Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

The best arcade stick I've ever purchased cost me $100

TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
edited December 2011 in Games and Technology
So my official Sega Genesis 6-button arcade stick has been slowly dying, and I was recently on ebay searching for a suitable replacement. I was originally intent on simply replacing the joystick with another of the same model, but during my search I saw a listing for a product that caught my eye.

aQya1.png

I had never heard of this stick before (although the maker, innovation, was big into peripherals during the genesis and snes days) and it's generic name - "Arcade stick" - made finding any info on it impossible. I tried asking around on the most hardcore retrogaming sites I could find, and no one had heard of this stick before. I figured it was one of those types of arcade sticks you could only order from the back of EGMs or something, hence the lack of info. The images provided on the auction made the stick itself look decidedly low quality, but one point particular on the box caught my eye: "Turbo Duo support."

The turbo duo, a turbo grafx + turbo CD upgrade, normally has only 2 buttons. A 3 button pad was released for the Super Grafx upgrade, but wasn't widely supported. In japan, along-side the release of Street Fighter II' (which is an excellent port, btw), NEC released a now-uncommon 6-button pad called the Avenue 6. Only a few games support it, but they're among the best on the system, namely Fatal Fury Special, Art of Fighting, and Street Fighter II'. Now, I already have an avenue pad 6, and it does it's job well enough. But a sega genesis 6-button controller it is not - it's pretty boxy and the button spacing feels weird. In short, it's not very fun to play with, which makes playing killer arcade ports on my Turbo Duo a chore. The official turbo duo joystick only has 2 buttons, and I had never, ever seen a single arcade stick for the duo, let alone one in a 6-button configuration. I took the plunge and bought the thing based on turbo duo support alone.

Well, it arrived a few days ago, and this is the greatest video game accessory purchase I've ever made. The ebay listing doesn't really describe how the unit works, or how you can make it work with a Neo Geo, Sega Genesis, Super NES, or Turbo Duo, but they really should have. See, the image on the box isn't really the controller. What you get is a very clunky, plastic joystick with extremely shallow microswitches, and a bat/ball hybrid joystick that feels way too stiff. The button spacing on this joystick is awkward and uncomfortable.

But that's not the heart of the product. Rather, the real meat of the controller is this baby right here:

v8UEV.png

it's a small grey box which, on one end, has a universal 15-pin D plug, and on the other end, a cable which plugs into the included plastic joystick. This grey box houses the insides for the controller. Taking the joystick apart reveals it's nothing more than a bunch of microswitches wired up to a 15-pin port on the front, where the box connects. To use this thing on your console, you plug the grey box into the joystick, then you take one of 4 provided adapters - one for the genesis, one for the SNES, one for the turbo duo, and one for the neo geo - and run it between the console and the box.

TJMTr.png

Now, the uninspired might see and hear this and think it's nothing more than an ugly, albeit functional joystick. But the hobbiest will see this as a goddamn gold mine. First up, if you have any experience with actual arcade equipment or building your own arcade stick, you should instantly see the immense value in this thing. Because the joystick and buttons are essentially removable from the core "brains" of the controller, it's obscenely easy to build your own joystick. In fact, I simply took the joystick for my MAS Supernova, and built a quick and easy converter to plug it into the grey box, meaning I can now play my Genesis, Super NES, Turbo Duo, and Neo Geo AES games with this:

ETHJ0.png

that alone would make this stick worth buying to the retro enthusist, but that's not why I made the claim made in the topic title. See, the ability to connect this thing to a Super NES opens a whole can of worms, because a variety of Super NES joypad converters have been made for a variety of systems. Case in point - I have a SNES->3DO converter, and my arcade stick now works with my 3DO.

VTo1p.jpg

What really sets this controller over the edge is one of these easily obtainable SNES->USB converters that one can buy from a place like retrousb. That converter makes this joystick the greatest I ever bought, as I can now use it with both my PC, and PS3. And, again, to make my point clear - the nature of this joystick, with it's essentially detachable buttons and stick, means that you can easily build custom arcade sticks of any configuration with absolutely no soldering required. It's an incredible feeling to play Mortal Kombat on my Sega CD with one controller, then to go into the other room and play Mortal Kombat on my PS3 with the same controller.

to recap, this one joystick works, with the help of adapters, with the following:
-Sega Genesis
-Super Nintendo
-Turbo Duo
-Neo Geo AES
-3DO
-Playstation 3
-PC
-Amiga
-Atari 2600 & 7800

and probably more, the sky's the limit thanks to SNES compatibility. These things are still for sale on ebay - the dude selling them apparently found a warehouse full of them and is selling them on his store on ebay with no apparent limit in stock. I won't post a link for fear of shilling, but I'll say, without hesitation, that this is the best controller I've ever personally paid money for, bar none. An incredible hidden gem that I felt needed to be recommended.

