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6-button Controller Round-up


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@clockwise - Right, here goes...

The joypad arrived at 2pm UK time and by the time it gets to 7pm, it will be on its way back to Amazon.  This is not a reflection of how good / bad it is...

The pad is great, really responsive and synced with Windows 10 within seconds.  It worked with my standlone emulator (I do not use RetroArch on my laptop) and I could play NHL '94 and other titles (where more than three buttons are used) with no bother at all.  The pad feels a little flimsy but only compared, I suppose, to the slabs that are PS4 and Xbox controllers, which can take a massive beating.  If you have a Genesis Mini, the build quality is on par with one of the pads that comes with it.   In this sense, it is a solid 7/8 out of 10 pad in my view.

I cannot comment on the play time but charging it was easy enough (and quick). 

The main issue I had (and which caused me to start the return processis that I could not get the pad to work with RetroArch via my Genesis Mini.  I managed to get the pad and the console to sync via Hakchi and the Genesis seemed to recognise the pad when it booted it (with a Bluetooth adapter plugged in) but RetroArch it did not recognise any of the button inputs, just the D-pad, once booted.  I could not get to the RetroArch menu to try and configure the pad, as none of the buttons that would normally take me to the menu worked.  If I plugged in a wired controller, I could get to the menu (as you would expect) but it would still not let me configure the buttons for the Bluetooth controller.

Having had a look on the internet this afternoon (as I did not want to give up on it straight away!), I can see that other people have moaned about a similar issue and the paperwork that Retro-Bit provides is succinct to say the least.  I suppose that a more techy solution might be to use it with RetroArch on a PC to start with, create an autoconfig file and then copy that onto the Genesis Mini via the Hakchi console but, even then, I am not sure if that will work.  I had a similar problem with the 8BitDo 2.4Ghz wireless pad ages ago and, who knows, it might be better in Project Lunar-based systems.  The stupid thing is that a PS4 pad syncs immediately once set-up, but it is a pain having to undo and redo the syncing if I want to use a pad with the PS4 itself.

Given how much the pads cost (I bought two, in the hope that they would work out-of-the-box), I did not really have the appetite to starting buggering around in Hakchi and the like, especially as I can see online that some people have managed to get them working only to have to repeat what sounds like a rather laborious process fairly routinely.  My wired pads do the job for the time being and I will just have to see if anything suitable lands on my radar in the future.

(Apparently, the 2.4Ghz version, which also works with the original Genesis system, is meant to be pretty good.  It is the same build lool but I want to check if it works with with a RetroArch build...)

(Also, I should add that I did some research on the pad beforehand but info on whether it worked with a Genesis Mini was a bit scarce.  The 2.4GHz version at least includes a reference to it in its instruction manual, available online, where the Bluetooth one does not.  it was more of a punt on my part than anything else, as I wanted (if possible) the flexibility to use the Bluetooth device with other systems.)

Edited by LaTormenta
Additional paragraph at the end.
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Right, not sure this has been posted in this thread - didn't see it after a quick skim read, so apologies if its a repost...

My main NHL play nowadays is via PC emulator (Gens, keyboard) or via Retroarch on Android (touchscreen). Both control methods are adequate enough. I also own a fairly ropey ATGames Genesis repro console, and have modded it to an extreme to fix its many issues with sound, emulation quality, SD card compatibility, firmware... In my defense, it was bought as a toy for my kids, and as an excuse to get them to play some NHL with me - lol. It comes with some decent controllers - 6 button genesis style, 2.4gHz wireless. They aren't the real thing (what with buttons for menu and rewind, but are a decent copy, even if they are a bit light, with lower quality plastics, especially on the d-pad. My question is this: would anyone know how feasible it would be to get these to talk to a PC emulator, or to Retroarch? I know they are not Bluetooth, which complicates things somewhat, and possibly also specific to the ATGames unit (maybe a dongle mounted inside the unit?), but I am nothing if not curious - as I already own them, I might as well see if I can take advantage of them. Any ideas?

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@MonkeyHead - You can buy 2.4ghz wireless adapters for the PC that might do the trick, which work like Bluetooth dongles.  The main issue is, as you mention, likely to be whether there is some sort of proprietary issue that means that you need an ATGames-specific adapter to use the controllers with anything other than at ATGames console.  This is an issue for certain retro pads generally, where the manufacturers really rinse consumers by having proprietary dongles and the like. 

A quick look on Google suggests that there is little cross-compatibility between receivers and controllers but who knows if that applies to everything.  You could always ask ATGames directly and see if they have a stock response - info@atgames.net (for console queries). 

Otherwise, you might have to take a punt on a cheap 2.4ghz dongle from Amazon and see if you can get it to talk to the controller.  If it works, setting it up in RetroArch and/or Gens will be easy enough as the system will already recognise the pad.  If not, you should be able to send it back. 

Alternatively (and this is a bit more expensive, granted), the controller I have commented upon above is good value for money for use with a PC, as the PC should already have a Bluetooth receiver built-in.

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I thought as much. Might be worth a punt, seeing as cheap dongles are less than £5. I shall also bung an email to ATGames, but dont hold out much hope - I can't see anything resembling a standard 2.4gHz receiver inside the casing, but can see what I suspect is some kind of reciever...

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  • 3 years later...

..came back to look and see if I had reviewed the 8bitdo M30 (I had) as well as to update a couple things.

I purchased a Retro-bit 8-button arcade pad, which looks/feels like a standard 6-button sega controller but comes with two shoulder buttons. Played great for a time, but then the d-pad snapped. Retro-bit did send me the parts to fix it - but shortly thereafter it started to breakdown in other ways. 

The M30 2.4 also stopped being recognized by Windows. The weirdest thing, and best I could tell it has something to do with the USB charging cable and/or something on the PCB.

I bought another M30 recently - opting this time for the bluetooth model. I tore the other one apart and realized that the rubber pads inside were identical to the sega originals.

Long story long - 8bitdo must make replacement pads, so had a look on their site. They are not listed specifically, but they do sell conductive pads for their SNES controller. Found something even better IMO...

8bitdo sells mod kits for your original SEGA/SATURN/NES/SNES/PS1 controllers (apparently since 2019) that will make them rechargeable bluetooth controllers. Not only that, but because they will require USB charging - they can also function as USB controllers. For $25 it seems like a pretty small investment.







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