Convert me!! - The Converters' Thread

Discussion in 'Console' started by Mirkan, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    I guess this could've been posted in the arcade stick thread, but it's not entirely stick related actually. People interested in using their sticks on other systems than it was designed for should look this way though!

    Let's begin..

    Ever since I first bought the old Agetec stick for Dreamcast, I've wished that I would be able to use that same stick on other platforms aswell. Adjusting to different sticks just struck me as too much a hassle.
    To my great delight, converters designed for this task were indeed available, but the world of these obscure unofficial devices was big, dark, and strangely intimidating.

    Now, it needn't be. There are some really good converters and some really not so good, and my hopes is that this thread will shed some light on the matter, aiding you in your quest to find that special converter that suits... you!

    Sadly I have only had the pleasure of testing one converter, and I hope you whom have tested others can post your impressions about which controllers that work and with which games.

    I have tested the:

    Dream Connection 4-in-1 for Dreamcast
    Manufacturer: Skillz
    Price: 12.90 USD

    All in all, this is a great converter that lets you use PSX and Saturn controllers aswell as ps/2 pc keyboards. This converter also comes with a VMU slot, something that is strangely missing from many of the alternatives.. But you can read all that in product infos anywhere so let's move on to the controllers and games.

    First off:

    Namco PSX Arcade Stick (yellow buttons, grey base)

    The most important thing to know about just about every controller when using a converter is how it aligns the buttons. As we all know, the DC uses only 6 buttons whereas the PSX has eight.. So, where do all those nifty buttons go, you ask.. Good question!

    Well, the actual layout of the PSX stick is rather f#%#%ing stupid if I may say so. For reasons unknown they've decided to put R1 and R2 among the six buttons that you actually use, and moved L1 and L2 up to the right in the form of two, small buttons.
    The converter however tries to align the Dreamcast's R and L to R1 and L1. Now, this causes quite some trouble with mainly 6 button games like Capcom's, as the L button ends up with the two small buttons. There's a way around this however, so don't worry. (needs some engineering though) *

    Anyway, here's a chart:

    Stick - DC button

    Cross - <font color="red"> A </font color>
    Square - <font color="yellow"> X </font color>
    Triangle - <font color="green"> Y </font color>
    Square - <font color="blue"> B </font color>
    R1 - <font color="#666666"> R </font color>
    L1 - <font color="#666666"> L </font color>
    R2 - None
    L2 - None

    - Virtua Fighter 3tb -

    This works perfectly! You'll need to fiddle a bit with the controller settings as, like I said before, the game thinks you're using a gamepad and aligns R and L to R1 and L1, L1 being one of the small buttons up to the right on the base.
    Just set Evade to R and you're good to go.

    - Street Fighter III: 3:rd Strike -

    This is where the problem that I explained before sets in. The game needs all six buttons and thus I will not give a verdict on this game until I've performed the mod explained below. Initial impressions is that it works perfectly save for that nagging button problem.

    - Fighting Vipers 2 -

    Works perfectly, no controller settings has to be changed!


    * The mod basically consists in opening the stick up and switching the wires so that R1 and L1 ends up with the other six buttons. This shouldn't cause a problem in PSX and PS2 games on respective platform, where the stick is fully customizable, but it should effectivly fix the problem we're having on our precious Dreamcasts! Huzzah!
    Further instructions and experiences with this as I get to it.

    That's it for now! Soon I'll recieve a Virtua Stick for the Saturn, and when I do I'll be sure to add my impressions here. I have a feeling that the Saturn stick will work better, given that the button alignment should be correct from the get go.

    Note: Please do report any errors in this text! Even though I've tested it all I may still be mistaken in some area.
  2. Hixopixo

    Hixopixo New Member

    "stick å brinn"
    HOHOHOHOHAHAHAHAHAHÖHÖHÖHÖHÖHÖ /versus/images/icons/wink.gif
  3. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    I tried in vain to mod my Namco Arcade Stick, but I'd say it's not worth the pain. The buttons are mounted directly onto the board in the stick, so it's an awful lot of work to rewire them. My advice is; don't bother.

    I can't say whether or not other PSX/PS2 sticks are wired the same way, so I'd be glad if someone could tell me. However, if they are, then you can kiss 6 button games on DC goodbye.. Unless you get a DC stick of course.

    Still holding out for that Virtua Stick, should be around sometime next week.

    Note: The above chart contains a small error. <font color="blue"> B </font color> is in fact aligned to Circle on the PSX stick, my mistake.
  4. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    BTW, which Virtua Stick will you be reviewing?

    I know of at least two Saturn Virtua Sticks.

    1) Virtua Stick -- Microswitches aren't very clicky, stick is fairly big, and L and R buttons are shaped differently than other buttons.

    2) Virtua Stick Pro - I haven't used this, but plan on buying one sooner or later. Anyways, it looks like it's your usual clicky microswitch stick and buttons similar to the Agetec. L is positioned so that you can play VF with L, A, B it seems. L & R buttons are the same type of buttons as the other main buttons.

  5. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    It is indeed the old style Virtua Stick I will be reviewing, the one with differently shaped L and R buttons.

