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Classic Games (Games) Input Devices Games

Where Are the Joysticks For Retro Gaming? 262

Doctor O writes "With all those nice emulators for classic gaming around (such as MAME, VICE or Stella) I want to establish monthly retro gaming evenings with some friends. The problem is I can't find any good joysticks for that purpose. There's a new version of the legendary Competition Pro, but judging from the many one-star reviews on Amazon, it's terrible. I found the USB version of the classic Atari Joystick, but it doesn't seem to be available and would have prohibitive shipping costs to Germany anyway. So, Slashdot to the rescue — where are the suitable USB joysticks for retro gaming?"
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Where Are the Joysticks For Retro Gaming?

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  • Is this [thinkgeek.com] what you're looking for?

    • by shimage ( 954282 )
      I think he wants a stick, but I could be wrong. MAME is an arcade emulator, after all.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:45AM (#32848540)

        Don't be silly. If he had wanted a joystick he would have asked a simple unambiguous question such as: "where are the suitable USB joysticks for retro gaming?"

      • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @08:40AM (#32849464)

        You want X-Arcade sticks [x-arcade.com].

        Actual arcade hardware. USB connector, or the option to stick in modular controllers for PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox360... you name it. Lifetime warranty and EASY user servicing, too. Shoot them an email if any component fails, they'll mail you the replacement part, you stick it in yourself, easy as can be.

        I bought a pair years ago, been upgrading them (very cheaply) as new systems came out. Love them and highly recommend them.

        • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @08:48AM (#32849508)

          Almost forgot: some people will say "yeah but those are expensive." My response: I've had over a decade of use on my pair, and they are still working flawlessly today. Just imagine the number of crap sticks (like those cheaply made piece of crap "Street Fighter IV Fighting Sticks" that wandered out from Crapcom for 360 and PS3, and ONLY work on their respective consoles) you'd buy over the years keeping up.

          Pay a little more up-front to have something high-quality, that has a lifetime warranty on parts, that you can easily repair yourself without voiding the warranty [xgaming.com], and that is cheaply upgradable to work when you update your console. It's well worth it.

        • >>>You want X-Arcade sticks.

          Bah Humbug. Real gamers use the cursor keys, and they are experts at it. -or- They buy a Commodore 64 or Amiga and play all the classic games just like we did back in the 80s (with actual Atari-compatible joysticks). We didn't have no fancy MAME software; we settled for the home ports.

          We also walked through heavy snowstorms to get them, or else downloaded them over our agonizingly slow 1 kbit/s modems. It was torture and we loved it.


      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by skids ( 119237 )

        Though, it does have that "I'm an ergonomic train-wreck which is going to make your thumbs develop blisters and turn numb" quality to it, which is probably essential for a true retro-gaming experience.

    • by Fumus ( 1258966 )

      That's a gamepad, or joypad. He wants a joystick. Like this [thrustmaster.com].

      Why go retro when you can just buy a nice one in Germany without the hassle of import taxes and high delivery costs? Just go buy it on amazon [amazon.de] and you'll have two for the price of one of the retro ones.

      • by Doctor O ( 549663 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @06:33AM (#32848918) Homepage Journal

        OP here. I have seen the stick you offer (and many like it) on Amazon, but those a) usually are analog (digital sticks are much easier to operate) and b) can only be used standing on a desk etc., not hand-held. I'm going to connect the 'puter to my plasma and want to go for the "living room style" gaming. Even the old Quickshots [ntrautanen.fi] were shitty in this respect because you'd need a book or something to put them on.

        And you're spot on - I want a stick, not a pad. At 35, I'm in the pre-pad gaming generation and despise pads to the very day. No matter how much I practice, I just don't get the level of control of a nice, handy digital joystick.

        • So you want a modern variant of these:

          http://www.google.com/images?q=atari%20joystick [google.com]

          • That would be fun, two Competition Pros would be even better as I'm a leftie and the button on the Atari joysticks was always a bit clunky to operate for me as I use my right hand for the stick and the left hand for the buttons.

