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Discuss Intellivision, Atari, Colecovision, Nintendo, and More! » The Classic Gaming Section » The Classic Gaming Forum » Controllers with number pads

Controllers with number pads

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1 Controllers with number pads on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 8:34 pm

sloan

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Intellivision, Colecovision, Arcadia 2000, 5200, Jaguar.

It occurred to me that the earlier systems with numeric keypad controllers were mainly using the pad for menu screen and pause options. I know, this is probably obvious to most, but the menu picks and pause options were later made up through mini operating systems built into each game ala memory that was allocated to in-game options. Think of the title screen menus that became standard with Master System and NES. Was memory at such a premium with the earlier consoles/games that the numeric keypad was an absolute necessity? Could an in-game option select menu have been included in INTV, Arcadia, 5200, and CV games without being too big a hit to the memory allocated to game play?

Notice in all this I have not discussed Jaguar yet. It obviously differs from the rest in that it mapped numeric keypad buttons to in-game functions. Clumsy and error-prone, but unique in itself.

2 Re: Controllers with number pads on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 9:06 pm

TrekMD

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That's an interesting question. It may have been just something that programmers did not think of at the time but, with some of the older systems, it is possible memory had so play in it as well. I don't know programming, so I have no idea how much space it would take to add in-game menus.


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3 Re: Controllers with number pads on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 12:38 am

onthinice

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I am not sure either but I am glad the 5200 has one. I enjoy Frogger better with the number pad.

4 Re: Controllers with number pads on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 6:50 pm

sloan

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I forgot all about 5200 Frogger. That is one that does use the number pad in-game for directional control without having to hit the fire buttons. I realize that because the uncertainty of the analog joysticks, Parker Bros. had to implement the fire button functionality, but it becomes cumbersome. The number keys are a godsend for 5200 Frogger directional control.

5 Re: Controllers with number pads on Tue 07 Aug 2012, 11:00 pm

onthinice

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Thanks sloan! I really like the 5200 version and could not imagine just playing with the stick and button.

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