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One Controller Port Systems


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The Famicom technically has only one controller port via the DB-15 port on the front of the system. Though it has 2 controllers hardwired into the system.

I see. But there hasn't been another system that only has a single controller port with no other controllers attached to it?

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3DO - The controllers have their own ports, so you daisy-chain them together.

TI-99/4a - Joysticks are Y-connected.

VIC-20 - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

Apple II - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

CDi - some versions of the hardware had only one, but others had two.

 

Getting more esoteric, there were a number of dedicated video game systems in the '70s that had single ports for light gun attachments.

Edited by BassGuitari
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3DO - The controllers have their own ports, so you daisy-chain them together.

TI-99/4a - Joysticks are Y-connected.

VIC-20 - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

Apple II - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

CDi - some versions of the hardware had only one, but others had two.

 

Getting more esoteric, there were a number of dedicated video game systems in the '70s that had single ports for light gun attachments.

 

I immediately thought of the 3DO and the weird daisy-chain design. If player one is losing, he can just unplug player two.

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3DO - The controllers have their own ports, so you daisy-chain them together.

TI-99/4a - Joysticks are Y-connected.

VIC-20 - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

Apple II - Just one joystick or pair of paddles.

CDi - some versions of the hardware had only one, but others had two.

 

Getting more esoteric, there were a number of dedicated video game systems in the '70s that had single ports for light gun attachments.

Right on! Thanks a lot!
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There are also daisy chaining PC Engine controllers.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEC-PC-Engine-TWIN-COMMANDER-HJ-10-JAPAN-GAME-Work-16534/183210447397?hash=item2aa8319225:g:BA4AAOSwTA9X2SHI&redirect=mobile

 

 

 

It makes more sense for the PC Engine to have a single controller port than a computer, considering its size.

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There are also daisy chaining PC Engine controllers.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEC-PC-Engine-TWIN-COMMANDER-HJ-10-JAPAN-GAME-Work-16534/183210447397?hash=item2aa8319225:g:BA4AAOSwTA9X2SHI&redirect=mobile

 

It makes more sense for the PC Engine to have a single controller port than a computer, considering its size.

 

That's more of a controller with a hard-wired turbo tap, but I get what you mean. The originals are tiny. The TurboGrafx 16 was every bit as big as a model 1 Genesis, so it has no excuse. Same with the Duo family.

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It at least makes a vague amount of sense that there was just one port on the computers.

 

In the case of the Apple II, at least, Steve Wozniak designed the computer with paddle controls in mind (a BASIC version of Breakout was the litmus test for what he wanted to achieve with the system). A pair of which could be joined to a single connector that plugged directly into the motherboard. The Apple's single game port could read two potentiometers and two buttons--one each per game control unit--thereby providing for simultaneous 2-player action...as long as the game required no more than a single axis of control per player.

 

That may sound sort of short-sighted today, but that style of arcade game was dominant at the time, and would still be commonplace for several years. And a single game port was still one more than the TRS-80 and PET had!

 

The joysticks for the Apple that started to appear a few years later were, functionally, essentially a pair of paddles stuffed into a single box with a shaft stuck in the middle to manipulate the pots.

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In the case of the Apple II, at least, Steve Wozniak designed the computer with paddle controls in mind (a BASIC version of Breakout was the litmus test for what he wanted to achieve with the system). A pair of which could be joined to a single connector that plugged directly into the motherboard. The Apple's single game port could read two potentiometers and two buttons--one each per game control unit--thereby providing for simultaneous 2-player action...as long as the game required no more than a single axis of control per player.

 

That may sound sort of short-sighted today, but that style of arcade game was dominant at the time, and would still be commonplace for several years. And a single game port was still one more than the TRS-80 and PET had!

 

The joysticks for the Apple that started to appear a few years later were, functionally, essentially a pair of paddles stuffed into a single box with a shaft stuck in the middle to manipulate the pots.

That's a bit of info I actually needed too. But on later systems like the PC Engine, what's up with just the one port?

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That's a bit of info I actually needed too. But on later systems like the PC Engine, what's up with just the one port?

 

Probably not worth losing sleep over, man. It was either due to simple cost cutting (not including a second port means less parts are being used, which saves the company money in the manufacturing process), or an intentional design decision to sell extra accessories (like multiplayer adapters). Or perhaps a little bit of both.

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The 3DO daisy chain design isn't as bad as some make it out to be. Most consoles require a multi-tap in order to play with more than 2 controllers. Sure, having 4 controller ports like the N64 would be better, but daisy chaining isn't the end of the world. The PC Engine's single port design was crap because it required a multi-tap just to play two player games, which is a pain in the ass. And the size of the console has nothing to do with it because the larger TurboGrafx-16 still had only one port.

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Yeah, I dunno what people are bitching about the 3DO daisy chaining.


For the PC-Engine, it's debatable. If you have opened a Japanese one, it's full like an egg.

Plus, I don't see how much of a trouble it is. You buy the multtap only once after all, and you get 5 players.

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Didn't early versions of the ZX Spectrum have ZERO controller ports? You had to buy them separately as an expansion cartridge. I've said it once and I'll say it again... the British must have been really, really hard up for gaming to make this system such a success.

 

The PC Engine, as I recall, was designed as a budget system. The PC Engine Core was the bare minimum required for playing games. I get the impression that our own TurboGrafx was based on that particular model of the console. Practically everything had to be purchased separately and slotted into the expansion port on the back. Dirty pool, NEC.

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Didn't early versions of the ZX Spectrum have ZERO controller ports? You had to buy them separately as an expansion cartridge. I've said it once and I'll say it again... the British must have been really, really hard up for gaming to make this system such a success.

yep.

And understanding the success of the ZX Spectrum is simple :

A ZX Spectrum : 99£

A game on tape for the ZX Spectrum : 1£ to 5£ (depending on licence, quality of development, etc...)

 

as compared to :

Commodore 64 : £195.95

C2N Cassette Deck - £39.10

1541 Disk Drive - £195.95 (yep, same price as the computer. And you wonder why the floppy isnt popular for 8 bits micros in Europe? Sheesh)

 

And I can' trecall, but games were more expensive, which make sense (better graphics, better soon, so you need more time and work).

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The 3DO daisy chain design isn't as bad as some make it out to be. Most consoles require a multi-tap in order to play with more than 2 controllers. Sure, having 4 controller ports like the N64 would be better, but daisy chaining isn't the end of the world. The PC Engine's single port design was crap because it required a multi-tap just to play two player games, which is a pain in the ass. And the size of the console has nothing to do with it because the larger TurboGrafx-16 still had only one port.

 

 

Yeah, I dunno what people are bitching about the 3DO daisy chaining.

 

I'll jump on this wagon as well. From a development standpoint, daisychaining controllers is actually sort of brilliant in the sense that there's no arbitrary constraint on the number of controllers/players you can support. And as mentioned, gamers didn't need to buy any multitaps. I think the most players a 3DO game supported was eight, and you had that capability right out of the box.

 

From a practical standpoint I can certainly see flaws in the design, namely that if one connection in the chain fails for whatever reason (technical or...otherwise :twisted: :P), every other controller following it. But that can easily be remedied by replacing either a controller or dishonest/poor-sport player, or move them to the end of the chain. :) But not too many games actually supported more than two players anyway, so the point is essentially moot....unless you have a gaggle of shitty friends who really like mid-'90s golf and soccer games. :P

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