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Giles N

How many here looks for better or more Atari 5200 joystick-products/options?

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Posted (edited)

This is a fairly open question.

 

Its not related to anything or anyone (doing something) specific; just a general question how many are looking for (and thus willing to pay for or swap or produce for themselves), new hardware to get better joystick/controllers for 5200-gaming.

 

Why I ask?

 

I’m interested in fining out - as a general trend - how many here feel that they are ‘hampered’ in enjoying 5200-gammg just for lack of joystick/controller-options.

 

Voice your thoughts!

 

I don’t sell or produce any hardware.

 

But in order to get a feel for what hampers 5200 gaming:

 

1) if you could get 5200 quality controller for 250$, would you buy it?

2) if you could get a PC-to-5200 joystick cable for 45$ would you buy it?

3) are you still looking for Wico Joystick w/ Y split-cable or similar stuff?

4) Are you still searching for MasterPlay-clones

5) are lack of any of the above the reason you play 5200-games less, pr have not (!) bought a 5200 system yet?

 

ok, 

Kind regards,

Giles N

Edited by Giles N
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1 hour ago, 0078265317 said:

I already have the pc to 5200 cable and a masterplay clone.

Where or how, did youå obtain them...?

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I play a good portion of my games using the original controllers to be honest. If you have the console properly calibrated to factory specs and then make sure your controllers are also properly calibrated to the console, they work quite well. For maze games or stuff that requires more precise actions of play, I use my redemption adapter that I bought from the AA marketplace a year or 2 ago? It was an adapter AA used to make and sell in the store and they had a few different models depending on which type of controllers you wanted to use with it. I have the one that allows me to use a Genesis or SMS control pad to play games. The adapter plugs into the controller port on the 5200, and has both a 9-pin port and the other port to plug an actual 5200 controller into. You use the 5200 controller to start, pause, and reset the game and use keypads controls with the game and use the Genesis/SMS pad to control and fire. In my case I actually use a Wico Command Control keypad off the redemption and my Genesis. Much sturdier overall setup and the Wico keypad allows use of the overlays as well if I wanted.

 

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As I recall the redemption was open sourced a year ago so anyone sufficiently inclined and moderately electronically capable could make one for themselves if they needed to.

 

Also just looking through these forums there are TONS of options for using controllers on the 5200 now. 

 

I think you can still send in 5200 controllers to Best Electronics and get them swapped for refurbished ones.

 

For digital, you can use the latest ikonsgr adapter and a Sega pad.

 

Soon Aladdin will have a 5200 controller.

 

If you are even slightly willing or capable you can build your own bohiki adapter. If you are more capable the options are endless.

 

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I only use the stock joysticks and the trak-ball.  I have no real interest in any of the crazy controller options for the 5200.  For some games I prefer the joystick, others the trak-ball, some I could go either way.

 

I actually depresses me a bit to see how much discussion in this forum is controller related.  I'd love to see a subforum created that all controller discussion can be moved to, I'm just sick of seeing it all the time when there are so many more interesting things to talk about.

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3 hours ago, AverageSoftware said:

 

 

I actually depresses me a bit to see how much discussion in this forum is controller related.  I'd love to see a subforum created that all controller discussion can be moved to, I'm just sick of seeing it all the time when there are so many more interesting things to talk about.

 

It's a hot topic because the 5200 stock controller is known to be hot garbage. Most 5200 users will admit without pause that it's the worst controllers for any classic console, many of whom have great love for the 5200. I really enjoy the 5200 and will use a stock controller if I have to but given an alternative I will use something else 10 out of 10 times to play any game with.

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I find most games to be unplayable with the stock controllers.  I could get used to using them,  but I honestly have no desire to.  I have a MP clone on order. 

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For most games (except Tempest, Centipede and other "multi-speed" games) I use a stock 7800 (CX24) stick with Redemption 5200 that AtariAge and Pixels Past came up with years ago (I bought it as a set of 2 of them I used to have along with 2 of the 2600 versions) It works far better on games like Pac-Man in which sparked the complaint bandwagon on the stock joysticks as they are 360-degree analog (dual-pot)-based 

 

BTW, if you get the 7800-compatible Redemption, you will also be able to use 2600 sticks as well because the 7800 and 2600 controllers have the same 9-pin wiring configurations in which will work on both the 2600 and 7800.

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On 3/14/2020 at 2:51 PM, AverageSoftware said:

I only use the stock joysticks and the trak-ball.  I have no real interest in any of the crazy controller options for the 5200.  For some games I prefer the joystick, others the trak-ball, some I could go either way.

 

I actually depresses me a bit to see how much discussion in this forum is controller related.  I'd love to see a subforum created that all controller discussion can be moved to, I'm just sick of seeing it all the time when there are so many more interesting things to talk about.

