Use Menu + another button to simulate extra buttons

If a button is pressed between the time Menu is pressed and released, it would not need to bring up the menu

Menu + Lock = take a screenshot
Menu + Up = the first game-added menu item
Menu + Left = the second game-added menu item
Menu + Down = the third game-added menu item
Menu + Crank = controls volume

That leaves Menu + Right / A / B for games to assign on their own

And I'd like to suggest long-hold Menu for a universal custom soundtrack menu that plays files in the music folder.

One reason for this is I've seen some people complain that that while the menu helps make up for the lack of buttons, bringing up the menu takes focus away from the game so it can't be used in-game

3 Likes

I think Menu+Lock does take a screenshot currently, and we're already using Menu+Up/Right for volume up, Menu+Down/Left for volume down. Letting games use Menu+A/B is an interesting idea.. I don't know if it makes more sense to map it to the menu items or let games choose what they do. I'll file that and we'll think about it.

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I think it makes more sense to let games choose

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It's maybe a bit awkward to hold the menu button and the reach across to press A/B? I could see a more complex game taking advantage of it maybe, but it doesn't feel particularly natural

True, but it has less buttons than the NES/Gameboy and that's a bit difficult to work around.

Maybe volume could be re-assigned to just A/B, leaving Menu-d-pad free for FOUR custom game options.

Early users would have to get used to that little change, but it might "feel right" because A and B are nicely positioned below where the volume meter would otherwise appear. And for in-game functions, Menu-d-pad seems more comfortable for repeated use than Menu-A/B.

(I don't care either way about doing something with Menu-crank.)

2 Likes

I'd put volume on Menu+Crank, freeing up even more buttons

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More buttons is good! But I'm thinking the crank doesn't make an ideal volume shortcut for a few reasons:

  • Many games rely in the absolute position of the crank (Whitewhater Wipeout and Transmewting come to mind). If the crank is read by the system outside the game, then when you're done adjusting the volume, the crank is suddenly returned to gameplay in an unexpected position. And system use of the crank could mess with game play in a way button combos can't.

  • It's slower and more awkward to extract the crank, use it, and put it away, than just hold a pair of buttons. May as well not have a shortcut, then, and just use the pause/System Menu.

  • The volume has distinct steps: with buttons you know what "3 clicks quieter" sounds like, say, and it's easy to get just a small adjustment or a full mute. But the crank offers no tactile "steps" of feedback to know how much you have changed, or to help you stop "right on 3 clicks." Not impossible, just awkward as a shortcut.

2 Likes

The menu already uses the crank, so the absolute crank position change is already a thing we'd have to deal with

I know the crank is less specific/slower than buttons, but it's a sacrifice to get more buttons to the gane