D-Pad, the cross shaped directional input pad used on most video game console controllers since its introduction in the Game & Watch series of portable games, starting with Donkey Kong. The D-Pad was invented by Gunpei Yokoi. It was later popularized worldwide by the Nintendo Entertainment System. The design was patented and later earned a Technology & Engineering Emmy Award.
The "D" stands for Directional, as the primary function of the D-Pad is to navigate menus or move an avatar around the screen. Though it was originally made to point in four directions, later versions developed by succeeding companies allowed it to be pointed in eight directions, by using the thumb to press two buttons together to move diagonally.
The D-Pad later evolved into Thumb sticks, better known as the Analog sticks, which enable much more precise movement. The D-Pad was further improved with the PlayStation 2 when it became pressure-sensitive, enabling more precise movement based on the pressure applied.
- Nintendo Wins Emmy For DS And Wii Engineering | Technology | Sky News. News.sky.com (2008-01-09). Retrieved on 2010-08-30
- Magrino, Tom (2008-01-08). CES '08: Nintendo wins second Emmy - News at GameSpot. Gamespot.com. Retrieved on 2010-08-30