 

👍 A subforum for 5200 controller repairs/alternatives sounds like a great idea.  It really is a unique situation for the this console and would help both those looking for solutions and those looking to avoid further discussion of the topic.

 

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Posted (edited)

... without control; just scrap the platform...

 

... so; what (!)  gives good control...???

Edited by Giles N

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On 3/14/2020 at 12:11 AM, Giles N said:

1) if you could get 5200 quality controller for 250$, would you buy it?

2) if you could get a PC-to-5200 joystick cable for 45$ would you buy it?

3) are you still looking for Wico Joystick w/ Y split-cable or similar stuff?

4) Are you still searching for MasterPlay-clones

5) are lack of any of the above the reason you play 5200-games less, pr have not (!) bought a 5200 system yet?

1.) No.

2.) No.

3.) No.

4.) No.

5.) No.

 

A self-refurbed 5200 joystick is all the 5200 controller I need--or the Trak-Ball. 😁 I have Wico Command Control and Competition Pro joysticks and, on the whole, don't think they're all that, but they have their strengths.

 

On 3/14/2020 at 1:51 PM, AverageSoftware said:

I actually depresses me a bit to see how much discussion in this forum is controller related.  I'd love to see a subforum created that all controller discussion can be moved to, I'm just sick of seeing it all the time when there are so many more interesting things to talk about.

I wouldn't say it's depressing so much as it is boring. It's like every time somebody comes around the 2600 forum to post about how E.T.is the worst game ever made.

 

But it's interesting how people are willing to go to such extraordinary and/or expensive lengths to come up with workarounds to play the Atari 5200 without having to use an actual 5200 controller. That either speaks to the irresistible charm of the 5200 system (😁), or that what they actually want is an 800XL with converted 5200 titles.

 

On 3/14/2020 at 5:48 PM, Shawn said:

It's a hot topic because the 5200 stock controller is known to be hot garbage. Most 5200 users will admit without pause that it's the worst controllers for any classic console, many of whom have great love for the 5200.

It certainly doesn't help that this narrative keeps getting pushed, keeps skewing the conversation, and keeps implanting preconceived notions into unfamiliar gamers who might otherwise be interested in the Atari 5200 and instead write the thing off. While any reasonable 5200 fan will readily volunteer that the controller has some idiosyncrasies and reliability problems, I think a substantial percentage of them will also say many of its problems are a bit overblown--or possibly misunderstood--and pretty easily corrected. (Unless you're a Pac-Man arcade purist, in which case, you're not going to like it no matter what. 😜)

 

(Worst controller for any classic console, by the way, is the Wico joystick for Coleco/Intellivision II.)

 

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1 hour ago, BassGuitari said:

1.) No.

2.) No.

3.) No.

4.) No.

5.) No.

 

A self-refurbed 5200 joystick is all the 5200 controller I need--or the Trak-Ball. 😁 I have Wico Command Control and Competition Pro joysticks and, on the whole, don't think they're all that, but they have their strengths.

 

I wouldn't say it's depressing so much as it is boring. It's like every time somebody comes around the 2600 forum to post about how E.T.is the worst game ever made.

 

But it's interesting how people are willing to go to such extraordinary and/or expensive lengths to come up with workarounds to play the Atari 5200 without having to use an actual 5200 controller. That either speaks to the irresistible charm of the 5200 system (😁), or that what they actually want is an 800XL with converted 5200 titles.

 

It certainly doesn't help that this narrative keeps getting pushed, keeps skewing the conversation, and keeps implanting preconceived notions into unfamiliar gamers who might otherwise be interested in the Atari 5200 and instead write the thing off. While any reasonable 5200 fan will readily volunteer that the controller has some idiosyncrasies and reliability problems, I think a substantial percentage of them will also say many of its problems are a bit overblown--or possibly misunderstood--and pretty easily corrected. (Unless you're a Pac-Man arcade purist, in which case, you're not going to like it no matter what. 😜)

 

(Worst controller for any classic console, by the way, is the Wico joystick for Coleco/Intellivision II.)

 

All inputs are welcome here!

 

If people feel the original controller gives them the fun-time needed, I’m not the one to persuade otherwise.

 

I’m just curious, and my own take is that the original controller is really good for games that need very nuanced, precise control, but not so good for games that need controls that are immediate in response.

 

All good to you all

 

🙂

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Posted (edited)
On 3/14/2020 at 5:59 PM, john_q_atari said:

 

Soon Aladdin will have a 5200 controller.

 

 

... then victory will be ours and the 5200 will finally be The Unbeatable 2,5-Gen. home-console!!!

 

😄

Edited by Giles N

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On 3/21/2020 at 12:42 AM, Giles N said:

I’m just curious, and my own take is that the original controller is really good for games that need very nuanced, precise control, but not so good for games that need controls that are immediate in response.