    It's quite inconvenient really, that this adapter doesn't detect whether a Dual Shock 2 is being used or not. It just assumes that it is and you're stuck with the settings that it has chosen. (Unless you're using a steering wheel that is)

    At least with the Saturn controllers, it maps L and R as C and Z aswell, so there you have some freedom in the way of customization. But with the Playstation devices, it's a no no.

    I'm already doing some research on the Tekken 4 stick to see how the buttons are mapped, but since I don't own one it's gonna take a while. If anyone does have one, please reply in this thread and report how the PSX buttons are mapped on that stick. (Circle, Square, Triangle, etc) If it's mapped as stupid as the PSX Namco one, it's really looking quite dark for DC Capcom games with PSX sticks. At least with this converter.

    The Saturn Virtua Stick is still on for tomorrow or maybe the day after.
  6. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    And at last, after numerous delays, my Virtua Stick has arrived.

    I was rather surprised when I noticed how quiet this stick is when you move it around. This may come across as no big deal, but makes a huge difference if you're used to relying on the clicking sound for inputs. So, unless you're comfortable with your stick not 'clicking' as it registers, you should pass up on this one. I, having paid a good amount of money, and overall really loving the look of this stick, gave it a second chance. /versus/images/icons/tongue.gif

    Onto the actual test...

    It works like a charm! All six buttons are correctly placed with Z and C acting as L and R respectively, with the A,B,X and Y buttons representing the exact same buttons on your Dreamcast. This is awesome news if you want to play capcom fighters such as Street Fighter, that uses all six buttons.
    I must say that this came as a big relief after the complete fiasco that was the Namco stick's button placement, and now I can enjoy all my DC fighters thoroughly. As this stick has 8 buttons (yeah, the Saturn had, you know /versus/images/icons/grin.gif) it also maps L and R to, can you believe it, L and R. Now that's what I call logical button placement!

    The usual and ever returning chart:

    A - <font color="red"> A </font color>
    B - <font color="blue"> B </font color>
    C - <font color="#666666"> R </font color>
    X - <font color="yellow"> X </font color>
    Y - <font color="green"> Y </font color>
    Z - <font color="#666666"> L </font color>
    L - <font color="#666666"> L </font color>
    R - <font color="#666666"> R </font color>

    Still, this doesn't change the fact that you still can't use the same stick for all of your DC fighters and your PSX/PS2 fighters, which, by all means, is a shame. Not of the ones I've tested anyway. But, if you like the Virtua Stick and would like to use it for your dreamcast, there is no problem whatsoever! /versus/images/icons/smile.gif

    note: I would review all games separatly if it wasn't for the fact that the button mapping on the Virtua Stick is completely flawless. There really is nothing to complain about, providing you can live with the stick not clicking.

    Thumbs up for Dream Connection 4-in-1 and the Virtua Stick!

    Also, if you have any questions whatsoever regarding the converters and/or sticks I've 'reviewed', feel free to PM me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
  7. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    Xbox converters - now they're getting somewhere...

    Rejoice fellow converter people! Xbox multi-peripheral action is coming our way with the aid of the Magic Box!

    You bet I'll be all over this when it comes out..!


    As you can see, Magic Box allows for use of Dreamcast, Saturn and PS2 controllers on Xbox. Whether PSX-peripherals will be compatible or not is unknown, but personally, I don't see why it shouldn't be. Let's just hope this converter gives you more options to customize the button mapping.

    Either way, this is good news, although not really surprising, it was bound to happen sooner or later. However, the real surprise is that it supports Saturn controllers, which strikes as a bit odd but is great news nevertheless! /versus/images/icons/grin.gif

    Magic Box will retail for about 24.99USD, which is a steal if you consider the flexibility of controller choices this offers.

    You hear this, Sega? Bring us Xbox Evo already! /versus/images/icons/grin.gif
  8. Mirkan

    Mirkan Well-Known Member

    VIRTUA STICK + SF3 = no use


    Simply put: arse!

    The single bloody 2D fighter I play for DC just won't work with the f%¤#ing converter..!!

    Okay Mirk, calm down.. breathe slowly..

    This is the problem; Street Fighter 3: Third Strike (and all of the other SF3's presumably) forces the button number down to six, regardless of how many buttons you have on your stick. So basically, even with the Saturn stick which I reviewed earlier and gave a perfect verdict, the bloody game still doesn't get the button formation right.

    Let me stress that only SF3 has had this problem so far, and most games lets the converter map L and R to Z and C also.. which results in a correct formation. Not so with SF3.

    This is a huge disappointment to me, as I really was beginning to like the Virtua Stick alot. As it stands, there is no way to play Street Fighter 3 with any other stick than the ones made for the Dreamcast specifically.

    Oh the irony.. I started this thread and this whole converter investigation to be able to find a way to play with the same stick with all of my favorite games.. How mistaken I was..! Now I play SF2/SS3 with the Virtua Stick, VF4/VF3/FV2 with the Namco and SF3 with the agetec. (which in my case is utterly abominable.. like jamming a small wooden stick between two mattrasses and jerking it around...)

    Were I just a bit weaker, I would've lost faith in converters by now, but nay, I shall achieve my goal... some day... I hope..!

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