Jag Pad Anomolies

I bought a new Jaguar joypad off eBay last week. And when I say 'new,' I actually mean it - the thing was still boxed, shrink wrapped and never opened or touched by the soiled palms and digits of any other human!

To be honest, I bought it simply because in all the time I've owned my various Jaguar consoles, I've never had two pads and consequently never played any games in multiplayer mode (and to be even more honest, I don't know anyone who wants to play Jag with me so this probably won't change even though I've now got two pads).

So the pad arrived in it's lovely box (see left/above), and I excitedly ripped it open...to find a perfectly normal and ordinary Jaguar joypad.

Or so I thought...

Yes, like every amazing detective novel (yes, I'm actually comparing this tripe to an Arthur Conan Doyle book), the plot thickens. You see, on first glance the new pad looks no different to the standard one that comes with the console, but look a little closer...

Bask in the glorious cheapness.
...and you'll see that the colours are ever so slightly different - the new one is a totally different shade of grey and looks to be made of slightly cheaper plastic. The differences don't end there either. The keypad and Pause/Option button rubber is a different colour, and the numbers on the keypad look 'punched' into the plastic in a slightly sloppy manner:

Bundled Pad
Non-bundled Pad
Furthermore, on the back of the pad, various serial numbers and the 'Made in China' stamps are missing. Not only this, the whole pad just feels...well...cheap. The A,B and C buttons rattle around and the D-pad is a bit crap to say the least. At first I thought I may have been sold a counterfeit pad...but then I thought: who in their right mind would go to the trouble of counterfeiting Atari Jaguar joypads, and boxing them up in real packaging?

Bundled (and slightly grubby) Pad

Non-bundled Pad.
The answer is: nobody. The sad fact is that this is a real-life officially licensed Atari Jaguar pad. It's just made with inferior materials and doesn't feel half as robust as the pad that comes packaged with the console itself. It still works ok, so it's fit for purpose...but if I'd paid £30 back in 1994 for a first party pad that looked and felt like this, I think I'd be well within my rights to write a strongly-worded letter (possibly in blood and/or faeces) to Atari. Or maybe my local MP. Or the village butcher. Um.

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