 

🙂

Agreed. It's great for the kinds of games you'd use a mouse, paddle, trak ball, or maybe even a flight stick for, as well as the games that use its analog control, but it's not a great controller for games that get twitchy. However...I don't think it's quite as bad as its miserable reputation suggests. (The extreme example of this dichotomy is the TRS-80 Color Computer joystick, which is amazing for cursor/trakball/mouse style games and comprehensively wretched for everything else. 😜)

 

Utilization of the keypad as an alternative/secondary control option could have mitigated that to a degree; Frogger actually took a whack at that but kinda blew it--if only it used 2456 as a forerunner of WASD, instead of 2468 or whatever. Plus the keypads were the controller's most common fault, so maybe that would have been a moot point BITD. (Not so much now, now that we know to put foil dots on the pads, or get Best gold controllers.)

 

While I appreciate the sophisticated feel of the 5200 joystick, it's really a bit over-engineered for the kind of system Atari wanted the 5200 to be. Or depending how you see it, slightly under-engineered, from the standpoint that Atari stopped short of incorporating a switchable centering mechanism that would have made the analog joystick much more useful for twitch-response games. As it stands, I think the joystick is fine enough--I'm not good enough at Pac-Man for it to make much difference anyway. 😜

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5 hours ago, BassGuitari said:

Agreed. It's great for the kinds of games you'd use a mouse, paddle, trak ball, or maybe even a flight stick for, as well as the games that use its analog control, but it's not a great controller for games that get twitchy. However...I don't think it's quite as bad as its miserable reputation suggests. (The extreme example of this dichotomy is the TRS-80 Color Computer joystick, which is amazing for cursor/trakball/mouse style games and comprehensively wretched for everything else. 😜)

 

Utilization of the keypad as an alternative/secondary control option could have mitigated that to a degree; Frogger actually took a whack at that but kinda blew it--if only it used 2456 as a forerunner of WASD, instead of 2468 or whatever. Plus the keypads were the controller's most common fault, so maybe that would have been a moot point BITD. (Not so much now, now that we know to put foil dots on the pads, or get Best gold controllers.)

 

While I appreciate the sophisticated feel of the 5200 joystick, it's really a bit over-engineered for the kind of system Atari wanted the 5200 to be. Or depending how you see it, slightly under-engineered, from the standpoint that Atari stopped short of incorporating a switchable centering mechanism that would have made the analog joystick much more useful for twitch-response games. As it stands, I think the joystick is fine enough--I'm not good enough at Pac-Man for it to make much difference anyway. 😜

I use:

- original controller

- wico y-split cabled joystick

- modded neo-geo stick

 

... to achieve a quality 2,5-Generation retro-gaming experience for my fun & relax-time

 

🙂

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I've never had any issue with the 5200 controllers, even with the Pac-Man titles. . . once they had been refitted with decent flex-circuits and/or contacts. . .  stock/factory. . . yeah, utterly useless.  The only remaining issue is the potentiometers; I've been told they're proprietary, but they seem off-the-shelf to me.  There's probably some supplier out there who has them, but I haven't tracked them down yet.  Luckily, most of the time, the pots. can be refurbished.

 

The trackballs gave me more issues than anything, especially when replacing the dome-switches.

 

I DO like the Edladdin controllers.  Those are really slick!  And they actually look nice.  I would love to have a pair, especially since getting parts for those old CX52/53 devices is going to become more difficult and costly down the road, and I really don't like dealing with Best Electronics any more than necessary.

 

 

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When you're a jack of all trades, you're usually a master of none.

 

The N64 got analog right... Except forced analog centering is bad on Atari-made analog games, like Warlords.  (Good news is the N64 had no Atari style analog games)

 

The number 1 reason why controls are awful on modern consoles is because there is no way to get Atari Paddle-like controls, except a thumbstick, and alternating between fighting a self centering force and being afraid to "ride the force" too far is exausting.

 

For the types of analog games Atari made,l at that time,  non-self centering was a brilliant choice.

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I always go through phases with my controller choice for the 5200.

 

Years ago I thought a well working stock controller was fantastic. I would read all the me too band wagon complaining and laugh. Then I'd wonder if they played Intellivision and though it was good....

 

These days I find myself using 3rd party options that were available in the 5200's day. Wico sticks with a Y adapter or the keypad. I like the Masterplay Interface. I use it with a VCS stick or a Coleco Gemini stick I added a second button to. Excellent for Defender.

 

The best part of the Masterplay Interface is the switch that changes the button from FIRE to START. You don't even need a keypad. Flip the switch to START and hit the button to start the game. Then switch it back to FIRE to play. No keypad.

 

I know these original solutions are not easy to get. A masterplay clone seems to best solution. Aren't there a few available by sellers on ebay?

 

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