Why is 8 button the standard?


I’m sure this has been brought up before, but I’ve been thinking about it and it seems really strange to me. I don’t mean to start a fight, whichever you prefer is your preference, this isn’t about which is better. It just seems strange to me that eight buttons has become the standard, since I can’t think of even one game that uses that set up. I’ve been searching for a serious, six button option and there is really surprisingly little out there without difficult and or expensive mods (for a poor noob like myself). Why don’t more companies offer both layouts? Though I’m sure plenty of people prefer eight buttons, I know there’s at least as many that prefer six. Why don’t more companies offer sticks with six buttons?


<font face=“Arial, Verdana” size=“2”><span style=“line-height: normal;”>having the same number of buttons as a normal controller seems more practical as a whole. There are many pexiglass tops that offer 6 button layouts, it doesn’t require much effort or money either. Button plugs exist just for this purpose…</span></font><div><font face=“Arial, Verdana” size=“2”><span style=“line-height: normal;”><br></span></font></div><div><font face=“Arial, Verdana” size=“2”><span style=“line-height: normal;”>Personally it makes no difference to me as I deactivate unused buttons.</span></font></div>


Yeah, but not having 30mm buttons on the board doesn’t mean not having the inputs at all. Every retail six button configuration I’ve seen offers L1 and L2 as small buttons up with Start and Select. I just wish there were more options. It seems like there is a market for it.


<font face=“Arial, Verdana” size=“2”><span style=“line-height: normal;”>It’s its kinda like asking why is turbo still a standard feature on Fightsticks…even though they are tournament banned. It’s pretty much the same thing. If you want to go the extra mile to give your stick a specific layout then it will have to be up to you. The thing is that selling multiple layouts meaning they have to produce more sticks and what if the 6 button style sticks dont sell for whatever reason, it would be a loss on the production side. </span></font><div style=“font-family: Arial, Verdana; font-size: 10pt; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal;”><br></div><div><font face=“Arial, Verdana” size=“2”><span style=“line-height: normal;”>I mean, I can understand why you would want one, but I think you should ask to meet with stick makers half way and offering a optional top for 6 buttons instead of the normal 8, at this point asking for different layouts like Sega Astro or Noire Layouts can make it seem more plausible. but I see it as a minor thing. It’s like asking for a 3 button VF style stick…</span></font></div>


<font face=“Arial”>I won’t claim to know too much about arcade stick history, but I always thought this: If you want some names to point fingers at, Hori and Sega are honestly the ones at fault here for why we’re stuck with the 8 button layout.  The whole 8 button layout thing didn’t really start until the Sega Saturn/PlayStation era, and both parties are really to blame for it.  Two of Sega’s most popular arcade stick designs, the two person HSS-0130 as well as the individual HSS-0136 Virtua Stick (although the latter had a much weirder layout).  To be fair, Hori is probably the real reason to blame since they were the ones who had the idea of placing all 8 main action buttons found on the Saturn and PS1 controllers on the face of an arcade stick.  <span style=“line-height: 1.7em;”>Since Hori was also rarely made a new case design or used a different button layout, players who bought these products took this as a sort of standard.  Since Hori’s arcade sticks were so widely known, other companies that made arcade sticks such as Mad Catz I guess just sort of stuck with the 8 button layout that became so traditional.  </span></font><div><font face=“Arial”><br></font></div><div><font face=“Arial”>As for turbo, this is one that I personally don’t understand that much as well.  It’s probably a holdover from an older gaming generation where turbo controllers were prized because rapidly tapping buttons was a widely used mechanic in games.  For the casual player or younger gamer, it was probably too difficult to tap a button that quickly, so turbo was introduced as this amazing stellar feature and could have been the entire reason anyone bought a controller.  These days, turbo isn’t as widespread in games as it was back then, but it comes standard on arcade sticks probably due to two reasons.  </font></div><div><font face=“Arial”><br></font></div><div><font face=“Arial”>The obvious first reason is that it is, like 8 buttons, a holdover from an older era when so many companies included turbo on their controllers.  Even first party accessories like the aforementioned HSS-0136 by Sega or other things like the NES Advantage or SNES Score Master by Nintendo included a turbo feature.  The second less obvious reason is that while it’s not as widespread of a mechanic anymore, games that players still commonly buy an arcade stick for (fighting games and scrolling SHMUPs) still have mechanics that reward being able to tap buttons rapidly.  And while the difficulty of tapping the buttons that quickly isn’t as strict as it was back in the day, apparently it’s still too difficult for most people to do.  </font></div><div><font face=“Arial”><br></font></div><div><font face=“Arial”>Again, I don’t claim to be an expert by any means and maybe my information was totally ass, but that’s</font><span style=“font-family: Arial; line-height: 1.7em;”> my $0.02 on the topic.  </span></div>


