. This decision was made by manuafacturers back then because most people are RIGHT handed, and so will use the stick with their DOMINANT right hand. (there were some sticks made with buttons positioned so that the shaft could be gripped with either hand, but these were few and far between).

    There is a theory out there that when arcade games first came out, manufacturers of them placed the sticks on the left and buttons on the right so that people would not be used to controlling the stick with their non-dominant hand and so game times would be shorter. Of course we eventually adapted to this…

    Look at this image of the original Atari VCS stick with the button at the top left and this collection of Atari and other sticks … notice most sticks in this picture are designed to be controlled by the RIGHT hand (and the rest I would use my right hand anyway).

    Sega did not make a wrong decision with their control stick, they were merely following the normal market trend at the time when they made their control stick. I had one of those for years plugged into my C64, best joystick I ever had.

    Sparky Kestrel

    January 9, 2019 at 12:49 am

    • Perhaps I need to re-listen to the ep, but as someone who isn’t that young and did grow up with microcomputers in the 80s, in fact I had a C64 and as a lefty totally felt that sticks were designed with a dominant right hand in mind. Good background info though, appreciate it, but I’ll have to listen back to when we dogged on the control stick. Perhaps it just looked odd, either way we clearly dogged on something that was pretty standard.

      Fred Rojas

      January 9, 2019 at 9:42 pm

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