Oh yeah, and the thing offers slow-mo and turbo fire support too. Added bonus.

EDIT: Oh yeah, forgot to add that, by virtue of being a Sega Genesis controller, it also works with basically any Atari console (save the jaguar and 5200) and the Amiga as well.

TheSonicRetard on

Posts

  • pablo_pricepablo_price Registered User regular
    I've never been a fan of those arcade controllers, but that IS pretty cool.
    I am a fan of hardware modding and crazy intercompatibilty.

  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I've never been a fan of those arcade controllers, but that IS pretty cool.
    I am a fan of hardware modding and crazy intercompatibilty.

    Yeah, I'm not generally too big into joysticks - I can service a good gamepad just as well as a joystick in a fighter - but the ability to use this thing on so many different devices is just too much. I've seen people in the fighting game crowd buy 3rd party controllers with the intent of soldering wires to the button contacts, and then running those wires to microswitches. You can do the same thing with this, just a thousand times easier since all the connections to the "buttons" are easily presented in a nice 15-pin port. I wouldn't doubt for a second that you could use this on a wii with one of those SNES->GCN converters either. Really, the only console which couldn't take advantage of this baby is the Xbox 360, due to it's XID proprietary controller standard.

    I can't stress enough how terrible the included joystick is. It's so awkward... but if you have the ability to build yourself a sick stick, this is the PERFECT modding tool.

    EDIT:
    snes_to_gc_cable3.jpg

    There, that's all you need to use this thing on a Wii.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • RockinXRockinX Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    I have this:

    CPS_Fighter.jpg

    And I love it. I got it from a dude who was selling his SNES and it came with it and Star Fox. I also have SNES to USB and SNES to GC adapters. Gradius III and Tatsunoko Vs Capcom on Wii feel awesome to play with it.

    Oh yeah, you can use it on an NES, but I don't have one, heh.

    Though I have a question, my USB adapter is the same you have on the OP, but when I tried to use it on my cousin's PS3, it didn't work (however, a random USB controller he had did). How did you make it work?

    RockinX on
    NNID: RockinX. 3DS FC: 2148-9166-6811. In-game name: アルヘニス. SV: 2746
    game%20grammar%20sig_zpsws4nvxb2.jpg
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    RockinX wrote:
    I have this:

    CPS_Fighter.jpg

    And I love it. I got it from a dude who was selling his SNES and it came with it and Star Fox. I also have SNES to USB and SNES to GC adapters. Gradius III and Tatsunoko Vs Capcom on Wii feel awesome to play with it.

    Though I have a question, my USB adapter is the same you have on the OP, but when I tried to use it on my cousin's PS3, it didn't work (however, a random USB controller he had did). How did you make it work?

    I didn't do anything in specific to make it work, I just plugged it in and it worked fine. The only downside is that the start button is mapped, so I need to keep a DS3 as second player just in case I need to hit start.

    I guess there are different models of that converter. Did you get yours from RetroZone?

    EDIT: As for your joystick - a CPS Fighter, fucking awesome. Those are supposed to be incredibly high quality fight sticks, especially for the time. They were actually designed originally for the Capcom CPS Changer (Capcom's only home console), making it sort of analogous to the Neo Geo AES's joystick.

    Does the actual joystick use microswitches? How about the buttons? On the Neo Geo AES, the joystick uses microswitches, but the buttons use rubber pads, like most "arcade sticks" for the time used (and all home controllers).

    I personally love the feel of a microswitch button way, way more than a rubber pad button.

    cps1.jpg

    The CPS Changer

    TheSonicRetard on
  • RockinXRockinX Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    RockinX wrote:
    I have this:

    CPS_Fighter.jpg

    And I love it. I got it from a dude who was selling his SNES and it came with it and Star Fox. I also have SNES to USB and SNES to GC adapters. Gradius III and Tatsunoko Vs Capcom on Wii feel awesome to play with it.

    Though I have a question, my USB adapter is the same you have on the OP, but when I tried to use it on my cousin's PS3, it didn't work (however, a random USB controller he had did). How did you make it work?

    I didn't do anything in specific to make it work, I just plugged it in and it worked fine. The only downside is that the start button is mapped, so I need to keep a DS3 as second player just in case I need to hit start.

