Sega Saturn Prototype controller with DB9/mega drive plug

Discussion in 'Sega Saturn Programming and Development' started by AUSTIN PEYTON, Jan 5, 2019.

  1. AUSTIN PEYTON

    AUSTIN PEYTON Gutsy Member

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    IMG_4275.JPG
    I'm having some conflicting ideas whether or not this is a saturn prototype controller
    First off this controller will not work on a mega drive. I already tested a bunch of games including six button compatible games.
    Secondly, this prototype uses a DB9 plug which the saturn did not use in the final retail consoles
    The controller is dated 1993 on the inside so it could very well be something made during the development of the console since the japanese release date was November of 1994.
    Any help is appreciated thanks.
     

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  2. XL2

    XL2 Rising Member

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    The Saturn technical documentation often mentions Megadrive controllers. Maybe they had plans for backward compatibility at one point?
     
  3. Jackhead

    Jackhead Site Soldier

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    it is a sophia controller, not more and not less, that sample... remove it
     
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  4. AUSTIN PEYTON

    AUSTIN PEYTON Gutsy Member

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    How do you know?
    I've never seen a sophia with this controller
     
  5. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    lol, nice to see that went to someone here. We got in a little bid war ;)
    I'll see if I can find a Sophia controller and take it apart.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  6. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    After researching, I think at BEST, that is a retail sample. Could be a manufacturing sample given to the execs at Sega.
     
  7. Arcadia

    Arcadia Robust Member

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    Wouldn't that pretty much make it a prototype controller?
     
  8. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    Not at all. A prototype would be anything before the final version. Apologies for the wording. This looks like it is a final retail sample. When you get something mass produced, the plants will send manufacturing samples to the company.
     
  9. Arcadia

    Arcadia Robust Member

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    Fair enough, if the Sophia Systems were made after the launch of the Saturn, of which I cannot find any information.
     
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  10. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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  11. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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  12. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    Here is a video of Kevin talking about it,
     
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  13. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    Here are two so we can compare the PCB
     

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  14. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    More pics,
     

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  15. AUSTIN PEYTON

    AUSTIN PEYTON Gutsy Member

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    Yeah it's wired totally different than the japanese SJ 6000 6 button fighting pad which it's housed in
    It's much different inside than kev's.
    Mine has a electrolytic capacitor found on regular SJ 6000's but it has some extra chips, which are identical to kev's, to use what I'm assuming to be a L button and the mode button has simply been turned into a R button
    That's my guess based on what what the red switch could be for
     
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  16. Shane Battye

    Shane Battye Spirited Member

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    I wonder if this was intended for Mars development; if SOA were considering a dual shoulder button version of a 32X controller to match the Saturn's controller. The Mars dev kits presumably used the Genesis interface for controllers.

    I believe the first Sophias were available August '94. Interestingly two of my Sophias that came with controllers were the original grey Saturn controllers (one I'm certain was original as it still had the dev studio sticker on it which matched a sticker on the Sophia manual it came with); these Sophias have delivery documents date stamped 8/8/94 - Hitachi SH-2s only started scaled production in mid-1994 there's no reason the final format of the controllers wouldn't have been ready before then, in fact an essentially final mockup of controller and console housing were present at the Tokyo Toy Show at the start of June '94.. albeit in silver finish).

    I have one of the 'Saturn connector' versions of this controller, also with the 'Sample' label, it came bundled with some other development equipment from the United States (probably the same seller as yours if you just bought this last week). I figured yours originating in the States from this same seller adds some weight to it maybe being Mars related. I asked him his history and he said he'd only joined the development studio that this controllers came from in 1999 so couldn't elaborate more on their significance. When I have a moment I'll open up mine and we can compare the internals.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  17. AUSTIN PEYTON

    AUSTIN PEYTON Gutsy Member

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    =
    I bidded on that auction and it went to a price I wasn't comfortable with to be honest.
    Looking back it was actually not that bad of a deal. I never would have thought I'd see it again lol
    I'm sure it's near identical to Kev's controller since it has the saturn plug
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  18. fusion

    fusion Peppy Member

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    I was in the car with my wife towards the end. When it got to $500, I got out. I mainly wanted the system disc, and the controller would be a gamble. Looks like it paid off!
     
  19. Shane Battye

    Shane Battye Spirited Member

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    Here’s some pics of my Saturn version of this controller which appear the same as the one shown above. Note the PCB is stamped 1994 (your genesis connector version PCB is 1993) and there’s a part number of 171-6686D (first retail style Saturn controllers were 171-6830B); I cant see a part number on yours. Yours has a capacitor at C1 but otherwise looks pretty similar.
     

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  20. vexatious

    vexatious Rising Member

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    I'd agree it's something to do with 32x Mars or Neptune. Looks to have design in between and similar to Majesco model 3 Genesis pad and older standard six button pad. Majesco model 3 Genesis shell is shared with Neptune as well though smaller.
     

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