        • by Fumus ( 1258966 )

          I'm sorry, but I don't think you'll ever find a cheap, USB-enabled, old-school handheld joystick. There's just not much interest in those and the price thus stays high to make it at all profitable to manufacture and sell them. Not much you can do, I'm afraid. Unless you can make your own joystick or decide to pay for the imported stuff.

    • by dintech ( 998802 )

      I have USB converters for original N64, SNES and PSX controllers. I also bought a couple of chinese made SNES clone USB joypads from some store in Akihabara. Maybe rather than finding something new, you could look for USB adapters?

  • The linked USB device costs $16.99 One shipping option to (I picked Bayern) Germany was 16.95. So you get a retro joystick for under $35. They also have another shipping option that runs $28 so you'd be looking at $45. Still not what most people would consider prohibitive.
    • by Dr. Hok ( 702268 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:01AM (#32848598)

      The linked USB device costs $16.99 One shipping option to (I picked Bayern) Germany was 16.95. So you get a retro joystick for under $35. They also have another shipping option that runs $28 so you'd be looking at $45. Still not what most people would consider prohibitive.

      Plus import tax (14% IIRC) plus VAT (19%) plus "customs handling fee" (20%).

      That's what I had to pay (on top of both the price and shipping) when I bought stuff at thinkgeek and had it shipped to Germany. So this $17 joystick would cost you $52, over 3 times the price. OTOH, $35 might be under the limit, so you might get along without paying taxes at all.

      • The limit is fairly complicated. IIRC, anything below 20 EUR (~25 USD at the time of posting) is tax-free; beyond that it depends on how many different kinds of things things you order, how each of these things is taxed and some other factors. I had a 700 USD group order from ThinkGeek arrive without any additional taxes and for a similar one I had to pay more than 100 EUR in taxes and tariffs because we ordered too many different kinds of things.

        Importing stuff is complicated.
  • I hear ya.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cormandy ( 513901 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:25AM (#32848170)

    How timely, as I have been asking the same question... I used to have an Apple //c, and although I have indulged in retro Apple // gaming on various emulators over the years, it was never quite the same without using a traditional Apple analogue joystick. I have since decided to tackle this obvious problem with some electronics hackery. I recently (as in last week) purchased an original Apple // analogue joystick at auction on eBay, and I plan on building an Apple-joystick-port-to-USB-human-interface-device adapter circuit using a microcontroller such as the Microchip PIC. Should be straight forward, and if I am successful I will publish a how-to online, with schematics, parts list, microcontroller source code and Gerber data for the PCBs. Wish me luck!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by uvajed_ekil ( 914487 )
      I recently (as in last week) purchased an original Apple // analogue joystick at auction on eBay, and I plan on building an Apple-joystick-port-to-USB-human-interface-device adapter circuit using a microcontroller such as the Microchip PIC. Should be straight forward, and if I am successful I will publish a how-to online, with schematics, parts list, microcontroller source code and Gerber data for the PCBs. Wish me luck!

      Luck? I am wishing you a girlfriend.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by somersault ( 912633 )

        First things first - where do you get the schematics for a girlfriend-to-geek-interface-device?

      • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:21AM (#32848434) Journal
        That's nice of you, but can you wait until after he's published the schematics? Girlfriends tend to have a terrible impact on geek productivity...
      • Grass always being greener and all that, there are days when I'd gladly trade mine for a quality joystick.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Funny, that's what she said!

    • Re:I hear ya.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by MerlinTheGreen ( 180976 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:27AM (#32848462)

      Devices based on V-USB (software only USB implementation for AVR microcontrollers) are probably worth a look because designs you can copy are so numerous.

      This is one of the most versatile. I doesn't support the Apple IIc yet but the BBC joysticks had a similar capability so the only difference is likely to be in the adapter lead:

      http://denki.world3.net/retro_v2.html [world3.net]

      Perhaps you don't want to make your own circuit board. If so, I had a quick look at the retro's schematic and reckon you should be able to get the retro firmware running on an off the shelf board such as the one adafruit sell.

      http://www.adafruit.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=16&products_id=174 [adafruit.com]

      I've got one of these and its a great little board. I built a temperature logger using one and I got it running (hardware and software) in about four hours. That said I did spend another three building the programmer!