    I guess there are different models of that converter. Did you get yours from RetroZone?
    Oh, my mistake, the one I have isn't from RetroZone. I mistook it for my SNES to GC adapter, which looks exactly the same save for the plug. At least it works well on my PC, but I would have liked to use it on a PS3.

    RockinX on
    NNID: RockinX. 3DS FC: 2148-9166-6811. In-game name: アルヘニス. SV: 2746
    game%20grammar%20sig_zpsws4nvxb2.jpg
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    RockinX wrote:
    RockinX wrote:
    I have this:

    CPS_Fighter.jpg

    And I love it. I got it from a dude who was selling his SNES and it came with it and Star Fox. I also have SNES to USB and SNES to GC adapters. Gradius III and Tatsunoko Vs Capcom on Wii feel awesome to play with it.

    Though I have a question, my USB adapter is the same you have on the OP, but when I tried to use it on my cousin's PS3, it didn't work (however, a random USB controller he had did). How did you make it work?

    I didn't do anything in specific to make it work, I just plugged it in and it worked fine. The only downside is that the start button is mapped, so I need to keep a DS3 as second player just in case I need to hit start.

    I guess there are different models of that converter. Did you get yours from RetroZone?
    Oh, my mistake, the one I have isn't from RetroZone. I mistook it for my SNES to GC adapter, which looks exactly the same save for the plug. At least it works well on my PC, but I would have liked to use it on a PS3.

    Well I don't think RetroZone actually makes the adapters (considering you can buy them elsewhere) so I'd have to believe that, if yours looks just like mine, that there are different models.

    Out of curiosity, you mentioned another cheap-o adapter your friend had. Do you know where he got that one from?

  • RockinXRockinX Registered User regular
    edited December 2011

    EDIT: As for your joystick - a CPS Fighter, fucking awesome. Those are supposed to be incredibly high quality fight sticks, especially for the time. They were actually designed originally for the Capcom CPS Changer (Capcom's only home console), making it sort of analogous to the Neo Geo AES's joystick.

    Does the actual joystick use microswitches? How about the buttons? On the Neo Geo AES, the joystick uses microswitches, but the buttons use rubber pads, like most "arcade sticks" for the time used (and all home controllers).

    I personally love the feel of a microswitch button way, way more than a rubber pad button.

    cps1.jpg

    The CPS Changer

    I didn't know what microswitches were until I looked it up and a post on Retrogaming.com.ar mentioned that the stick is indeed microswitch-based.

    BTW, Wikipedia says that the CPS Changer was released in 1994, 2 years after the CPS Fighter came out. Are you sure they didn't just make the CPS Changer compatible with the CPS Changer instead of the CPS Fighter being made specifically for the CPS Changer and compatible with the Super Famicom/SNES? It very well could have been meant to be used on the CPS Changer from the start, but I was just wondering.

    Well I don't think RetroZone actually makes the adapters (considering you can buy them elsewhere) so I'd have to believe that, if yours looks just like mine, that there are different models.

    Out of curiosity, you mentioned another cheap-o adapter your friend had. Do you know where he got that one from?
    The one that looks just like yours is the SNES to GC adapter. I originally thought my USB adapter looked like yours, but I took a quick look at it and i's completely different; it's bulkier and looks kind of like a tiny SFC. The random USB controller I mentioned wasn't an adapter, it was a PlayStation controller look-a-like.

    Edit: The dude at Retrogaming.com.ar mentions that the stick is a Sanwa JLW. Amazing, isn't that the brand of sticks that are frequently sought after by people who make sticks? No wonder I like it so much (and I'm not much of a stick connoisseur). If you'd like to check out his post, you can go here, but beware, it's in Spanish, so you might have a bit of trouble understanding it.

    RockinX on
    NNID: RockinX. 3DS FC: 2148-9166-6811. In-game name: アルヘニス. SV: 2746
    game%20grammar%20sig_zpsws4nvxb2.jpg
  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    The best arcade stick I've ever purchased cost me $10.

    547jtw.jpg

    Took 5th place at EVO with it.

    10mvrci.png click for Anime chat
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    the project box breakaway concept was pretty much SOP at shoryuken until Toodles started fabricating the MC/cthulhu. That seems like a pretty raw deal if the components of the stick itself are trash though. The MC is $35 and handles pretty much everything except the 360, throw it in a $5 project box with $3 worth of components and you've got yourself a universal stick-brain for less than half that.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Reading through the OP, it's a shame it doesn't work on the 360. Granted, there are a decent number of arcade sticks for the 360 (I have one from Hori, it's does what it's supposed to do very well, I think), but you get what I mean. To be fair, it's probably a big step up from the OP stick, in terms of actual layout.

