That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

There have been some weird controllers made for video games over the years. Namco's NeGcon was one of the strangest, but it was awesome. It's been a long time since Ridge Racer was a definitive franchise, but it used to be that a new Ridge Racer was a platform-defining moment. The series was no stranger to experimentation either, perhaps best evidenced by the NeGcon, a bizarre-looking peripheral made specifically for Ridge Racer.

Yes, that actually happened.

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

When we think "racing controllers", what usually crops up are wheels, pedals and the other mechanisms found in real cars.

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

Though PlayStation was home to wheels, too, NegCon was different.

The NegCon attempted to simulate the act of driving while affixed to a more traditional controller setup, with the left and right sides twisting and turning. (The machine read them as analogue inputs.)

It was reportedly inspired by another Namco arcade game, Cyber Sled:

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

Image Credit: Chuck's Arcade

What made the NeGcon so appealing was its precision. In the early, pre-analogue stick days of the PlayStation, you were limited to tapping a d-pad in order to navigate your car. This meant you were constantly under or overcompensating turns. It wasn't a very good way to play a racing game!

For people who wanted to get serious about racing games, the NeGcon was an early godsend; at the time, people swore by this controller.

Heck, you should just watch all of Rerez's breakdown of the controller:

The NeGcon proved so popular that other games, even non-racing games, started to support it. (Ace Combat!) Sony even acknowledged it, and included compatibility with Gran Turismo. The NeGcon managed to survive into the PlayStation 2 era, as well, though compatibility got spotty as the years went on. Both Ridge Racer V and Wipeout Fusion worked, however.

According to an extensive review on Racket Boy, the last game to support the NegCon was apparently a collection of PS1 games for the PS2 in 2005.

With the release of Ridge Racer Type-4 in 1998, Namco released a riff on the NeGcon called the JogCon, which featured a unique wheel in the centre.

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

Image Credit: danesite (YouTube)

No other games ended up supporting the JogCon.

That Time Ridge Racer Got Its Own Super Weird Controller

Image Credit: Rerez (YouTube)


Comments

    I remember seeing this & taking a shit, right then & there in the shopping center.

      ...cool

        Yeah, pretty much. Took 3 girls home that night. Ayup.

          It`s very nice of you given ride to your mother and 2 sister.

            kekaroonie

    I used to own the NeGcon (it's pronounced ne ji kon - neji is Japanese for twist) to play Ridge Racer!

      it looks a bit stupid but seems intuitive for the purpose - not as good as a steering wheel of course but definitely more intuitive than pressing left and right or using a thumbstick

    It was the best controller to play Wipeout 2097 with, you could literally shave seconds off your lap times.

      Ooooh yeah. I eventually grabbed a steering wheel for Gran Turismo but until then the NegCon for Wipeout was the absolute shit.

      I actually really miss it. I'd still use it for racing games over an analog stick if it was supported.

    whao that first gif gave me nostalgia overload.
    Man I miss some aspects of the 90's

    It's simple.

    Energy Con.

      No Ne Ji con, twist controller

    That JogCon, with the little wheel in the centre of the controller, looks kinda neat as well. Pretty clever inventions at the time to get around the stiff control from digital d-pads.

      The wheel on the JogCon was force feedback too. My friend had one and it was amazing at the time.

        Force feedback in that little wheel (wait, I can see it snap back in place when he takes his fingers off it now that I've looked at the GIF again)? Nice! :)

        I miss *real* genuine forcefeedback. People feel vibration and think that's 'force feedback'... but I miss genuine forcefeedback where the wheel or stick would fight back against you...

    I picked up one of these for $1 at a charity shop about a year ago. Once I got the hang of it was really good.

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