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These are some common tools used to work on this device. You might not need every tool for every procedure.
Background and Identification
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is a game console released by Nintendo in 1985 (or 1986 and 1987 for regions outside North America). Like any console worth its salt, the introduction of the NES came with an iconic controller, codenamed “NES-004.” This original NES controller is made from gray plastic. The front of the device has a black panel and eight buttons: A, B, start, select, and four directional buttons on a black D-pad. The A and B buttons are circular and red and sit below a red Nintendo logo. You can identify this controller by looking on the back for the model number “NES-004” or “NES-004E.”
For connecting to the NES, the controller has a permanently attached cable with a 7-pin connector on the end. This connector is black and roughly rectangular, but one corner has been “sliced” off so that it can only be inserted in the correct orientation. You can replace this cable with a replacement (found on the iFixit NES store page or online) if it becomes damaged. The procedure is relatively simple, but you will need access to a soldering iron. If you want to learn more about the electronics inside the NES controller, you can see this video about the topic on YouTube.
In 1993, Nintendo released a redesigned version of the NES, called the NES Top Loader. This newer version came with an updated controller with the model number NES-039. This revision is often referred to as the NES “dogbone” controller because of its resemblance to a cartoon dogbone. Nintendo and third-party vendors released many other controllers for the NES, including controllers like the NES Advantage with special “turbo” and “slow” functionality.
- Left/right/up/down directional pad
- Width: 4.86 inches (123.4 mm)
- Height: 2.096 inches (53.2 mm)
- Depth: .6875 inches (17.5 mm)
Nintendo Entertainment System on Wikipedia
NES Controller Ergonomics by Displaced Gamers on YouTube
NES Controller Electronics by Displaced Gamers on YouTube
NES Controller Compatibility on the Tetris Suomi blog