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Author Topic: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]  (Read 525 times)

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negative1

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Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« on: October 05, 2020, 07:22:00 pm »
Atari Fightstick twin with trackball and USB
============================================

There are 3 versions of this:
----
Basic - Twin joystick with USB
Normal - Twin joystick/Trackball with USB
Expert - Twin joystick/Trackball with Raspberry Pi


I bought the normal version.

You can get them from Microcenter, or Amazon.
I got an open box one from Microcenter for $120.
Which is about $30 less than a new one.

I specifically wanted one with a Trackball to play
Atari games, and other ones that use it.

==================================================
Hardware background:

I have used arcade joysticks for every console I
have ever owned starting with the Sega Genesis.
Also owned a Sega Saturn arcade stick, which I still
use to this day. I have one for the Dreamcast also.

From then I moved to a custom Arcade Stick I bought
for the xbox 360, which used professional parts, and
buttons (It was an 8-way stick).

After that, I got a tekken fighstick for free, and
an X-arcade single player joystick (which was terrible
and never worked with the 360). After that I got a
Madcatz joystick which can be used with the xbox one.

To play a lot of retrogames, I also needed spinner
and trackball support. I have several USB compatible
spinners, and trackballs. However, I had to use a
Cronus Max pro which maps all the controllers to
different outputs, like XBOX 360, and XBOX one.

All the USB controllers map to mouse controls, on PC's,
tablets, and other devices (arcade 1up, etc).

==================================================

Use cases
==============================================================
I have never had a twin fightstick, but for several
years have seen pandora's boxes that come with games in them.

There was a twin fightstick with a trackball from x-arcade,
but after the bad experience with them and their support.
I would not recommend them.

In the last few years, there are tons of fight sticks out
from SNK, Capcom, and Atgames to name a few.

In fact, the Atari w/Rpi goes up against the Atgames
Legends gamer fightstick mostly:
https://www.atgames.net/arcades/legends-gamer-series/



comparison:
ATARI                        Atgames
===============================================
games built in               games built in
twin joystick 8-way          twin joystick 8 way
trackball (2.5inch)*         trackball*        *optional
HDMI                         HDMI (through puck)
16 buttons                   26 buttons
17.7 pounds                  8 pounds
-----
USB compatibility            N/A
Rpi, PC, Android,
PS3


There are other differences, as the ATgames is all wifi,
and wireless. And has a ton of software options.

Pricewise, this and expert Atari versions are the same.
But the Atgames has a ton more features including BYOG
for putting your own roms and emulators on there.

Atari is locked into 100 licensed Roms.

==============================================================

For my purposes, I only wanted a controller to use with dual
stick games, and trackball games.



Packaging, and quality
--------------------------------------------------------------
1 Simple box, Joystick unit with 2 foam inserts on left and
right. 1 USB cable (with 2 connectors).

1 instruction manual, with basically no useful information in it.

The box was well packed, and it was easy to remove the unit
and the parts from it.

---------------------------------

These are heavy duty wood, with t-molding around the edges.
The buttons are all arcade quality (not sure what kind),
and same with the 8 way joysticks. The trackball is a
serious heavy duty arcade quality, and is a 2.5 inch one
which is inbetween the 2 1/4inch of Centipede, and the
3 inch ones on Missile Command/Millipede.


Very professional and clean wiring:
---


There are 2 support struts to hold the top open, and you turn
a key in the lock to open it. Which makes it incredibly easy
to mod, or diagnose any issues.

The wiring is very clean, and there are 2 connectors going
to the controller board. I didn't alter or mess with any
of the wiring.

There is a yellow LED that lights up when power through USB is used.

The joysticks can be changed from being recognized as digital to analog
by doing this:
"The mode switch is not broken out to a physical button on the Fight Stick. You could change the mode by touching the

wire coming from P2 Pin 4 to ground (all of the black wires on the wiring harness are connected to ground) or

repurpose one of the buttons as a mode button by replacing the colored wire on the button with the wire coming from P2

Pin 4. "

There is a whole support forum at microcenter for them
to answer questions and issues for support for the joystick
through their retrogaming portal.

===================================

There are 2 USB connectors. 1 for the trackball (and a PS/2 adapter), and 1
for the joysticks/buttons.

Compatibility is across Windows 98 through Windows 10, and it shows up
as 2 controllers. (1 for each side). The trackball shows up as a mouse.

I don't have any android/ios/chrome/rpi to test it out on.


