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Joystick Alternatives?

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You want a real alternative to joysticks? Here you go... :rolling:

 

(and don't forget the Atari Trak-ball units operate in joystick mode too)

 

 

attachicon.gifIMG_1496.jpg

I've always wanted to try an all button controller for the steer/thrust type games like Gravitar. Is this controller good for that? It looks like the layout might not be ideal.

 

.. Joysticks were a big barrier for me getting into the 2600, until I found these which I really really like:

 

30hx1ep.jpg

 

The stick is really nice and feels like analog.

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So I went to my local shop and turns out that their joysticks were a lot more expensive than last I checked; I think their cheaper, out-of-the-box models got copped because their in-the-box WICO Command Control (bat handle) was fifty dollars. Good for a collector, but I'm indifferent as to whether my controller comes with vintage cardboard or not, so I opted for a Sega Genesis controller instead.

 

One ugly truth that I feel like I'm starting to realize about Atari games is that the whole concept of a "joystick" as a home console controller is very dated and just plain unintuitive. There are many attempts that make valiant efforts at an ergonomic, comfortable, and intuitive handheld joystick, but the successes are few and far between compared to the abundance of overly stiff, uncomfortable, or unresponsive joystick controllers. Without a big, sturdy surface to be mounted on - i.e. an arcade cabinet - joysticks are just too difficult to use than is practical. A gamepad is just the better and more comfortable choice.

 

It's not that I think I'll stop searching for a quality joystick - if I ever see one while I have money to burn, I'll jump on it - but so far everything in my price range just can't hold up to the ubiquity of a gamepad, and I don't feel too bad about playing Atari the "inauthentic" way, although I feel like Asteroids and Missile Command in particular do feel better with a joystick.

 

What's weird, though, is that this Genesis controller has two bizarre bugs, so my search for a controller that just works the way it should continues. Its first bug is that occasionally and unpredictably, is that my screen will be drenched with static whenever the fire button is pressed. The other glitch - also unpredictable - is that every input on the controller will cease to respond except for up and down, so I can move vertically but nothing else when that happens. The first glitch always precedes the second, but the second has happened on its own several times so far. The controller is a Hyperkin GN6 aftermarket, if anyone has any experience with that. I was hoping to get an authentic first party controller but I figured the cheaper third party one would work fine...figures.

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50 for a Wico is crazy. Check ebay. I got two for less than 20.00 can dollars.

 

Yea, I don't know what they're thinking. Box collectors are an adamant bunch, though. I respect the devotion and completeness of it (and plus, a lot of old boxes are really cool) but I can't imagine myself making the expenditure.

 

It's just that with my recent luck of malfunctioning controllers, I'm not sure if I want to risk buying one online. Call me anxious (because I am) but I'm always nervous about online returns. I'd rather be able to go back to a brick-and-mortar store with the receipt in hand than hope the internet gives me a refund.

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What's weird, though, is that this Genesis controller has two bizarre bugs, so my search for a controller that just works the way it should continues. Its first bug is that occasionally and unpredictably, is that my screen will be drenched with static whenever the fire button is pressed. The other glitch - also unpredictable - is that every input on the controller will cease to respond except for up and down, so I can move vertically but nothing else when that happens. The first glitch always precedes the second, but the second has happened on its own several times so far. The controller is a Hyperkin GN6 aftermarket, if anyone has any experience with that. I was hoping to get an authentic first party controller but I figured the cheaper third party one would work fine...figures.

I used a Genesis controller alot back in the day and never experienced those bugs, however it was an authentic Sega product not third party. I would recommend an original controller and you should have no issues, especially if there is no turbo/rapid fire features that could be the bug cause.

post-30687-0-57821300-1461010836_thumb.jpg

 

Having said all that i also had a controller like this which had turbo features that worked fine, yet i only used it for the "joystick" screw in attachment feature for games like Ms. Pacman ect. Actually worked really well IMO.

post-30687-0-49385900-1461011030_thumb.jpg

Edited by Tony The 2600

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I figure that the problems with the Genesis I got may have been because it was aftermarket. I assume I wouldn't have any problems with a first-party, but I'm not able to get one right now.

