The controller was shaped like an M, employing a joystick in the center. Popular Electronics called its shape evocative of some alien space ship. While nothing that the three handles could be confusing, the separate grips allow different hand positions for various game types.
Nintendo 64 System - Video Game Console
The Nintendo 64 was one of the first gaming consoles to have four controller ports.The most graphically demanding Nintendo 64 games that arrived on larger 32 or 64 MB cartridges are the most advanced and detailed of the 32-bit/64-bit generation. In order to maximize use of the Nintendo 64 hardware developers had to create their own custom microcode. Nintendo 64 games running on custom microcode benefited from much higher polygon counts in tandem with more advanced lighting, animation, physics and AI routines than its 32-bit competition.
About the product
The Nintendo 64's central processing unit (CPU) is the NEC VR4300. Popular Electronics said it had power similar to the Pentium processors found in desktop computers. Except for its narrower 32-bit system bus, the VR4300 retained the computational abilities of the more powerful 64-bit MIPS R4300i, though software rarely took advantage of 64-bit data precision operations.