Namco got this right in '96. We’re still trying to figure it out for some reason.


regarding turbo functions… i generally thing they just add those because it’s so easy and cheap to do, so, why not. most games these days don’t even benefit from rapid fire, so its kinda funny to see honestly.<div><br></div><div>actually, the whole 6 button thing can be described with Exar’s line of arcade sticks</div><div><img src=“http://www.acmegamez.com/images/produkte/i10/1002392-exar.png”><img src=“http://img.amiami.jp/images/product/main/124/TVG-PS3-1577.jpg” style=“font-family: ‘lucida grande’, ‘Lucida Sans Unicode’, tahoma, sans-serif; line-height: 1.7em;”><br></div><div><br></div><div>naming convention alone, “EASY” 8-button caters to the ‘lowest common denominator’, in a sense that, most video game controllers today have 8 functioning action buttons, we don’t want to alienate those new or unfamiliar to arcade sticks who don’t understand why arcade machines only use 6. that’s just my opinion though.</div><div><br></div><div>there are always holl plugs.</div><div><br></div><div>or maybe its a mandatory thing. just like xbox arcade stick button colors.</div>


It’s really not, though. A three button stick is only good for VF and most shmups, whereas a six button stick is as multipurpose as an eight button stick. I can understand why most companies wouldn’t bother with three, four and five button sticks, due to limited use and therefore a limited market, but six buttons is just as useful as eight to most players.

And yeah, I know I could just use hole plugs, but hole plugs are ugly. :frowning:


I would also say that sticks are not fighting game exclusive. If someone was to play a side scroller that used all buttons (SotN) and wanted to use a stick, well it’s effectively unplayable on a 6 button stick. I’m sure there are more examples from the PSX era that could fall under this category.


8-button is more versatile while 6-button saves a few dollars for no other real benefit.  Offering multiple models only costs a manufacturer extra money, and given the option of a stick with full buttons versus six on front, almost everyone will choose the full.<br>


Because why not.<br>How many people are <i>not</i> going to buy a (for example) TE because it has two more buttons?  How many people <i>will</i> buy it because they might want to use the extra two some day?  Same with turbo: 99.99% of people don’t want it and don’t care, but someone out there is going to see it as an extra feature and not buy the stick that doesn’t have it.<br><br>As an added bonus you can do four buttons in a row like [some] NeoGeo machines, and if you’re a nostalgic American you can use the last six buttons of a modified-Viewlix layout to get straight rows instead of using the first six to get the ergonomic layout.<br>


Because people like dick and not cooler.


I don’t think that’s true. There is a benefit to the simplicity of six buttons and I think plenty of people would choose six over eight given the option.

That being said, I understand the aspect of versatility to eight button sticks, and I’m not saying companies should quit making them altogether. It just seems strange to me that even sticks like the official Street Fighter sticks don’t offer six button layouts while claiming to offer the “real arcade experience.”


There’s also the fact that having the 8 buttons allows users to have access to macro buttons.  I know most dedicated 6 button users don’t use them, and I personally don’t either, but I know just among all of my friends, practically all of them that own an arcade stick except 1 (out of like 6 people) bind the extra buttons to macros.  It may seem silly to rate the ability to bind macros very highly as a reason for 8 button layouts, but I can definitely see that being a consideration from stick manufacturers.  After all, there’s always the 1% that may not buy a stick because it doesn’t have the extra 2 buttons to bind macros with.


For me personally I keep the extra two buttons to navigate the UI with. In a couple fighting games with character customization, you sometimes need to use L1/L2. I know you can just use R1 to rotate the character, but why spend more time rotating right for 10 seconds when I can just go left for like 1-2 seconds :P. Off the top of my head some games use R2 and L2 to zoom in and out on the character if I’m remembering correctly.  Also for player titles or player stat pages, you’d need both L1 and R1 to turn the page.  I think it’s easier to modify an 8 button panel to 6 button too than the other way around. 


<p><img src=“http://srktt.com/photos/vshg.jpg”></p>


only reason why I keep 8 button layout is because I like using my TE stick when I play MK9 and you need all 8 buttons to play that game<br>


That is a nice looking stick, Kyle.


Thanks. Virtua Stick High Grade. I am not for taking away buttons. I can respect that a menu might use them.


Totally agree. That’s why the lack of six button sticks at retail really frustrates me. It’s relatively easy to take away a couple buttons, even to make it look nice. But to move those buttons out of the way and still have them available when they’re necessary, that’s hard.