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Author Topic: Ambidextrous Cab Design  (Read 263 times)

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Dal1980

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Ambidextrous Cab Design
« on: July 09, 2017, 06:01:55 pm »
Hi guys

Can anyone tell me why controls are backwards on some of these old cabs?

I went to the NERG (North East Retro Gamer) (UK) and never noticed this before about some of these older cabs having the stick on the right and action buttons on the left. I had to cross my arms to play comfortably.  :dizzy: (I've attached an example of one)

Anyone know the reason this was the case?

I also see that some allowed for both configurations as the stick was central but had action buttons located on both sides so you could use either hand.

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paigeoliver

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Re: Ambidextrous Cab Design
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 10:48:01 pm »
In good design the smart hand controls the more complex control. Which is why I play Pacman with my right hand on the stick and Street Fighter with my left hand on the stick.

Early designers didn't always understand this, and being in the UK just exaggerated the problem as a lot of the games there were licensed out to and assembled by companies that were not really game companies.
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Dal1980

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Re: Ambidextrous Cab Design
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 10:58:57 pm »
Thanks paigeoliver, I thought this was going to be a buried post or at most someone slapping me for asking stupid questions  :lol

I didn't state this in the original question but I was hoping for either a bit of history to explain this or at least an explanation of the mindset. Born in 1980, I didn't hit my first arcade until about 1985 and back then I had no understanding of much. Since late 80's to late 90's was my time where I visited the arcades I can't honestly say I've ever experience a right handed stick (maybe I never thought much of it at the time if I did).

It's interesting you play pacman with you right hand and street fighter with the left. For me, it feels unnatural for the stick to be in the right hand on any game, maybe I'll try that on pacman and see how I get on.

I wonder, could it be that I only ever attended arcadiums that were run by enthusiast? The cade's I did go to seem to be run by guys that fixed everything themselves and were quite passionate about the games. I remember having quite lengthy discussions on gaming and the machines with them. I would always go to the same ones each time so never experience anything outside this loop.
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ark_ader

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Re: Ambidextrous Cab Design
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2017, 01:14:23 am »
In good design the smart hand controls the more complex control. Which is why I play Pacman with my right hand on the stick and Street Fighter with my left hand on the stick.

Early designers didn't always understand this, and being in the UK just exaggerated the problem as a lot of the games there were licensed out to and assembled by companies that were not really game companies.

What a load of Bollocks.

EuroCoin had buttons on left and right side, as did others.  Nearly all the arcade games in the late 70s,80s and early 90s were shipped directly from the States.  Atari had a plant in Ireland and made the same cabs in the States with different coin mechs and power supplies.  Talking out your backside again mr paigeoliver I see..   ::)

The simple cross of hands on the controls was used for US games in blighty as it was in the US.  Besides on 10% of people in the world are lefties.  Bet you didn't know that did you?
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Titchgamer

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Re: Ambidextrous Cab Design
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 03:08:21 am »
I think the thing you have to remember is in the 80's gaming was still very much in its infancy.

Devs were experimenting with everything and there was no real standards set.

Much like Paige I play pac man with my dominant hand (right) and other single handed games.
I also play precision games like Arkanoid with my right hand on the spinner.

But anything else I play with the stick in my left hand.

I think as gamers we have evolved to do that, pretty much all controllers (bar a few) have had directional control on the left action buttons on the right.

I think anything else these days would just feel weird tbh.

  
 

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