Sega Megadrive/Genesis wireless controller shootout

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    • Sega Megadrive/Genesis wireless controller shootout

      Further to the N64 controller shootout @PascalP posted earlier, we thought we'd do the same for some decent quality aftermarket Megadrive/Genesis controllers.

      We have only tested the controllers during a session of Megadrive games (specifically Alien Storm and Battletoads), these are our findings so far, not very thorough, so you're welcome to add your additions.

      We have the following three contestants.



      Krikzz Joyzz wireless controller

      The general build quality of the Krikzz we found a bit lacking. The casing doesn't fit together as nicely as the other two, causing the two controller casing halves to flex a bit while firmly pressing the d-pad buttons. The shape of the controller does follow the original Sega design. It has the normal button layout, plus the mode button. It is compatible with the Megadrive/Genesis as well as the Master System.

      MSRP: $58 (both on Amazon and everdrive.me)

      Pro's:
      • Original Sega controller design
      • Compatibility with both MD/Genesis as well as SMS
      • Battery life (allegedly 150 hours)
      Cons:
      • Case quality seems lacking
      • Mushy d-pad, however more or less like the original controller
      • Micro USB connection gap, doesn't seem to fit as nicely as the others
      • Bulky dongle, which also feels flimsy and doesn't sit very tight in the controller port of the console
      • Price, the cost of this controller is double the amount of the other two


      8bitdo M30 2.4g

      The general build quality of the 8bitdo we found quite nice. The shape of the controller doesn't follow the original design, however out of the three, we found this shape to be the most comfortable. The controller does have some extra buttons on the front, and shoulder buttons. However, we didn't test these on the original console.

      MSRP: $24.99 (official Amazon link from 8BitDo's website), $16 and upwards on AliExpress (which are still legit products!)

      Pro's:
      • Most comfortable controller design
      • Very good build quality overall
      • Best d-pad design out of the three, feels a little bit clicky like tactile buttons, and has shorter throw compared to the rest
      • Very small elegant dongle of good quality, sits tight in the controller port of the console
      • Good price, feels right on the money
      Cons:
      • Doesn't follow the original controller design, which in turn however is also a pro
      Retro-bit official licensed 2.4g

      The general build quality of the retro-bit is very nice and follows the traditional Sega design, it's an officially licensed controller so it does look very similar, including the typically red start button and the Sega logo. It features some extra buttons on the front, and has should buttons as well.

      MSRP: €19.99 (official Amazon EU link from Retro-Bit's website), $34.99 on Amazon.com for US

      Pro's:
      • Original Sega licensed controller design, very similar to the original controller
      • Includes a USB dongle as well for PS3/Switch, etc.
      • Includes a nice case to store the controller in with the dongles
      • Very responsive d-pad, ALMOST as good as the 8bitdo, just slightly more throw
      Cons:
      • None we could think of right now
      Dongles:

      Size from small -> large; 8BitDo -> Retro-Bit -> Krikzz
      Fitment in the controller port from best to worse; 8BitDo (perfect fit) -> Retro-Bit (perhaps slightly tight fit) -> Krikzz (loose fit)
      Also the Krikzz DB9 connector feels a bit 'loose' inside the case + it has that weird edge sticking out, I mean couldn't he find a better connector that fits flush in the case?

      Here you can clearly see the gap on the micro USB connector, together with the bulky dongle being used of the Krikzz controller. Pay attention to the DB9 connector which doesn't exactly sit flush in the case.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sp33dFr34k ().

    • Our personal winner is a shared first place, the 8bitdo M30 is the most comfortable controller and the d-pad is the nicest. However, the retro-bit controller is also very nice, as it's very complete with it's accessoires and the design is faithful to the original controller :)

      So first place is shared between the 8bitdo and the retro-bit controller, the Krikzz is a distant last place due to overall lesser quality and it's expensive price.

      What's your opinions guys? :)

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Sp33dFr34k ().

    • I have to agree - I have the Krikzz and the 8bitdo...

