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Control Freaks: #2 - The neGcon

Namco are legendary for their WTF controllers. Be it in the arcade or at home they have done more than any other company to bring arcade experiences home as faithfully as possible. However today's subject was high on the WTF scale even by Namco's standards. Welcome to Control Freaks.

Episode 2 - The neGcon

The neGcon

The neGcon was a real freak as far as controllers go. It existed as a sort of hybrid of the standard Playstation controller and a steering wheel. The controller lost some of the PS controller's buttons though. It has no select button and also cuts off the R2 and L2 buttons, it makes up for this though by bringing analog control to the Playstation 2 years before the release of the Dual Shock. The controller existed around a central axis which the 2 halves could be rotated around to deliver analog control. Couple that innovation with a pair of analogue face buttons where the cross and square once were. This abundance of analog features on the neGcon immediately found it an audience, hardcore racing fans.

The Games
For an extremely weird controller, the neGcon was compatible with a lot of games. Pretty much every major racing game on the PS1 and even some on the PS2 supported the neGcon. Every Wipeout game up to Wipeout Fusion (including Wipeout 64 with a converter) supported it and its in that series that the controller's point is suddenly realised. Playing Wipeout against a neGcon user is a futile effort if you hope to win, the analog control just gives that extra edge to making the small corrections to racing line that is so important to a good Wipeout player. That is why the neGcon is a good controller dispite its shortcomings, in the early years of the PS1 and even into the PS2 era it provided a level of precision that not even the advent of analogue sticks could hope to match.

Wipeout 2097, never agree to a 2-player game with just 1 neGcon

Even today the neGcon stands up as one of the most unique controllers ever created and for a lot of racing game fans is still the controller of choice. However it was a commercial failure, rejected by the new breed of gamer brought in by the Playstation and consigned to the bargain bins. If it had been adopted into the mainstream then we might have a neGcon 2 for the PS3. As it stands though its a fond memory in the minds of all those who used it, and a treasured posession for those who still own one. Its design made it stand out, and its functionality gave its users a crucial edge in games where digital controls just weren't good enough. It really is a truly glorious example of gaming innovation, and a great example of a true Control Freak.

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About njsykoraone of us since 4:17 PM on 12.11.2007

njsykora is pronounced like this.

Yeah it would be easier if it were spelt njsikora but it doesn't look as cool does it?

Mini Bio
I'm njsykora, a proud member of Dtoid UK. I've been playing games since I was 4.
Want to see what I live in? Look here.

Blog Series'

The �5 Challenge
In these troubled economic times we all have less money, join me as I set out to prove it's possible to get plenty of excellent games for only �5.
#1: Timesplitters, Zone of the Enders and Dynasty Warriors 3
#2: Ico
#3: Beach Spikers

I have 23 unfinished JRPGs, I aim to complete them all within 8 months.
The List and Mission

5 Reasons
Why should you be excited for a game? A controller? A console? A program? A pizza? I explain why I'm excited for something and why you should be too.
1: LittleBigPlanet
2: Guitar Hero World Tour
3: Midnight Club Los Angeles
4: Eternity's Child

Control Freaks
A look at games that have been defined by their weird controllers, or unique use of existing ones. Now finished in 6 parts.
1: Ape Escape
2: The neGcon
3: The Sega Action Chair
4: Gametrak
5: Prop Cycle
6: DK Bongos

[email protected]


The Great Retro Quiz 29: Donkey Kong Country

The Great Retro Quiz 30: Super Mario Kart

Consoles Owned - This Gen
Playstation 3
Xbox 360
Nintendo DS

The Retro Collection
Playstation 2
Nintendo 64
Neo Geo Pocket Colour
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