Game Kun Youtube Game Kun Twitter Game Kun Mail Game Kun RSS
Game Kun 8 bit logo

Top 6 Differences Between Famicom and NES Controllers

They are like long lost brothers. So similar, yet so different. Raised in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, the Japanese Nintendo Famicom controller sure has a unique character to it. But is it better than it’s North American NES counterpart? In my opinion, yes. Here’s 6 reasons why (plus a bonus reason on why they suck).

1. Round corners

Seriously, my hands are finely tuned pieces of art – they can’t be compromised by jabby, sharp controllers. The rounded corners of the Famicom pad fit into the contours of my palm like a %100 all-beef frank into a Wonderbread bun.

Famicom Round Edges

2. Crazy color scheme

Burgundy and gold? I haven’t seen colour schemes that fly since Dennis Rodman’s hair. Gold fronts beat out that grey and black monotone get-up any day.

Famicom vs. NES

3. Built in microphone

Some might call this a gimmick, but just you wait. The next indie wonder band is going to emerge with a full album recorded through the microphone built in the player 2 Famicom controller. Pols Voice, I think they are called…

Famicom NES Microphone

4. Lack of Start/Select on P2 – gives you control

Sure, in games like Contra and Life Force it’s called two player co-op. I think that’s more wishful thinking, because it is definitely uncooperative when player two pauses the game right when I’m mid air over a mega-canyon jump. It doesn’t matter how hard I try, I’m simply dead after the unpause. The Japanese understood that Player one has the authority – and thus only they have control over the Start and Select buttons. The way it should be.

Nintendo Famicom Start Button

5. Hard-wired cords

I love playing two player, but I honestly don’t have enough friends that can keep up. So when the P2 controller is not in use, it gets coiled up and tucked away. Unfortunately, the few times a year someone joins me for a round of Ikari Warriors, that controller is either nowhere to be found, or tangled up in some black spaghetti cord bullshit under the bed. Hard wire it to the system, and that bad boy ain’t going anywhere!

Nintendo Famicom Controllers

6. Controller holder slot on system

This builds upon the previous point of controller convenience; the Famicom has built in slots to hold the controllers when not in use. What more needs to be said? That’s the coolest thing in a video game system, and hasn’t been seen in a console ever since. Sure, the Colecovision had controller holders but… Colecovision was a lot less fun. Sorry, Coleco fans.

Nintendo Famicom Controller Holder Slot


And a negative;
Short Cords
Japanese houses are small, for sure, but seriously. 18 inches worth of cord is a joke. You know how your mom always said “don’t sit so close to the TV!”? She would have straight kicked your ass if she saw you playing this thing. Unless you pull the system across the room towards you, your maximum range from the TV is microscopic at best.

Nintendo Famicom Cord Length

What side would you pick? What’s your favourite controller?

Grab your own Famicom on eBay and Amazon today, and see for yourself!

4 comments Share

4 thoughts on “Top 6 Differences Between Famicom and NES Controllers

  1. Ron M. says:

    Good points! My cousin owned a Famicom back in the days and we would play Super Mario bros or something like that. I like the look of it but in North America, the NES is iconic. I like that the controllers has rounded edges on the Famicom and that it has controller holders. But the NES controllers, I guess have longer wires huh?

    Great post!

    1. Game Kun says:

      Yeah, the NES controllers definitely have the nostalgia factor that can’t be beat. And those cords – no competition when it comes to cord length! Seriously though, the cords on the Famicom are laughably short.

  2. Kasik0 says:

    I would have to say (even though growing up with only knowing the NES) the Famicom controller trumps the NES.

    The famicom in all points is more stylish and sleek. Just look at that freaking awesome colour. I wouldn’t mind the short cords but I was never a fan of the side cord going on there.

    Other than my input you hit the nail on the head!!

    Red and gold ftw!

    1. Game Kun says:

      Thanks man!

      It’s crazy how similar they are, yet so different! Surprisingly, the side cord slips right through your fingers and makes the controller feel more entwined with your hand – it’s not too bad. Maybe you’ll have to try them out sometime?

Comments are closed.