The NES Advantage is a arcade style controller manufactured by Asciiware and released by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987. The device is meant to rest on a flat surface at a comfortable level, such as a tabletop or the floor, with the player seated behind it. This way, it can be used like an arcade game joystick—with the left hand using the joystick and the right hand operating the buttons.
The controller is designed to simulate the look and feel of cabinet arcade game controls, the idea being to make gaming at home feel more like gaming in a video arcade. However, unlike actual arcade cabinets, the NES Advantage uses rubber switches for the buttons and joystick (like a controller), rather than microswitches.
The device has a rugged plastic exterior case with a stainless steel bottom plate, and four rubber feet to prevent skidding. The controller features adjustable turbo controls for the A and B buttons which could be toggled on or off with a button; users can adjust the rate of the turbo by adjusting the respective turbo dials located above each button. The Advantage features a pseudo–slow motion feature, which users can toggle on and off by pressing the “slow” button. However, the slow motion feature does not work with all games, including games compatible with the NES Zapper or R.O.B. accessories. The slow button works by very rapidly pressing a virtual start button, which could lead to problems when the player attempts to do an action while the game is paused (e.g., jumping or firing). This feature was not compatible with games with start menus or pause screens. The slow motion feature was unique at release, though it became a popular feature on later controllers.
By toggling a switch between “Player 1” and “Player 2”, the Advantage can be shared with another player for games where two players alternate gameplay.
Before being transported into the Nintendo world, Captain N is seen using an NES Advantage. In the movie Ghostbusters II, the Ghostbusters use an NES Advantage to control the Statue of Liberty. A third-party attachment for the Wii Remote resembling an arcade joystick was released for Virtual Console games.
Rating – Boxed, No Manual
Price Paid – £24.99 (Cash Converters Online)