      I don't mind the Krikzz - but the 8bitdo is a better feel and more ergonomic...
      Arcade MultiSystems:

      Sega: ST-V (Darksoft), Naomi 2 w/Net Dimm,Capcom CPS2 (Darksoft) , Capcom CPS3 (Darksoft), Neo Geo MV-1B (Darksoft), Sega C2 (Apocalypse), Taito F3 (Darksoft), Neo Geo AES (Darksoft), M72 Multi (Apocalypse)
      VAPS Profile arcade-museum.com/members/member_detail.php?member_id=481863
    • Call it a personal hangup, but I can't use a "Genesis" controller if it hasn't got that Genesis controller shape/design.
      8bitdo could be the best controller on the entire planet and I'd never know, because I'll never use one.
      I like that Retrobit is nailing the shape, but extra buttons/shoulder buttons? On Genesis? NO NO NO!

      Krikzz while clearly having other issues is the only one who seems to understand this/my PoV.
      Get it right, or don't bother... It just that simple.
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)
    • jassin000 wrote:

      Call it a personal hangup, but I can't use a "Genesis" controller if it hasn't got that Genesis controller shape/design.
      8bitdo could be the best controller on the entire planet and I'd never know, because I'll never use one.
      Could you elaborate on this please, so I can understand you?

      Let's say for arguments sake that the 8Bitdo is the best controller on the planet. You won't use it as it doesn't match the shape of an original Genesis controller? Why does it need to, can't it be its own controller in its own right, that just happens to be compatible with Genesis protocols?
    • Frank_fjs wrote:

      can't it be its own controller in its own right, that just happens to be compatible with Genesis protocols?
      Can and in fact IS, but I only use what was the original controller when playing the original console.
      If you want wireless, then sure exceptions must be made as Genesis never had official wireless controllers.
      Why must I compromise size/shape/feel just for wireless? Is that a good trade off? Not to me, I'd rather use a real pad with a extension cable.

      Even growing up, I only would ever use/endorse one 3rd party controller...
      The SNES ASCII Pad!
      I own 5 of these epic controllers, 4 for SNES/Hudson multi tap and 1 for GBAConsolizer.

      Best 3rd party controller ever made


      Even corrected the horrific American choice of purple/gray buttons.
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)

      The post was edited 4 times, last by jassin000 ().

    • Hmm, I'm looking at it from a different angle. Put simply, it's a fantastic controller for use with a supergun. So in that regard it doesn't bother me that the shape is different to stock Sega controllers, and to me personally this is beneficial as it's extremely comfortable to hold.

      I now see where you're coming from, from the perspective of replacing an original controller in use with the original console.
    • Stupid Dufus wrote:

      Only things I'd add would be:
      • MSRP of each
      • Picture of each dongle plugged into the console
      • Pictures of USB cables plugged into each controller
      Otherwise a nice write up.
      No pictures of what you ask at hand, but can describe it as the following, @Sp33dFr34k can you add this to the OP?

      MSRP as taken from the official store:
      Krikzz Joyzz $58 (both on Amazon and everdrive.me)
      8BitDo M30 2.4G $24.99 (official Amazon link from 8BitDo's website), $16 and upwards on AliExpress (which are still legit products!)
      Retro-Bit €19.99 (official Amazon EU link from Retro-Bit's website), $34.99 on Amazon.com for US

      Dongles:
      Size from small -> large; 8BitDo -> Retro-Bit -> Krikzz
      Fitment in the controller port from best to worse; 8BitDo (perfect fit) -> Retro-Bit (perhaps slightly tight fit) -> Krikzz (loose fit)
      Also the Krikzz DB9 connector feels a bit 'loose' inside the case + it has that weird edge sticking out, I mean couldn't he find a better connector that fits flush in the case?

      USB cables in both the 8BitDo and Retro-Bit fit fine, quality feel to the connector when inserting/removing, Just the Krikzz that lacks

      The post was edited 2 times, last by PascalP ().

