Game Console Six Button Gamepad Controller - Dismantled for reference and curiosity
The 'Mega Drive II Six Button Control Pad' was released in conjunction with the launch of CAPCOM's 'Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition' for the Mega Drive and Mega Drive II; to accommodate the extra buttons needed for easy play.
It's a pretty standard directional pad affair with six action buttons (vs. the previous three) and a 'Start' button. Owing much of its styling to the standard Mega Drive II controller, the six button version, while angled, retains the original three action buttons with the addition of three additional smaller action buttons above them.
When the Mega Drive was re-released as the smaller Mega Drive II, the controllers were given a red Start button making them easy to distinguish from the Mega Drive versions. It seems the US released Genesis II controllers may have all had a blue Start button however I'm yet to confirm if that was release wide.
While the controller below sports the red Start button traditionally linked with Mega Drive II controller hardware, the six button controller functions on all versions of the Mega Drive and Genesis consoles.
As with the three button controller, the gamepad connects to the Mega Drive with a standard nine pin D-Sub, non-preparatory port familiar on early Atari and many home microcomputers and 8-bit game systems. That said, it does not conform to the 'Atari 2600' wiring to switch standard that the SEGA Master System's controllers did. The 1650 controller also contains some smarts. This meant that while the Mega Drive is backwards compatible with most Master System games (via a converter), some games require players to disconnect the 1650 and plug in a Master System controller.