CoN 20th Anniversary: 1997-2017
New Sega Stuff

Posted: 26th March 2019 02:56

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So something that is somewhat exciting to me is that Sega and Retrobit teamed up together to make new official Sega accessories. Retrobit announced the partnership a couple of years ago, and it involved things like U.S.B. controllers, Bluetooth Controllers and even accessories for their original systems, which did not only include controllers but also video hookups. The Dreamcast V.G.A. box is of special interest in the modern day and age, since it can give access to a 480p output for use on computer monitors.

I haveve been waiting to see what would happen to this for what seems like forever, but it looks like something is finally coming out of it. The first wave of products is planned to be released on April 15th, which includes:

If you are going to order them, keep in mind that those are U.S. Amacon affiliate links and hence should be preferred when all other factors are equal. A few of them look like they're unavailable for preorder, so you might want to try another vendor like Castlemania Games for instance.

Out of the U.S.B. controllers, I would suggest getting the Genesis style ones. Retrobit added shoulder buttons to these, which was the main advantage of the Sega Saturn controller in the first place and more importantly they decided to add a mode button. On the original console, the mode button was meant to be used to make the controller act like a 3 button controller for compatibility reasons, or but also acted as a select button substitute in some games.

What does the mode button do on the U.S.B. controller? It toggles between x-input and direct-input. Some games, most notably including Sonic Mania, require that you use x-input. It is a shame that the Saturn controllers do not have this, because otherwise they'd probably be the better of the two, since those were designed actually designed to have shoulder buttons, but I am glad to see that something in this marketplace finally has the ability to use both standards. I have been using the Hori Fighting Commander PS4-044 for this, and I love it, but it's hard for me to recommend a $40 controller, even if it is excellent.

Also, the Transluscent grey Sega Saturn controllers were made for the original console in Japan, and they were known as Cool Pads. They were somewhat like a collector's item.

The genesis controllers have the potential to be the best product in this marketplace of olden style U.S.B. controllers, but I am only somewhat excited. Why? Well, there is one major problem here, and a bit of a warning I have to share about the products. I lack faith in both companies to actually make a good product. My experience with the Retrobit Generations wasn't exactly the best. They obviously didn't put it through quality control, since the 16 bit games had problems with speedup and slowdown, and the included controllers had some pretty bad directional pads on the included buttons of the Sega Genesis inspired controllers. It felt way too high compared to what I remember. I had trouble getting their generic V.G.A. box to work too, but that problem has since then resolved itself.

Now maybe Sega could whip Retrobit into shape, but Sega also seems to have forgot how to make a directional pad since they stopped making consoles. I own both Playsega and Sega limited Service controllers and the directional pads on those feel bendy, in comparison to original HSS-0101 and MK-80116 controllers, and they don't seem like they were quite as large as 1990s sega directional pads. Not only that, but I had an S.L.S. controller d-pad snap right off after dropping something heavy on it. It was certainly my fault, but still, that is not something I would have expected from an original controller. Making things even worse is that Sega's partnership with atgames kind of suggests the company has apathy towards the quality of the final product, so long as they get their trademark licensing fee.

I am hoping this will be a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Since Retrobit has been in the manufacturing business pretty much ever since Sega dropped out of it, and Sega has the knowhow. The potential for the sum to be greater than its parts is there, and I know Capcom did wonders for Madcatz. Madcatz was infamous for its chintzy controllers during the Gamecube era, but now they make some rather fine arcade sticks with high grade parts in them.

Anyway, I know most of us prefer the SNS-005 controller for the super Nintendo, but I'd think the MK-1653 Six Button Control pad would probably be the next best thing for 16 bit games, and none of the Super Nintendo replicas support x-input which can be a bit of a disappointment. Well, the 8bitdo SN30 Pro does, but that is not an exact replica of the original. It's a little larger and has thumbsticks. It's also much more expensive. Something worth noting is that the six button genesis controller is probably the perfect game for the Sega Genesis & Megadrive collection on steam, or the various arcade style games which haven't evolved to require many more buttons or inputs over the years, e.g. Street Fighter.

But what do you guys think about it? Is this something that would interest you, or is it something to have doubts about? Do you think it's cool that new things are being made for old consoles, or do you think this is stuff that Sega should have been left in the past? Also, perhaps more importantly, do you folk have faith or doubt in Sega and/or Retrobit to make these as good as they should be?

