In recent years we've seen plenty of advances in gaming technology, touchscreen EVERYTHING, the movement-based Kinect, eye-controlled asteroids, the list could go on and on, and that's just the stuff in the public domain, who knows what's going on behind...
You can shove your PS3s and Xbox 360s; put yourself in front of a classic Galaxian arcade cabinet and watch as it devourers all the silver in your pockets with old-school gaming joy. Emulators like MAME may keep your piggybank...
UK company Bespoke Arcades has launched a range of customisable arcade standard joysticks remapped for home gaming. The EX Ultimate and EX Pro are made with genuine Sanwa/Seimitsu arcade controller parts for the absolute authentic coin-op feel, they're finished by hand in a slim wood casing and have high gloss acrylic surface too.
They're customisable because you can send over a print that Bespoke will lay down in vinyl on top of the joystick surface on your choice of either the black or white finish, and you can also choose whatever colour buttons you want too. You then either opt for the EX Pro - which is compatible with the PC and your choice of PS3, Xbox or Wii - or the EX Ultimate that works with anything you can throw at it.
Buy them direct for £219.99 at the most expensive and, actually, that's not too bad. You might think twice about bashing them up with Track 'n Field, though.
EX Custom Sticks
This cannot be real. Please let it not be real. Oh god... it is real. It appears that someone's created a ring that fits over an erect penis allowing you to move it in four directions to control an Atari 2600 like a joystick. An optional secondary ring lets you stroke the shaft to simulate button presses.
Thankfully it's not commercially on sale, but full instructions to make your own are provided on SF Medialabs' website, including a guide on how to remove the shaft from the original joystick and replace it with a tissue dispenser. Handy.
Instructions (via CrunchGear)
More on joysticks: New Street Fighter joysticks are better than a hundred-hand-slap to the face | Thrustmaster T.16000M joystick
You can divide the world into two groups of people - those who played Street Fighter in arcades, and those who just played it on the SNES (anyone who's never played it isn't actually a person). The former group, although small in number, will go nuts for this tournament-spec joypad, based on the original arcade cabinets. No 'cheating' with the XCM Dominator for them.
Those who fit into the second group, but are still excited about Street Fighter IV, might be more excited about the 'standard' edition joystick or joypad pictured over the fold, which has shoulder buttons and everything. All three are available from MadCatz "soon".
I've just had a quick look in the archives, and it's been a long time since we covered an actual joystick product, as opposed to some sort of joystick-related piece of art or hackery. For the few of you who still use a joystick, then (flight sim enthusiasts?), here's the Thrustmaster T.16000M.
It's got some brand new tech, called H.E.A.R.T., which pretends to stand for "Hall Effect AccuRate Technology". Some "Hall Effect" magnets sit on the stick, giving the sensors far more precision than most other joysticks. On each axis, there's over 16,000 different values. That's a little ridiculous, but might be worth buying if the person with the steadiest hands in the world is your Secret Santa next year, and is a big flight-sim enthusiast.
The T.16000M is ambidextrous, comes with 16 action buttons, and offers a wide hand rest and weighted base as additional features. It'll be available in February and cost £50. That seems fairly cheap. Maybe I should give it a shot.
For more CES-related goodness, check out our index post.
This one's probably beyond me and I've a feeling a small grope at the screen is about as close as I, and most of you, will get to this home made arcade joystick but frankly it's just nice that someone's out there still looking to game in the old school style...
Atari may be dead in all but name now, but there's still a lot of nostalgia around for the iconic gaming company. Take a look at this video from Boing Boing which shows the work of Jason Torchinsky. He's built...