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[GENESIS/MD] Alternative to OEM 6-button Controller's 315-5638 IC?


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My first question:

Have any 3rd party manufacturers (other than Retrobit recently--I'll get to that in a bit) ever succeeded in making a version of the six-button Genesis controller that works 100% like the OEM (in other words, Mode button functionality is exactly identical to Sega's, and therefore compatibility is the same)?


My second question:

If so, do any of those controllers use an alternative to Sega's proprietary 315-5638 IC chip? I know Retrobit has succeeded in this with their 2019 Sega-licensed controllers, but looking inside of those, you'll see the the ol' "blob" integrated circuit. Not much help or information there.


I'm asking these questions because I want to be able to purchase legitimate alternative ICs for production of my own third-party Sega controllers. I see the 315-5638 available on some components websites, but (1) I'm not sure I trust them and (2) they list quantities but not prices (without filling out a quote form).


Plus: even if I were able to purchase the Sega ICs, wouldn't I be unable, legally, to sell controllers that utilize them without official licensing? Retrobit has the licensing and even they don't use them.


Any help on this is much appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Edited by HeadcolorsTV
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