This post has been edited by Tonepoet on 26th March 2019 03:36

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Posted: 26th March 2019 16:17

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I've never once owned a Sega console, unless you count the Dreamcast I found in a freebie box - I have had it probably five years and I have no idea if it works because it didn't have a power cable. Anyway, because of that, I don't have any particular attachment to Sega's controllers and I don't see me being too interested in any of these for any number of reasons. They do look pretty legit, though, at least.

I will say, though, thank you for AmaCoNing those links! biggrin.gif

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Posted: 27th March 2019 15:39

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Ooh, a USB gamepad in a classic style for just $20. No analog sticks though, which was my main reason for getting one.

I guess I do need to check to make sure the other stuff I had been looking at supports both directinput and xinput (a distinction that has basically meant nothing to me until now because I haven't looked at gamepads), but I guess you've already mentioned the SN30 Pro, which was the one thing I was considering.

It's still a little weird seeing USB gamepads being made by old console manufacturers but I guess it also makes sense.

This post has been edited by Glenn Magus Harvey on 27th March 2019 15:39

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Posted: 31st March 2019 00:09

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That makes sense Rangers51. Most people either had a Sega Genesis or a Super Nintendo, and by the time both would have been affordable most people moved onto the 32 bit consoles, and most probably the Playstation, and especially so if you were a Final Fantasy fan. I can't say you missed out on much in retrospect, but the reasons why could probably constitute a topic all their own. Sega does sell many of the more notable Genesis games in various compilations though, including the Sega Genesis/Megadrive Classics Collection on Steam, though I'd suppose one of the console compilations would probably be a better deal, since it's $25 for the whole lot of games. in physical format. Just remember that the Switch version omitted the Wonderboy games, which are some of the better games in the collection that weren't in earlier compilations

As for the cord, well the Dreamcast has its P.S.U. built inside of it, so all you plug into the console is basically just a wire with the right insulation and connectors. You just need a standard NEMA 1-15P to IEC-320-C7 cord, and you might be able to test out the console using one you may already have plugged into a printer, radio or flat panel televsion you can use for testing before you buy a new one.

If it does not work, consider selling it on ebay for parts or not working: Somebody else might be able to salvage it. which is important because the stock of original consoles is limited. Also, if it does work, expect the clock battery to be dead, which will be a pain since the console will ask you the time every time it boots up until it's replaced. Also consider that old copies of N.A. region games have gotten significantly more expensive recently for some reason. (I wish I could read Japanese sometimes.)

Also, Glenn, Retrobit does have some controllers with thumbsticks planned later down the line but I'm not sure when they will be released or even if they really will be. However, something to keep in mind here is price. Often you can buy two cheaper controllers for the price of one more expensive one, and it doesn't matter as much if one only supports x-input if the other one supports direct-input.

There are some other pieces of hardware I'd like to mention, and some of them are Sega related but they are not first party/licensed and they are not exactly Sega exclusive so I'm thinking perhaps it'd be better to split off into different threads for that. I'm not sure really.

This post has been edited by Tonepoet on 31st March 2019 00:11

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Posted: 2nd April 2019 21:22

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Quote
Also, Glenn, Retrobit does have some controllers with thumbsticks planned later down the line but I'm not sure when they will be released or even if they really will be. However, something to keep in mind here is price. Often you can buy two cheaper controllers for the price of one more expensive one, and it doesn't matter as much if one only supports x-input if the other one supports direct-input.
Neat, though I guess it'd only apply if I happen to buy two cheaper gamepads from Retrobit compared to one from 8BitDo, and besides 8BitDo has the design I personally prefer (SNES-style).

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Posted: 4th April 2019 19:48

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Quote (Tonepoet @ 30th March 2019 18:09)
If it does not work, consider selling it on ebay for parts or not working: Somebody else might be able to salvage it. which is important because the stock of original consoles is limited.

Thanks for the tips. I might well consider selling it, but if so I'd likely keep the case for myself to possibly retrofit my Raspberry Pi into. smile.gif

Just another one of my many projects that I never get around to doing.

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Posted: 29th April 2019 02:33

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I heard nothing but good things about the controllers so I ordered the translucent Saturn USB one since my current 2D controller is breaking and the dpad on it isn't really that great anyway.

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It is a shame that the Saturn controllers do not have this
According to Retrobit's website, you can toggle input modes by holding start for 5 seconds. I still wish they included a select button of some sort but I guess they wanted to be as close to the original as possible.

Supposedly there are bluetooth versions coming later this year with select buttons and analog sticks.

I hope the controller lives up to the hype since it would be nice to have a good 2D controller I can take along with me unlike my arcade stick which is too big to carry around (and too expensive to recommend to most people unlike these tongue.gif )
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