December 6th, 2016 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Atari, Atari 800, arcade, joystick, custom joystick, projects, dad, Nibbler, Asteroids, CX40, Atari 2600, Sanwa, Amazon
I've been playing around with making my own custom joysticks recently. Just yesterday, I built this Atari VCS-compatible unit you see above using a Sanwa arcade joystick assembly and two Sanwa arcade buttons, both of which are available on Amazon.
I also used an old Bud project box from my late father's things for the housing, some screw-in rubber feet on the base, a cord from a non-working Atari CX40 joystick, and some scrap steel inside to give the stick more weight and heft.
I built it mostly so I could have a 4-way only joystick for maze games on the Atari 800. (The Sanwa joystick is switchable between 4-way and 8-way upon installation.) The result is absolutely incredible either handheld or set on a table, and my high score in Nibbler has gone through the roof.
On this joystick, both buttons do the same thing, although my next Atari model will probably have three buttons — one for fire, one for up, and one for down so I can play Asteroids on the 800 like a pro.
December 3rd, 2012 by Benj Edwards
Tags: Retro Scan, Quickshot, Bondwell, joysticks, controllers, NES, Genesis, Super NES, Atari, VGCE, 1991
INSIST ON QUICKSHOT! THE GENUINE PIECE!!!
I own a few QuickShot joysticks, but I don't believe I've used any of these particular models. Third-party console controllers weren't all that popular in the age of the NES (relative to the 2600 days, at least), likely because the NES's own pads (and the NES Advantage and Max) were so good to begin with. Same with the Genesis and Super NES. That fact alone probably killed a few third party video game peripheral companies that were hanging on from the Atari 2600 era, although the QuickShot brand lived on until the late 1990s.
[ From Video Games and Computer Entertainment, August 1991, p.21 ]
Discussion Topic of the Week: Did/do you commonly use third-party controllers for your classic video game systems? Which one is your favorite?