    600full-hori-xbox-360-dead-or-alive-4-arcade-stick-cover.jpg

    Cost me nothing--though it was a gift from a roommate.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    yeah I used to have one of those DOA4 Hori sticks. I swapped the restrictor gate to an octagon and I added two 24mm buttons to the end for actually usable LB and RB buttons. I gave it to my brother when I built my own stick a few years ago. I've got the bug again now and I'm thinking of buying one of tek-innovation's cases and setting up a shmup-oriented stick. I want to use one of the paewang PCBs-- they work on PS3 and 360 natively. I dunno if it's black magic or if they actually got a 3rd party license from MS.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    the project box breakaway concept was pretty much SOP at shoryuken until Toodles started fabricating the MC/cthulhu. That seems like a pretty raw deal if the components of the stick itself are trash though. The MC is $35 and handles pretty much everything except the 360, throw it in a $5 project box with $3 worth of components and you've got yourself a universal stick-brain for less than half that.

    Those boxes don't work with half the systems the above stick works with. No Sega support, no super nes support, especially no Turbo duo support. This stick works with 12 game systems and a PC too.

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    The modifications are probably for the best, but I'm really no good with arcade sticks anyway.

    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Additionally, the MC Cthulu is overpriced.

    http://www.lizardlick.com/Toodles-Cthulhu-for-Multi-Console_p_542.html

    $35 + shipping for a 20-button PAC? You can buy a 32-button real IPAC for $40 + free shipping which also has a +5v line for wiring up LEDs, and supports trackballs and spinners, and has both a USB and PS/2 interface.

    ipac2_diag.jpg

    TheSonicRetard on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    Fair enough the MC doesn't support sega genesis or atari systems, but it definitely supports every playstation, PC, xbox 1, gamecube, NES, SNES, PC-Engine, Saturn, Dreamcast and 3DO.

    I'm not sure I follow about the MC being over priced, the MC cthulhu works for 13 consoles, has a vcc, no more buttons than actually necessary, and last time I checked home consoles don't make too much use out of spinners and trackballs. Sure for $5 more you can have some features you don't actually need for an arcade stick. . .

    For $100 you got a junk stick with a great compatibility box, my point was that the brain-box or whatever you want to call it can be done without that $100 stick. Just have one MC (or that real IPAC) brain, a 360 brain, and a genesis brain and poof you have the thing for $60+supplies (project box, solder, wire, etc) If the stick weren't junk and the button layout were better then I'd agree $100 is a hell of a deal.

    acidlacedpenguin on
    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    last time I checked home consoles don't make too much use out of spinners and trackballs

    A) A spinner is the same thing as an analog racing wheel. You can use a spinner, for example, with, say, Daytona USA on the PS3. Trackballs are the same as mice. you can use a trackball with, say, UT3 on the PS3.
    B) Atari-Driving-Controller.jpg
    C) ATA26CON0143LX.gif
    D) That MC Cthulu only supports 2 buttons on PCE Mode unless you hack up a multitap as well (and PCE multitaps go for $45)
    E) No more buttons than necessary? 10 buttons per player means you are limited to 4 microswitches for the joystick and 6 for the buttons. The PS3 controller has 8 face buttons, plus start and select. 32 buttons = 2 joysticks (8 microswitches) + 2 sets of 8 buttons (16 microswitches) + 4 start/select buttons (4 microswitches) + analog control input for spinners and trackballs (4 input, 2 X, and 2 Y).

    EDIT: And if 32 inputs is somehow too much, and you still want only 20 inputs, you can buy a PAC-mini for $25 with 20 terminals. And still free shipping.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    okay, I'll concede A and B. C doesn't even have a bullet attached so I'll concede that too.
    d) I can clearly see PCE multitaps for as low as $10+ shipping on ebay
    e) when did we start talking about two player sticks? I wasn't aware this topic had become a multi-arcade cabinet discussion. Fine, the MC is overpriced if you need two of them and there are better options that I didn't know about, my bad.

    So I guess my point that the MC cthulhu is a better deal that the $100 stick is now invalidated by the real 32 input IPAC being an even better deal.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    edited December 2011
    okay, I'll concede A and B. C doesn't even have a bullet attached so I'll concede that too.
    d) I can clearly see PCE multitaps for as low as $10+ shipping on ebay
    e) when did we start talking about two player sticks? I wasn't aware this topic had become a multi-arcade cabinet discussion. Fine, the MC is overpriced if you need two of them and there are better options that I didn't know about, my bad.