I have only had a chance to test out 2 cases, for several hours:
-------------------------------------------------------------
PC- MAME, several different versions, all recognized the sticks/buttons and trackball.
Response was very good, and no lag detected. Depending on the game, adjusted the
sensitivity for the trackball to make the games respond better.

Tried out centipede/millipede/missile command, and liberator, and all
performed great.

XBOX one, through cronus max pro. Joysticks work fine, and trackball also,
but definitely have to fine tune the response for the best gameplay.

I will be trying it out on xbox 360 also, and on several other PC's.

It's big and sturdy, and the texured panel has plenty of room for your
palms to rest. I'm not a huge fan of the artwork, it's too busy, and I
would have preferred just the Atari logo, but it doesn't affect anything anyways.


Final verdict
=========================================
Value - incredible bargain, instead of having to source parts, its worth $120-$150

Usefulness- worthy arcade replacement panel if you need a dual stick/trackball across several
platforms

Game library - i didn't buy the one that had 100 games, but if you like atari, you will love those
games. I have them on several platforms, but you can also play games from many other game companies

Expandability and Modding - this is perfect for modding, and its easy to add spinners and other
other controls to it, the wiring is neat, and simple, there isn't much or any lag, and there's
plenty of buttons to map


Overall 4.5/5 stars

TLDR;   short version
=================================================================
It is not clear how to set it up, the manual is terrible, and
unless you know what you are doing, you might get stuck trying
to figure out how to get things working.

Most stuff is plug and play, but depending on your console, and OS,
you could end up fiddling around for awhile.

Its easy to mod, so I will probably add a spinner to it also.

Very happy to get this compared to a lot of overpriced, and bloated
game sticks with games I don't want.

The quality is excellent, and it seems to be very durable.

I keep my joysticks for several years, and this one looks like it
low maintenance and durable, and will definitely enhance my gaming
experience.

Highly recommended.

later
-1

nexusmtz

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2020, 11:32:35 pm »
As your picture shows, there is a fourth model.
Dual, no PI - $120
Dual, PI - $150
Dual, Trackball, no PI - $150
Dual, Trackball, PI - $200

That last one seems like a ripoff, if the PI is identical in both PI models.

PonderosaPilatus

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2020, 12:32:53 pm »
Thanks for the review.  This is exactly what I was looking for.

ETA:  Would 2 of the USB versions connected to a PC work for 4 player games? 
« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 04:00:41 pm by PonderosaPilatus »

negative1

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2020, 04:38:28 am »
Thanks for the review.  This is exactly what I was looking for.

ETA:  Would 2 of the USB versions connected to a PC work for 4 player games?

They should work, but I haven't tested it, since I only play 1 player games.
(even though I have multiple joysticks)

later
-1

PonderosaPilatus

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2020, 09:58:17 pm »
Seems like it should work with 2.  Guess I'm going to have to try it out. 


FYI: Microcenter has these on sale right now for the non-pi versions.  $129 with trackball, $99 without

negative1

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2020, 11:29:49 am »
Seems like it should work with 2.  Guess I'm going to have to try it out. 


FYI: Microcenter has these on sale right now for the non-pi versions.  $129 with trackball, $99 without

Good luck, sounds like a good deal.
Mine also had several open box ones, but they are only about $10 cheaper.

later
-1

pbj

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2020, 04:02:48 pm »
These sure look suspiciously like Xarcades.....

This forum needs more threads about Arcade 1Up cabinets.

Vocalitus

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2020, 04:08:34 pm »
These sure look suspiciously like Xarcades.....

Well if Xgaming looked after their customers, their competition would be stiff.  Saying you have a lifetime warranty on a control panel and then finding out it is only for modern products recently purchased is not good.

I like the panel and the lock at the bottom is cool.  Would be nice if it was styled like the 2600.

negative1

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Re: Atari - Twin Joystick and Trackball with USB [REVIEW]
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2020, 04:23:48 am »
These sure look suspiciously like Xarcades.....

Well if Xgaming looked after their customers, their competition would be stiff.  Saying you have a lifetime warranty on a control panel and then finding out it is only for modern products recently purchased is not good.

I like the panel and the lock at the bottom is cool.  Would be nice if it was styled like the 2600.

i was banned from the x-arcade pages, from their tech support emails, and phone.

i paid for several cables to get their stupid joystick to work with the xbox 360.

IT NEVER WORKED.

i then returned the cables, and they wouldn't refund me, were very rude,

and lied constantly whenever i called to find out what happened.

hope they burn in a fire.

(no, i'm not biased) ha ha

later
-1