      Finally there a gallery of lots of HID devices made using cheap AVR controllers:

      http://www.obdev.at/products/vusb/prjhid.html [obdev.at]

      • Re:I hear ya.... (Score:4, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Friday July 09, 2010 @08:28AM (#32849386) Homepage Journal

        Note: I am the creator of the Retro Adapter.

        As it happens I have just had a delivery of them from China where SeeedStudio partially assemble them. I was doing all the assembly myself but it was eating all my free time up so I asked them to do it. They are really good when it comes to supporting Open Source projects. They also did the PCBs and were very helpful.

        I have some kits available or fully assembled ones. The biggest issue is getting the connectors for old systems like the NES and Sega Saturn. I have some Saturn connectors but NES ones are damn expensive... As such I generally recommend people modify their controller (in a way that doesn't prevent it working on the original system) but even that is a bit tricky for NES pads due to the weird wire they use.

        Hopefully /. will generate some interest as so far there hasn't been much input on the code side. People have been helpful sending me controllers to support though.

        Oh, and on the BBC from, I have just about finished converting a BBC Master Compact into a USB keyboard for a friend. It has a Retro Adapter built in too and a little amplifier so that the internal speaker can be connected to the PC line out. I have not had time to do a web page for it yet though, but it is all open source.

    • by alexhs ( 877055 )

      Also got an Apple II joystick from bulky waste (cheaper than eBay, but you need some luck ;) )

      You can apparently make a DE-9 -> game port [stason.org] adapter relatively easily. That link isn't about an adapter, but a cable replacement. It might still be useful because the resistors are likely still needed when doing an adapter.

      That's where I will stop (as I have plenty of hardware with game ports), but you can find off-the-shelf game port -> USB converters for an easy solution.

      Good luck programming the PIC, I've

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      You might consider contributing to an existing project [world3.net]. There's no Apple joystick support in the retro adapter yet, and the whole project is open source. The adapters are pretty cheaply available for those who don't want to solder, and plans are available for those who do.

  • Madcatz Arcade (Score:3, Informative)

    by Mantle ( 104724 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:26AM (#32848174)

    http://gear.ign.com/articles/765/765614p1.html [ign.com]

    These were going for around $10 on ebay a while ago.

  • by sznupi ( 719324 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:26AM (#32848184) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcade_controller#In_the_home [wikipedia.org]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Namco_Arcade_Stick [wikipedia.org]
    etc. (there are also resources to build them)

    Generally quite close to classic joysticks, only much better. They are slightly on the expensive side, but OTOH will be, most likely, the only link with you for your great-great-great-great-grandchildren / etc.

    • by Mprx ( 82435 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:36AM (#32848508)

      2nding this. I have an XBox 360 Mad Catz SFIV Fightstick modded with real Seimitsu arcade parts and it works great. It's tough and responsive and it works on Linux. Best controller I've used.

      I followed these instructions: http://pineconeattack.com/2009/08/06/how-to-mod-the-madcatz-fight-stick-with-seimitsu-parts/ [pineconeattack.com]

      In the US and Japan you can buy a Hori Real Arcade Pro EX-SE with Seimitsu parts already included, but with import taxes it would have been too expensive for me. Or if you prefer you can use Sanwa parts, the other popular brand.

    • by hal2814 ( 725639 )
      Speaking of arcade controllers in the home, here [photobucket.com] is a pic of the controllers I built myself for MAME (and later SFIV). I'm using real arcade parts (some scavenged off a dead cabinet and some obtained from Happ) wired to an ultracheap USB digital gamepad. You pull the inndards of the gamepad out of its casing, solder your buttons to where the gamepad buttons would press, and you have a nice joystick using authentic arcade parts that works anywhere a standard USB gamepad would. I've also built one of these
    • by jonwil ( 467024 )

      I bought an OzStick USB joystick for MAME (its got a standard joystick, 2 rows of 3 buttons for street fighter plus 3 buttons at the top that I can map to coin/start/etc

      Its GREAT for playing most of the MAME games I wanted it for.

