Back in 2004 Sega released a limited supply of Sega saturn usb controls in japan and recently there have been a surge of bootlegs claiming to be Genuine hitting Ebay. So I purchased one of the very many Saturn USBs claiming to be "legit" from ebay so that I could see how it compares to a real sega saturn pad, and also to use for my ps3 and mac. Now its become common knowledge that these are not to the exact standard of the original 2004 pads, let alone the original saturn pad itself but I'm hoping that It would at least satisfy some emulator needs.
Here's the bootleg from Ebay. (hence they all claim its an original Sega product on ebay, but its not.)
As you can see the box it come in is an exact replica of the 2004 pads Sega released. These bootleggers really did there research.
My first impression taking it out from the pack was "WOW it looks like the real thing" but with closer inspection I started to notice its cheapness.Body mold:
The plastic body doesn't feel as smooth as the original. Plus its color isn't the sexy light grey of the genuine japanese article, its more of a light cream color, not impressed. Also I might add that the mold features arent as detailed, such as the grippy surface around the back and edges.Face buttons:
The face buttons are pretty good, yes they feel cheap are not to comfy to press but they respond pretty well while gaming. The molding is pretty much the same as the original, but I noticed that the font is slightly different and that they are not as deeply indented. The colors are slightly of too.Triggers:
These are terrible, they click really loudly and feel hard and irritating. The color is darker than the original.Start button:
Works but feels to moshy. Lighter in color (strange).D-pad:
Most important part which made the saturn pad so popular in the start. The plastic material is totally different, no comfy soft feeling grippy surface. Its a smooth hard plastic that feels edgy and pretty bland. It also doesn't move like the original being very sloppy and sometimes unresponsive. Though i still does a pretty good job on emulators.
Overal: Not bad for a cheap peace of crap pretending to be a saturn pad, but it definitely is miles away from the original beast that people know and love. I will say this. This bootleg is at least better than the Retrolink and Gtron incarnations, so ill give it that.
Comparing it with the original
Left: original Right: Bootleg
Top: Original Bottom: Bootleg