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NES-004 variants?


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This is a complete educated guess but if you're finding same model numbers and even dissassmbling controllers and they are the same up through the lifetime of box variants, then there likely are no variations.  Even in Europe, I'd bet they are the same and were almost certainly (again, a guess) manufactured in the same factory in Japan as the US controllers.

Now, there are variations probably for the COMBOY and later Samurai models.  These were licensed/copied in South Korea and India so they were definitely manufactured elsewhere and probably even branded as such.

Your best bet for a US variation of a controller might actually be the dog bone, but hear me out.  The reason why I say this is often times when a company settles on a design, they test it and if everything passes their QA standards, that's the mold and model they go with.  However, once it's released, mass use by customers might present problems so they might make a minor update to the manufactured item.

Since the same model was used for the OG NES controller for so long, you know they got that one right the first time.  I've never heard of there being any issues with dog bone controllers, but if something about it broke easily, or in some obscure way endangered children, their might be a revision of that controller.  That unit wasn't available for long but I imagine it was sold long enough for their to possibly be a variation, but I highly doubt it.

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Yes, that was actually  my line of thought -- "Did they really get it right the first time?"

I've only found this difference -- and this may be a bit too obscure even for people here.  The top controller in the image came from a "red bar" NES Controller box and the below came from an earlier "Control Deck".  The later controller's plastic baggie is more cloudy.  


Edited by dogbowl
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Biggest difference I've seen is in the shift register IC's.  Functionally they're all PISO shift registers, but from different manufacturers (TI, Motorola, Mitsubishi. Toshiba, etc.). One stuck out to me because it had an old Toshiba logo, which I've never seen until that point. Looks like their corporate name changed in 1984 and logos were all updated by 1986. Makes me wonder if that can relate to an early release NES or is just a coincidence.  Guess one way to find out would be to check an original non-deluxe ROB set's controllers.

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