    • jassin000 wrote:

      Frank_fjs wrote:

      can't it be its own controller in its own right, that just happens to be compatible with Genesis protocols?
      Can and in fact IS, but I only use what was the original controller when playing the original console.If you want wireless, then sure exceptions must be made as Genesis never had official wireless controllers.
      Why must I compromise size/shape/feel just for wireless? Is that a good trade off? Not to me, I'd rather use a real pad with a extension cable.

      Even growing up, I only would ever use/endorse one 3rd party controller...
      The SNES ASCII Pad!
      I own 5 of these epic controllers, 4 for SNES/Hudson multi tap and 1 for GBAConsolizer.

      Best 3rd party controller ever made


      Even corrected the horrific American choice of purple/gray buttons.
      I partially agree to this, I don't care about the extra buttons and don't even want to bother to find out what they do/don't do.
      Perfect controller IMO would be the 8BitDo strictly as a 6 button pad and not the extra stuff, but perhaps this also has to do with me not growing up with a Genesis/MD I don't have that strong nostalgic feelings for it, as I was a Nintendo kid I only like the official design for SNES controller, therefore love the 8BitDo SN30 as it is perfect true to the original, no extra buttons and no analog sticks like the SN30 Pro (I mean WTF man?!?)
      Same thing when I searched for a wireless NES pad, why on earth would 8BitDo release a NES pad with 4 buttons? So I passed on it until they came up with these DIY kits, bought one of those to mod a brand new NES Mini controller and love it.

      But seriously bro, you like that asciiPad monstrosity and are bitching about these controllers not faithful to the original design, I can't even take that comment seriously :P
      Besides the Retro-Bit is in fact Sega licensed and everything if that bothers you
    • PascalP wrote:

      But seriously bro, you like that asciiPad monstrosity and are bitching about these controllers not faithful to the original design, I can't even take that comment seriously
      That Ascii pad is the greatest 3rd party controller ever made, you can say its a low bar to pass and you'd be right but that don't change the fact.

      You know the one aspect I feel all these "mini" consoles have nailed? Original controller reproduction!
      The emulation ranges widely, with some taking obvious shortcuts to quality...
      But I'll be damned if each one didn't release a pad that captured both the look and feels of that OG system as well.

      On the one hand I can see what multi-functional controllers are going for, a comfort first design since it has no "designated" console per-say.
      I'm just saying if I'm playing Genesis, it better be on a Genesis looking/feeling pad.

      Extra buttons shall not be pressed, nor shall thou place shoulder buttons upon thine body



      Stupid Dufus wrote:

      Infrared though, so I wouldn't want to use that
      Right, when I said "wireless" I was referring to 2.4Ghz. So that's what I should have said. ;)
      Darksoft: CPS3, CPS2, F3, MVS
      RGB: RECO v2, HAS v3
      invzim: Jammafier v1.6b
      XianXi: JNX Raiden, SC Taito Classic, SC Sega System 16/24
      Frank_fjs: JAMMA Extender (Special Edition)

      The post was edited 5 times, last by jassin000 ().

    • jassin000 wrote:

      PascalP wrote:

      But seriously bro, you like that asciiPad monstrosity and are bitching about these controllers not faithful to the original design, I can't even take that comment seriously
      That Ascii pad is the greatest 3rd party controller ever made, you can say its a low bar to pass and you'd be right but that don't change the fact.
      You know the one aspect I feel all these "mini" consoles have nailed? Original controller reproduction!
      The emulation ranges widely, with some taking obvious shortcuts to quality...
      But I'll be damned if each one didn't release a pad that captured both the look and feels of that OG system as well.
      Exactly why I bought a new Mini NES controller and used it for a 8bitdo DIY kit to use on the actual console with the 8bitdo receiver (instead of a SNES pad or 4 button NES pad)
    • Frank_fjs wrote:

      They have a 2.4G and BT M30. What they should have done is retained the 2.4G as per Sega spec, and the BT one can have the extra buttons as they're handy when using with Nintendo Switch etc.

      That said, the extra buttons really don't get in the way.
      As the 8bitdo dongle has no sync button, do you know how to deal with them if you use 2 controllers at the same time?
      Or are the controllers paired with a 'fixed' dongle?