The Namco neGcon Analogue Controller design was prompted by Namco’s desire to accurately replicate the dual-lever controls of their arcade game Cyber Sled on the PlayStation.
The Namco neGcon Analogue Controller is a third-party controller manufactured by Namco in 1995 for the Sony Playstation. This unique controller consisted of two halves connected by a swivel joint. Each half could be twisted relative to the other. This twisting motion registered as a directional command and served as a replacement for the analogue sticks featured on Sony’s DualShock controller. The goal of the neGcon was to afford racing game enthusiasts precision steering controls.
The design of the neGcon, while initially seeming very unwieldy, was in fact very good for racing games. The analogue Ⅰ and Ⅱ buttons were typically used as the accelerator and brake, and the swivel in the middle was used as steering input.
The neGcon could be gripped with the fists facing forward and the thumbs upwards, as if holding the edges of a bowtie steering wheel. Twisting the arms at the elbows would turn the hands around a circle, as well as twist the wrists relative to each other, producing steering input. Although this was the most natural way to use the controller, the twisting of the right wrist would move the thumbs a bit and inadvertently modulate the gas and/or brake inputs. Because of this, most users would migrate to a different grip over time, one where the right hand stayed stationary and modulated the gas and brake, while the left hand twisted the left half of the controller to modulate the steering.
Examples of racing games that took advantage of the neGcon are the original PlayStation iterations of the Ridge Racer series (Ridge Racer Type 4 also supported the Namco Jogcon), Gran Turismo, Motor Toon Grand Prix 2, Destruction Derby, Colin McRae Rally, TOCA Touring Cars, Rally Cross, V-Rally and the Pole Position games on Namco Museum volumes 1 and 3, as well as Ridge Racer V on the PlayStation 2. The WipEout series (including Wipeout Fusion on the PS2) also supported the neGcon. The number of non-racing games which supported the neGcon was limited, almost strictly confined to Namco’s Ace Combat series (which also carried over to PS2). Tempest X3, based on the rotary-controlled Tempest arcade game, is also supported