  • by VShael ( 62735 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:45AM (#32848260) Journal

    I use Mame quite a bit for the classic arcade games of my youth.
    Those old games had every type of joystick. From the wireframe starwars game, which had a double handed pivotal 4 button thing, to the Outrun steering wheel and pedals, to the 6 button knob and stick Mortal Kombat. (And the track and ball of Missile Command, but I never did play that)

    No one USB joystick controller is going to be suitable for every game you want to play.

    On the other hand, I've found that keyboard and mouse are sufficient for about 95% of my gaming needs, with only the slightest hint of a readjustment to my style of play.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      On the other hand, I've found that keyboard and mouse are sufficient for about 95% of my gaming needs

      The other 5% being when you have a friend over, right?

    • Submitter here. I'm mainly going for 2600, C-64 and some MAME (alas, my childhood's games and those of my friends), and if you remember early home gaming, there were only a handful of joysticks every one had, and it was no problem, ever, for any game. They were made for 8-direction digital joysticks, and if you had one, you were ready to go.

      I already have an adapter to use my PS2 pads via USB, but it just feels wrong, plus the obvious downside of being a pre-pad gamer who never started to actually like pads

      • I'm mainly going for 2600

        Then plug your 2600 joystick into a USB port [retrousb.com].

        I'd like to see you gaming with the guys

        I agree with you that a keyboard is suboptimal for this, but plenty of other Slashdot users have recommended a LAN party for "gaming with the guys".

        • Then plug your 2600 joystick into a USB port.

          I'm not interested in paddles (even though I have a pair lying around in the basement), can I just use any old USB-to-serial (USB Sub-D 9 pin) adapter? Those come at 4,50 without tripling their price for taxes and customs and fees, and I guess most of the price for the retroUSB thing comes for a logic board detecting paddles and converting them to something usable.

          Slashdot users have recommended a LAN party

          That would require me to set up electricity, networking (apart from the 10-port switch on my desk), tables... when all I want to do is sit on th

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tepples ( 727027 )

            can I just use any old USB-to-serial (USB Sub-D 9 pin) adapter?

            No. Atari 2600 joysticks are not serial; they're 5-bit parallel. It would be possible to solder something to plug it into a standard parallel port, but that would need a parallel to USB adapter compatible with bidirectional bit-banging (most are optimized for printers and nothing else), a specialized driver, and a certificate to sign this driver (if using 64-bit Windows). The RetroPort adapter turns the parallel signal from the joystick into something that any game that takes DirectInput joysticks can recog

  • I've tried several USB joysticks - not joypads, joysticks. The only kind I can ever find are optimized for playing Street Fighter type games and they totally suck for arcade gaming. They only have 8-directional movement which absolutely cripples you in some games. The joystick registers a mechanical "click" whenever it engages. It's either on or off, no middle ground. This is fine for Pac-Man but absolutely sucks at Joust and Gyruss. I've never seen a good analog stick, those are all optimized for flig
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Bob_Sheep ( 988029 )

      There are a few analogue joysticks of the type you are looking for here:
      http://www.gremlinsolutions.co.uk/arcadejoysticks.php [gremlinsolutions.co.uk]

      The best joysticks for this sort of gaming are the ones intended for use in proper arcade cabinets.

    • The only kind I can ever find are optimized for playing Street Fighter type games and they totally suck for arcade gaming.

      What does that even mean? SF2, SF2CE and turbo all ran in a standard Capcom CPS-2 cabinet with the same joystick and button types as all other contemporary Capcom arcade games. Basically, streetfighter cabs and parts were more or less the same as everything else out there at the time. In other words, a joystick suitable for streetfighter will work well for many, many other games.


      • SF2, SF2CE and turbo all ran in a standard Capcom CPS-2 cabinet with the same joystick and button types as all other contemporary Capcom arcade games.

