I recently spotted a post by a member of SmokeMonster’s Discord by the name of Enforcer that had been doing some input latency (lag) testing on the Krikzz Joyzz 6 button Sega Genesis/Megadrive gamepad. He had just finished testing the 8bitdo M30 2.4g controller when he made a comment that he didn’t have the M30 bluetooth version to test against. I Amazon’ed the bluetooth M30 and bluetooth receiver for the Genesis to him for testing. From there we started working on getting some data together to compare these controllers and see if 8bitdo and their “Lag-free” claim is really the case. Spoiler alert: No.
Below are averages for each controller measured 100 times over a period of 20 minutes.
Testing methodology: Using an oscilloscope, Enforcer measured with one trigger probe connected to the left dpad direction on the controller pcb and the other was connected to the left signal direction inside a Genesis. Time was measured on the oscilloscope from the moment the dpad was activated till the time the left direction was measured in the Genesis controller port. That measurement of time is the input latency or lag. A wired controller would have a latency of zero.
This method completely eliminates display lag, game code lag and even human input inconsistencies when pressing down on a controller button and using a high speed camera to measure lag.
There are a couple things to note from the testing. Enforcer found that the Joyzz pad was more consistent in input latency than either of the 8bitdo controllers. While it averaged right at 3ms, it swung as low as 2.81ms and on a few occasions as high as 5.49ms. Basically the Joyzz will stay very consistent.
The 8bitdo M30 2.4g was a little less consistent with an average of 3.6ms and a low of 1.95ms and a high of 6ms. Honestly I don’t think the average person will be able to tell the difference in latency between either the Joyzz or the 2.4g M30 controller.
The Bluetooth version of the M30 is a completely different story. While it averaged 21ms, it swung as low as 5.9ms and as high as 38ms (!!!!). Something to keep in mind is that the bluetooth M30 was tested with the 8bitdo Genesis/Megadrive bluetooth Retro receiver. If you use the controller with something like a Raspberry Pi, a desktop computer or something else with bluetooth these results might not be valid.
Conclusion: Stick with either the Joyzz or 2.4g M30 for your 16bit Sega console unless you absolutely need a bluetooth controller that can sync with all sorts of other devices.
Huge thanks goes out to Enforcer for doing all the tests and providing all the raw data.