Game Console Gamepad Controller - Dismantled for reference and curiosity
*Details specific to the controllers pictured below are at the bottom of this text.
The Model 1650 'Mega Drive Control Pad' gamepad is the standard controller that was sold with the SEGA Mega Drive game console as a packing accessory.
It's a pretty standard directional pad (d-pad) affair with three action buttons and a Start button. The controller is more notable for being one of the first gamepads to break the rectangular brick design in favour of a more ergonomic style.
The 1650 links 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.
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. It seems the Genesis II controller may have all had a blue Start buttons, however I'm yet to confirm if was release wide.
SEGA also offered a six button version to coincide with the release of CAPCOM's 'Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition'; please see other page in this section for that controller.
*The controllers below were manufactured in China and Taiwan. The most noticeable differences being the stamping inside the front shell section, the button contacts on the PCB and that the Taiwanese version does not have a printed 'Toshiba' chip. For those into minutia, the screws holding the Taiwanese version's shell together have smaller threads.