        Maybe someone wants to play games not published by Capcom.

        Exceptions may include defender, missile command and tempest.

        Or anything that uses a 4-way guide, such as Pac-Man and Tetris The Grand Master 2+. Or anything that uses the so-called 49-way joystick, a predecessor of the N64's digital proportional thumbstick.

    • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:20AM (#32848428) Homepage

      Weren't Joust and Gyruss purely digital inputs? I'm trying to think of any non-trackball / non-wheel / non-paddle stick-based arcade games that used analog controls from a retro time-period, and the only one I'm coming up with is Afterburner.

      • Weren't Joust and Gyruss purely digital inputs? I'm trying to think of any non-trackball / non-wheel / non-paddle stick-based arcade games that used analog controls from a retro time-period, and the only one I'm coming up with is Afterburner.

        Yes, they were digital. I have an original Gyruss cabinet; it uses a bog-standard 8-way digital stick. Joust is a 2-way digital stick. I think Tailgunner (an ancient vector game) used an analog stick, but that's the only one that comes to mind. Sinistar and a few other

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        I'm trying to think of any non-trackball / non-wheel / non-paddle stick-based arcade games that used analog controls from a retro time-period, and the only one I'm coming up with is Afterburner.

        MAME can answer that question, more or less.

        Under the MAWS deluxe search [mameworld.info], change 'controls' to 'stick' which is MAME-ese for analogue joystick/yoke. You get this list [mameworld.info] including things like 720, Enduro Racer, Paperboy, SW/TESB/ROTJ, Space Harrier and Thunder Blade to pick a few classics.

        To respond to the original

    • by shimage ( 954282 )
      I thought most arcade sticks were 8-way digital ones? I was going to say that maybe analog sticks became more common after I stopped playing at arcades, but my experience covers most of the games that run well on MAME. Most of those games were designed with 4 or 8-way digital sticks in mind, so I'm not sure what the problem is. For example, I find it difficult to believe that Gyruss uses an analog stick, given that basically all shoot 'em ups (even the new ones) use 8-way digital sticks.
    • If he wants to play emulated C64 or Amiga games that's what he'll want. Those were the sticks we used in those days. In fact microswitch joysticks were a godsend after years of crappy rubber contact pad sticks most companies made previously.

    • Sorry to break it to you, but classic gaming *was* 8-directional on-or-off with clicks. Actually that's pretty exactly what I'm looking for.

      As for Joust and Gyruss, I have no idea what you're talking about, we played both just fine with our standard [best-electronics-ca.com] Atari controllers [atariage.com].

      Of course the best joystick was the Competition Pro (apart from The Arcade, obviously), but the remake has shitty switches and even manages to have so much latency that it's impossible to use.

  • I was attempting to use a Nintendo Wii controller with a NES emulator under ubuntu the other day.. mednafen .. but I got frustrated and put it on hold for a bit. linux recognizes it alright, but mednafen is looking for something in /dev/input/js*, and the wiimote is of course a bluetooth device.

    mednafen is the only nes emulator I tried that ran mario adventure, a hacked SMB3 rom with new levels so thats why I didn't just try a different emulator.

    I'll probably try again later.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      mednafen is the only nes emulator I tried that ran mario adventure

      That's because one of the hacks used in Mario Adventure actually makes the game incompatible with the NES. If you were to desolder the mask ROMs from a Super Mario Bros. 3 PCB, burn Mario Adventure onto UVEPROMs, and solder them on, you'd get the same glitches. An accurate emulator will reflect this incompatibility.

  • Why do you need a USB joystick? My Atari console has no USB port.
    • Read the fifth word of the summary.

    • I'm guessing for emulation. Personally, I've been using my XBox 360 controller with xpadder for basic play and it does a fair job. Well for games that use a gamepad. I doubt that such a solution would work well for games that were designed for play with an analog joystick.
  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @03:53AM (#32848304) Journal

    I have a dual XArcade joystick. It acts as a old fashioned PS-2 keyboard and you need to buy their keyboard to USB adapter, since most generic ones can't deal with many simultaneous key presses.

