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NES Advantage

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The NES Advantage was a large joystick sold for the Nintendo Entertainment System beginning in 1987. The device was 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 could be used like an arcade game joystick -- with one hand using the joystick and the other manipulating the buttons.

The Advantage was a rather advanced controller for the time], with variable-speed turbo that could be flipped on or off with a button, pseudo-slow motion (basically toggling the Start button rapidly), and the ability to plug into both controller ports (useful for games that had an alternating two-player mode, like Super Mario Bros.). The controller though, was said to break very easily and have sticky buttons.

Slow Motion

The NES advantage also featured a "Slow Motion" button. The slow motion button worked by repeatedly pausing and unpausing the game, leaving it paused for only a short time interval. This effectively slowed down gameplay, though it did not work well in games where quickly pausing and unpausing was disallowed. Another drawback was the extremely rapid flashing that could occur during use, which posed a risk to the seizure prone. This was additionally useless in games that featured a menu accessible by pressing the start button (such as the Mega Man series and most Console role-playing games).

Influences of the Advantage

  • The joystick makes a brief appearance in the movie Ghostbusters II where it is modified to control the Statue of Liberty.
  • The NES Advantage was the inspiration and basis for the Super Nintendo equivalent: The Super Advantage.
  • The Advantage, a cover band using video games from the NES as song repertoire, borrowed their name from the Advantage controller


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