Super NEO GEO Controller Pinout

For my joystick hacking purposes nothing suits me quite like a Neo pinout. Standard connector, plenty of pins (Enough for a stick, eight buttons and start/select) and no encoder chips to muck up my day. The standard Neo controller, as you know, only allows for four buttons, so I added the other four on the three unused pins and the second D line, which won't at all affect a real Neo system should you decide to shove the new controller into one.
[ DB-15 plug ]

Pin #
Pin #
Y Button
W Button
Z Button
D Button
C Button
B Button
A Button
X Button

Basically just cut out the second D line, and replace the unused pins with the other four buttons in order. Presto: A stick with all eight buttons without losing compatability with the Neo Geo. I recommend a standard pinout 'cause it eliminates the need for re-thinking the application with every product, as well as makes whatever adaptors or hardware you make completely compatible with Neo gear. Luckily eight buttons handily accomodates every console pad ever made - the Saturn, PSX, SNES, PC Engine, Genesis - they all use eight buttons or fewer. The new buttons are highlighted in blue.

Note! Neo hardware outputs +5v on the common line The NeoGeo outputs +5v on pin 8, so if you're making a stick that utilizes this pin be careful to either disconnect it or not press the switch connected to this pin, you'll reset (or worse, fry!) your Neo system.
Now the whole point of making a standard pinout for the extra buttons is to put them to good use somehow. My intention is to make adaptors for the consoles I intend to use these controllers on. I'll be posting a detailed writeup of the controller conversion process real soon now. Here's the button map based on the layout of the controller, the buttons offered by the console I intend to use it on, designed to make it easier to wire up the encoder interface. It sounds tricky, but it's not. This is essentially a guide so I can remember, as I wire the encoding IC from the controller hack I've yet to detail, which wire connects to which pin and which button that is on the controller.

I've also added notes explaining, where necessary, the choices made and benefits or drawbacks they offer.

Sega Saturn

[ Sega Saturn layout ]
The Saturn nicely uses all eight buttons, and has a relatively standard button layout. Sega's own sticks have already determined for us where the buttons shall be placed when moved from the pad to the stick. I've put them in the same place, making the transition more or less painless.
PC Engine Duo

[ PC Engine Duo 6-button layout ]
This was a tricky one. Traditionally the first button is on the bottom row, far left. The PC Engine isn't the only controller to start from the outside moving in, but it is the only one to reverse the flow of the top row. While this layout is sufficient and makes sense as a six-button stick layout, it will put the I/II buttons in the center of the bottom row when used as a 2-button controller. You could shift the whole mess over to the right, but I thought it might be strange having the unused buttons on the left column, so I made it this way. Neither was ideal, but removing buttons was less ideal, so here we are.

Sega Genesis

[ Sega Genesis layout ]
The Genesis/MegaDrive uses three or six buttons, but since the layout was more or less standard I left it in the same position as the Duo. Notice the Mode button is included - holding this down when powering up the system signals the controller that it should respond as a three-button unit, for compatability with older games. Lucky the Genesis doesn't have shoulder buttons, or we'd have had to forget the Mode functionality.

Super Nintendo

[ Super Nintendo layout ]
[ Super Nintendo layout ]
There are a number of options for the Super Nintendo, I've shown only two here. You could also shove the main four buttons (A, B, X and Y) onto the four center buttons with the shoulders on either side of the top or bottom row, or however you like. Since it's a matter of preference and no one else is likely to suffer injury from your layout choices, go a little crazy. Why not?

Sony Playstation

[ Sony Playstation layout ]
I hate Sony for a number of reasons, but I think I started hating them when they chose these symbols instead of perfectly functional letters or numbers for their buttons. They're hard to draw, say, and write. Damn sony! If you decide to make an adaptor for the PSX, you have a number of options. Some sticks put the shoulders on either side of the main four-button cluster, but I prefer having them out of the way, rarely used as they are. There's no advantage any way, and in fact like the SNES you can opt to put the main four across the bottom row and the shoulders along the top, or however you like it.

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