    It's built like an arcade cabinet and is quite expensive as a result.

    It's absoloutely fantastic. It can take a real punishing.

    • Wow, that look insanely great. Unfortunately, as a leftie I can't just use the other hand for the stick like I can with an old-school joystick. A pity, really, those things look pretty awesome.

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      I have an X-arcade, and it's great for mid level arcade gaming. It works great for my purposes. However, people who compete in Street Fighter tournaments and go for high scores in Cave shmups complain about a small amount of lag, and difficulty hitting diagonals. The sticks aren't authentic arcade parts, and who knows what the PCB is doing. If I didn't find the X-arcade for real cheap, I would have built my own stick from Happ parts and an I-Pac [ultimarc.com]. I don't think these issues affect play at my level, but

  • Just buy a nice Logitec Playstation 2 style USB pad and enjoy 99% of the games if you set it up right.

    MAME works well on it, some games will require fiddling with no matter how good your controller is.

    As some one who remembers when the 2600 was still on the shelves... I can honestly say, just buy a newer style controller, don't torture your hands like that and if you use a pad like the NES do not do it!!! You will end up with Nintendo finger like I did... lol (At least it hasn't seemed to effect me in any r

  • The answer is the mighty (expensive) X-Arcade joystick [xgaming.com]. Buy two of the two-player models or four single-player models and you'll be set for four players: from one-button games to eight-button games and trackball games like Millipede. And they have plenty of adapters, so you can use them with non-serial or non-USB systems as well. I know they have adapters for Dreamcast (out-of-stock, *sigh*), GameCube/Wii, XBOX/360, PS2/3, etc. I wish I knew of a superior - cheaper or "more universal" (NES, Genesis/Mega

  • The original is always the best.
    I bought all the adapters I need from Lik-Sang before Sony shut them down, but there must be other retailers.
    Probably a bunch of original controllers plus adapters will cost less than any fancy "Arcade" stick anyway.
    For convenience' sake, a PS2 controller covers almost all bases.
    Points to note if you are on a Mac:
    Most emulators (i.e. Richard Bannister's stuff) won't enumerate multiple identical adapters. Neither will the various joypad-to-keypress utilities I tried that I for

    • Submitter here. I have bought my PS2-USB adapter from Lik-Sang a few years ago, and while that adapter was only 10 USD, it cost me about thrice as that because of all the taxes, customs and fees.

      Good point about just using original controllers, I hadn't thought of that because I don't have mine any more. I just had a look at eBay, there are pairs of original Competition Pros going out for 15-25 EUR, plus 2 adapters at 4,50 each, that would be really cheap. :-)

      Thanks for the hint about the Mac, indeed I'm ty

  • If that is the USB joystick that I purchased a few years back, it is roundly terrible. Sticky and unusable. Avoid.

    If you're really into sticks and emulation, remember that Xbox 360 controllers basically out of the box all work as PC controllers. A solid fighting stick would give you a great ball for Pac Man. If that doesn't suit your fancy, building a stick setup for your games is a time-honored tradition that doesn't require much skill, but always comes out looking badass.

    Of course, you'd need a stick,

  • Check out the Videogame Connector Pinouts at Pinouts.ru [pinouts.ru]. Many of them include suggestions for connecting them directly to a PC.

    You could also get something like the Ultimarc U-HID or I-PAC. Many MAME users have been using these for years to adapt the controls in their arcade cabinets to work with PCs. You'll have to wire up a connector to let you plug in whatever kind of joystick you want but the flexibility means you can use it with several different controller types.

  • Well if you want a digital stick & buttons like an arcade machine of yore any wired PS3 peripheral will do as it has a USB connector and presents itself as a joystick e.g. I bought one of these [amazon.co.uk] the other day and it has a great feel. The only weirdness is that the buttons come up in an unexpected order, so you need to be able to reprogram your emulator to recognise that - MAME certainly supports that though.

  • Something like http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=828 [leamancomputing.com] from Amigakit, perhaps?

  • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:32AM (#32848492)

    I own one and it gives exactly the same gaming experience as back in the good 'ol days of my beloved C64. (From the time I got rid of those floppy Quickshots IV)

    • FWIW I think the USB Competition Pro is OK too. It's got those annoying extra buttons near the shaft (don't mess with a classic!) but is otherwise fine. Hey if it can survive me playing Speedball II on it, it's ok by me.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Ravenger ( 715905 )

      It's not bad, but it can't handle rapid joystick waggling. Try playing Wizball on a C64 emulator and waggle the stick to activate a power-up. It doesn't work half the time.

  • Seriously, you guys:

    Listen to CMDR TACO: http://cmdrtaco.net/jubei/ [cmdrtaco.net]

    However, you don't have to build an entire cabinet-

    According to Slagcoin.com: "What matters most is the gaming experience. You should be open to using parts and settings that may be different from the familiar standard."


    I have the Interact Dreamcast Alloy Arcade Stick. It's not as popular as other normal Street Fighter Sticks, but I'm a Soulcalibur guy. I preferred 8-way action to 4, and the Interact stick never let me d
    • Finally! I almost posted this myself. Build your own, there are tons of resources on the web for building your own arcade cabinet. Building just the control module is easy.

  • I use one of my original Zipsticks with a Stelladaptor (http://www.stelladaptor.com/), so you could get an old Zipstick, Comp. Pro, etc. from eBay, then use the Stelladaptor to connect it to your computer with a USB lead.

    The other thing I use (for games that require more than one button) is my home-made arcade controls (http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.a.kitching/mamecp/cp1.htm).

  • Off the shelf, these have the best reputation. The Mad Catz ones are pretty easy to mod, if you don't like the parts. That said, the Mad Catz Tournament Edition and Hori Real Arcade Pro sticks come with real high-end arcade parts. I think they are all designed with consoles in mind, but some come with a USB plug. I have Mad Catz's TvC stick and Hori's Wii Fight Stick and they both work fine for me (via cwiid). The Hori stick is one of their "cheap" ones, so it doesn't have good parts and they aren't easy to
  • by Per Wigren ( 5315 ) on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:01AM (#32848596) Homepage
    The best joysticks for retrogaming are of course the original ones with a Retro Adapter [world3.net].

    It has support for most original joysticks and gamepads: C64/Amiga, Atari 8-bit computers and consoles, Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis/Megadrive, Saturn, Neo Geo, MSX, BBC Micro, PCE/TGFX, NES, SNES, N64, PSX, PS2, 3DO, CD32, PC Gameport, you name it.
  • Why did joystick buttons switch sides? On old sticks like this one, the buttons (in this case button) are generally on the left side (in this particular case it's easily re-positionable if you run the cable from the right side rather than the back, but the general design of old joysticks has buttons on the left), but for modern arcade sticks and joypads all the buttons are on the right. It's kinda weird, isn't it? One would think that since most people get better fine motor control out of their right han
  • Related, if perhaps not quite so retro:

    I recently recovered my old MS Sidewinder Force Feedback Pro joystick (PC gaming joystick, not meant for console use). It's a wonderful joystick, but only offers a GamePort connection and the driver CD is 32-bit only.

    Is it worth trying to get it working on a modern 64-bit Win7 laptop that doesn't have a GamePort? I know there are GamePort/USB adapters, but from what I've read the Sidewinder joysticks used both digital and analog signals, plus had to receive signals fro

  • It's hard to do your first time, but if you're really having trouble there are forums for it. Try Shoryuken.com's tech/hardware section [shoryuken.com]. There are many people who will build a custom controller for you. Happ controls [happ.com] has pretty much any arcade joystick part you could ask for. As for compatibility, I don't have a clue, ask an expert.
  • Build your own... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CoolCash ( 528004 )
    Get a USB Arcade Controller [ultimarc.com] and go to Happ Controls [happcontrols.com]. For a total of about $60 in parts you can build any arcade control design you want. These are real arcade buttons and joysticks so they will last.

Work is the crab grass in the lawn of life. -- Schulz