Well, well... What's this? This looks very much like the NES controller except that it's black, is missing the start and select buttons and has a differently shaped directional pad (Nintendo's cross shape is patented.)
The Sega Master System was released in 1986, and was outsold by the NES 10-to-1. This wasn't Sega's first home console, but the earlier SG-1000 had joysticks more similar to the Atari 2600 than the NES. Oddly, this controller's connector is nearly pin-for-pin compatible with the Atari 2600. Perhaps this was carried over from the SG-1000.
It's pretty obvious that this controller is inspired by the NES controller. If we follow along the Sega branch of the family tree, we'll notice a trend - Sega controllers follow a straight line progression in this chart. Every one has similarities to the previous controller design, but also borrows ideas from the competitors (namely Nintendo.)
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