 

I went back to my shop today and traded it in for this, the Suncom Tac-3.

 

B0KrucC.jpg

 

It works - all the directions work and so do all the buttons - and it's not too stiff. I have to wrench it a little bit, but that's just for leverage, not just to illicit a response. Worked great with all my games and the buttons reliably quickly from just a tap; it looks like I finally have a controller I can count on. My only complaint is that its cube shape makes it a little uncomfortable to hold, and the flightstick-style grip really wears on my wielding wrist after a while, especially in a game with lots of directional movement.

 

I think I'll use it in tandem with my palm-sized Powerstick, which has the advantage of comfort and even though it can't do diagonal movement, that's hardly an issue in games like Dark Cavern and Space Invaders.

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Saying a joystick is unintuitive is like saying you found it too difficult to jerk yourself off. It is one of the most basic interface devices ever created.

 

I think what you mean is that you don't like it - so quit trying.

 

I've never had problems with Genesis controllers of many varieties. Just fall back to what your 90s hands want to clutch and feel good about it.

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Saying a joystick is unintuitive is like saying you found it too difficult to jerk yourself off. It is one of the most basic interface devices ever created.

Ha ha ha ha ha.

 

.. Joysticks are definitely obvious and intuitive, and in my opinion they are much more FUN than a D-pad. But it is possible to change direction very accurately and very quickly with a d-pad, with little effort. For me it's noticeable enough that I feel like i'm cheating when I use a pad on a game designed for a stick. .. Also it's impossible to get too violent with a d-pad, whereas i feel like i am routinely getting too violent with my joysticks, if it is a really hectic or twitchy game.

 

.. I won't give much credence to joysticks over pads as some sort of extra legit way to play. It's just what was popularized when console gaming was trying to choose the most expedient single device for every home gamer to control every piece of potential software. Arcade controls have always been very diverse. .. BUTTON ONLY steer and thrust happens to be my favorite control scheme, and it is more accurate than any digital joystick or d-pad, if you have a display system capable of accurately depicting more than 8 directions for a projectile to move in, (such as Asteroids or any vector arcade or vectrex).

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9Pin Joysticks are always an interesting thing to discuss in my opinion. Some days ago, i found this internetside on the net:

 

http://bencao74.blogspot.de/2016/03/custom-c64-amiga-commodore-atari.html

 

These new produced sticks looks very stable. Not cheap, but maybe they are worth the price because they built completely from high-quality Arcade technic. I will think about, if i buy one or not.

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If I had known that was available on Ebay, you would've had some competition! Man, you got a great deal on the Space Age joystick. I would love to have one of those in my collection... Let me know how you like it when it arrives.

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Seeing as the standard ones are a bit delicate I'll be using this one I picked up for $5:

 

 

12748495_958780217510637_710820562_n.jpg

 

 

Although not quite fitting with the timeframe, my Battlestation II is damn good for multiplayer.

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Yes, the Space Age joystick is what I would call quite uncommon. During the past 25 years I've never seen one in the wild...

 

That is a nice deal on the Amiga.

Edited by ave1

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I have a new 2600 controller coming out soon (probably June). I have most of the parts in. It will be expensive though. Similar in dimensions and look to the original controllers, but using high end parts like the 7800 ones I made. I don't have any pictures available yet, but here is the 7800 one http://classicjoysticks.com/

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I have a new 2600 controller coming out soon (probably June). I have most of the parts in. It will be expensive though. Similar in dimensions and look to the original controllers, but using high end parts like the 7800 ones I made. I don't have any pictures available yet, but here is the 7800 one http://classicjoysticks.com/

Speaking of 7800 controllers we all know the NTSC American 7800 controllers are the only controller you would ever need. So much better than everything out there because nothing else can give you the return on blister creation and cramped fingers.

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I have a new 2600 controller coming out soon (probably June). I have most of the parts in. It will be expensive though. Similar in dimensions and look to the original controllers, but using high end parts like the 7800 ones I made. I don't have any pictures available yet, but here is the 7800 one http://classicjoysticks.com/

 

I really like this joystick. :)

 

http://atariage.com/forums/gallery/image/15181-7800-prosystem-joystick/

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