The NES Max was the first official Nintendo Entertainment System controller to offer turbo buttons. The Max was shaped a little like a Playstation conroller, but it didn't have a typical directional pad. Instead, there was a little red disc for your thumb that slid around in a circle. Nintendo called this little invention a "cycloid."
Evidently the thinking was that it would be easier on the thumb if you didn't have to lift it or slide it over the d-pad. I only used the NES Max on occasion and never really liked it. Others swear that it's the best controller ever (a friend of mine told me that there was no beating it for R.C. Proam), but most admit that it takes some getting used to.

Below are exerpts from the instruction manual:

Congratulations on purchasing the new NES MAX, the best handheld joypad available for the NINTENDO ENTERTAINMENT SYSTEM. It should allow you to get to higher levels, increase your scores, and improve game play.
  • CYCLOID Works the same ways as the control pad on the NES game controllers. Push down lightly while moving the CYCLOID in the direction you want to go.

  • SELECT AND START - Works the same as on the NES game controllers.

  • A-B BUTTONS - Works the same as on the NES game controllers.

  • A-B TURBO BUTTONS - Pushing these buttons puts you in automatic "Rapid Fire" mode for either the A or B button.

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