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Got it MADE?; Nintendo 64 controller origins
Topic Started: Jan 30 2016, 04:29 PM (6,126 Views)
cell
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Interesting. Curious to to see where this goes.

I have two "made in Japan" N64 controllers. One is the black top/grey bottom controller packaged with the Mario Kart ntsc-J release.
The other might be more relevant. It is a standard grey pad that came with my, release day, Pal-N64. It has the the identical imprint to the "made in Japan" controllers pictured here.
I believe the "release day" time frame may be noteworthy, as the spare controllers that I purchased soon after release day (also standard grey Pal controllers) were marked "made in China".

On a more subjective note: I have a number of various official N64 controllers but early on one became my "number 1".
Yup, its the made in Japan, release day grey. This was before I ever realised the differing countries of manufacture.
This controller still has the most solid feel of all my controllers, with the Mario Kart black and grey (also "made in Japan", as pointed out earlier) being a very close second.

Coincidence? Merely subjective?
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cell
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Ok. Here is the standard grey controller, that came in box, with my release day Pal N64.
I have placed the ferrite "Kludge" in frame in both pictures (hope they come out ok. If not, I can try again in natural light)
Note, it is the old/orig type Pal Kludge, which had a soft rubber-like plastic around the ferrite (later ferrite parts were encased in a one piece, light plastic affair, which looked nice but are quite distinct from what is shown my photos)

It occurs to me, that there is no way to both show a close-up of the manufacture region and to show that the kludge on the cable is actually connected to the same controller, via photos.
That would take a hi def video.
Anyway, hope this is of assistance to you, No64DD.

Posted Image
Posted Image

edit: Thanks Bamboozled. Fixed now, I hope.
Edited by cell, Feb 6 2016, 08:12 PM.
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cell
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No64DD
Feb 6 2016, 08:32 PM
Thanks again Bamboozled. He is good!

And thank you- cell :D

These are fantastic developments you've brought to this thread. The pictures are perfect! I will add this controller with great anticipation. We now have proof that your PAL Grey release controller is unique, and it represents something more- Not only are we getting to uncover these MIJ controller's origins, but basically, we are also getting to carbon-date them!
This is an exciting find. You should be proud.
:n64:

@cell, what PAL region are you from? :rollseyes:
PAL region Ireland, No64DD.

I can confirm the "texture" on the Mario Kart controller.
Did my pictured grey controller have the same "texture"?
I honestly can not remember and two decades later, the texture has been worn with use (I still use it to this day, for Wave Race 64, Mario Kart 64 and Diddy Kong Racing :) )
I know for sure that It "felt" different to my other controllers.

Also, I have found that with both of my made MIJ controllers, the official rumble pack and official controller pack have a more secure/tighter fit. Anybody else notice this?
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cell
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I purchased two new and boxed, spare grey PAL controllers around launch. One shortly after launch day, the other later, around the release of Mario Kart 64.
Both, for certain, had the rubber type Kludge. Both were made in China.
(sadly, no photos, as they were both "de-Kludged" by my dog :D. Though, other than that, one of them is still in perfect condition)
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cell
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Thats an interesting table, danilochka.
I would not have guessed that the plastic replacement Kludge was in place as early as December 97.

So, No64DD, if only launch day consoles contained a MIJ grey controller in box (at least, for the UK & Ireland, as pointed out by danilochka) we could be looking at a more clear time frame as to when production of the MIJ controllers ended?

Still, wasnt the MIJ Daiei Hawks N64 controller released in 1999? So the MIJ were being made up till this point, at least? Just not in mass production?

This is good stuff :yeah:
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cell
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@No64DD, you may well have seen such a controller, "EUR Blue/Clear controller with a plastic Kludge".
If so, it would probably have been the result of an N64 controller chop shop alteration (some-ones non-kludge, clear blue gets cable damage and is repaired with a kludged cable)

I hope were all on the same page when I say that the only MIJ controllers that should be included as examples here, are models that we can personally vouch for and by that I mean controllers who's provenance is in no doubt.

Besides the MIJ imprint on the front of the MIJ model, there is also other physical differences. But perhaps I say too much.
No64DD is playing his cards close to his chest on this one ;) , I feel, so I leave it up to him to dictate the speed of this threads progress.
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cell
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LinusHofmann beat me to it :D

Sorry for the late response here, since my last post, No64DD but my phone (a therefore camera) is on the blink and I can not upload the pictures that I want.

So, basically, all MIJ controllers that I have seen over the years (and I speak here only of those that I can personally verify as authentic), have a black back to the analogue stick case.
Without exception.
Conversely, I have never seen a MIC controller, (again, that I could personally vouch for), that had this black backing.

The different shades of grey/dark grey, I have not seen, so I can not speak on that. Very interesting.


(p.s. If the photos are still of use, I will upload them as soon as I can)
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cell
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No64DD
May 12 2016, 08:37 PM
I want to thank everyone that has contributed to this thread here!
It has only been 3 pages, but the amount driven from it is enough to melt your FACE!!
And thank you for starting this thread, No64DD :yeah:
Some fantastic information here.
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