Get the full retro experience from classic control boxes.
Tired of playing classic arcade games under MAME using only your keyboard or a tiny game pad? Want a controller that mimics the original arcade experience—but don’t want to shell out the cash and living-room space required for a six-foot-tall arcade cabinet [Hack #30] ? If this sounds like you, what you need is a standalone MAME controller that hooks up to your PC. This hack will explore how to buy prefabricated controllers as well as a few tips on how to create, then build, your own custom design.
By far the easiest option (at least for those of us not particularly technically inclined) is to buy one of the pre-made MAME controllers offered by a few different manufacturers. Although they may look virtually identical, you’ll want to know some details about the devices before you decide which one to purchase.
A manufacturer called HanaHo Games offers this joystick (http://www.hanaho.com/products/HotRodJoystick/). The large casing features two full sets of real arcade-style eight-way joysticks and buttons. Each side features eight buttons: a start button up above, six arranged in the standard two-by-three style used by most Street Fighter type fighting games, as well as an extra button on the lower left, which allows you to play the four-button Neo Geo games by using the bottom row only. Two buttons on the sides of the unit function as flipper controls ...