    So I guess my point that the MC cthulhu is a better deal that the $100 stick is now invalidated by the real 32 input IPAC being an even better deal.

    You are aware there are different multi-taps for the PC Engine, Turbo Duo, and Turbo Grafx, right? They're not all compatible. Looking on ebay, you can buy a PC Engine multitap for $10. Find me a Turbo Duo multitap for under $40.

    The MC Cthulu is $45, plus $40 for a Turbo Duo multitap. Plus $5 for a Sega Genesis controller (cheapest I found on ebay), which you admitted you need to hack up. You're up to $90 now.

    So you can save yourself $10 on the deal, plus time+labor to hack up a multitap and genesis controller, and you don't have Neo Geo support. How is that superior?

    And the MC itself is overpriced due to the PAC-mini being the same thing for $10 cheaper.

    EDIT: In fact, the only turbo duo multitaps on ebay are bundled with duo consoles, going for $200 and $700 right now respectively. But in my time around PCEngineFX's forums, I know that turbo duo multitaps are pretty pricy.

    EDIT: And for the sake of fairness, I'll include the SNES->USB converter into the cost of the innovation stick. So the MC Cthulu is $17 cheaper, counting the $7 the SNES->USB convert goes for on ebay.

    The cheapest Neo Geo stick you can buy on ebay is going for $40 right now. To get the functionality you get out of the innovation stick, you need to spend $130 with the MC Cthulu, plus time soldering.

    EDIT AGAIN: Ok, I actually DID find a Duo tap on ebay:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DUO-TAP-Turbo-Duo-Brand-New-TurboGrafx-16-/150719919844?pt=Video_Games_Accessories&hash=item23179b76e4

    $27. So you have to spend $117 with the MC Cthulu to get the same functionality you get out of the above stick.

    TheSonicRetard on
  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    The MC cthulhu is $35, not $45. I was not aware the PC Engine/Turbographix/Turboduo had different multitaps. Why would they share the same everything else but not multitaps, that's weird. Okay you win, getting a junk stick with components you have to replace for $100 +adapters just for the adapter that allows you to run a stick for some rare consoles is a better deal for modders than a MC cthulhu (or similar device) that handles most of the more common consoles, and then adding whichever systems they need per application.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    The MC cthulhu is $35, not $45. I was not aware the PC Engine/Turbographix/Turboduo had different multitaps. Why would they share the same everything else but not multitaps, that's weird. Okay you win, getting a junk stick with components you have to replace for $100 +adapters just for the adapter that allows you to run a stick for some rare consoles is a better deal for modders than a MC cthulhu (or similar device) that handles most of the more common consoles, and then adding whichever systems they need per application.

    The PC Engine, Turbo Grafx, and Turbo Duo DON'T share everything else. The PC Engine and PC Engine Duo share hu-cards, but the Turbo Duo and Turbo grafx use a different hu-card which isn't comparible with PC Engine hardware. All 3 use different controllers, which look identical but have radically different connectors.

    tg16.jpg

    US Turbo Grafx controller

    5703369060_3c56549ae9.jpg

    JP PC Engine controller

    t16controllers.jpg

    Connector differences between a US Turbo grafx controller, and a US Turbo Duo controller

    they look the same, but they're not. It makes buying a multitap a chore, especially since PC Engine taps are very common, while the more sought after duo taps are not.

    The framing you use in your concession is funny, but I agree. A functional controller that works with more consoles without having to do any soldering is indeed a better deal than a MC Cthulu which winds up being more expensive, doesn't work with as many consoles, and doesn't include a joystick at all (which I've yet to mention).

  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    well you did mention that the joystick is both terrible and awkward. I mentioned the layout was trash, so I think it's fair to assume all of those parts you'd have to buy separately regardless of which option you go for. Also I never mentioned how adapters like that SNES to USB one often enjoy lag or dropped inputs which makes them more than useless but I was trying to be fair.

    GT: Acidboogie PSNid: AcidLacedPenguiN
  • TheSonicRetardTheSonicRetard Registered User regular
    well you did mention that the joystick is both terrible and awkward. I mentioned the layout was trash, so I think it's fair to assume all of those parts you'd have to buy separately regardless of which option you go for. Also I never mentioned how adapters like that SNES to USB one often enjoy lag or dropped inputs which makes them more than useless but I was trying to be fair.

    Well any USB interface is going to introduce lag, it's a byproduct of the interface. USB is actually terrible for something like a controller, which is why the IPAC I posted above has a PS/2 output as well. MAMEcade builders will often forfeit the USB connection for a PS/2 connection for that very reason.

Sign In or Register to comment.