Let's face it, I'm a fan of the old. Forget your PS3s and XBOX360s, I like my games old school. And that means controllers to. That's why I love this thing.
I was rummaging around a junk bin at a recycle shop this week when I saw the familiar glint of gold on red. The unmistakable image of a classic Famicom controller. What was it, a Hudson turbo controller? I traced the cord all they down to the business end and was equally surprised and confused when I saw what sort of connection we were talking; USB.
USB? But what can I do with… Oh. OH!
That's right, it is a PC gamepad styled after the beloved Famicom controller! It turns out these were produced in 2007 by Buffalo, who actually received license for the design from Nintendo. They even produced a Super Famicom version as well. They sold for about $35 new, but I'm happy to say that I paid much less.
Anyhow, after a few hours of dicking around with some software (these were designed for use with PC only - not us Mac users) I finally got the thing to work. The secret was some free software called Controllermate. I have it set up now to work on my NES emulator as well as PCSX, to allow me to play Playstation disks on my laptop.
I don't use gamepads that much, but this thing does the trick. It feels solid and the buttons have the right amount of give to provide accurate feedback. The controller itself is responsive, and the turbo option definitely helps in some games. It even has L and R shoulder buttons, so almost any system is fair game. Oh, and the cord is generously longer than the original Famicom pad (but that's not saying much…). Overall it's a familiar feel and a nice touch if you feel the need to play some games on your computer.
Next time I'm going travelling, I can throw this bad boy in my laptop case and get my share of retro gaming anywhere I might be.
Have you seen anything like this before? Do you use gamepads for anything? What do you think of the 4 button interface meets classic design?