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Cheap, Rugged, Multiplayer Gamepads for Linux

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the thumb-callus dept.

PC Games (Games) 184

IceAgeComing writes "Anyone interested in exploring multiplayer games under Linux should know: you can now pick up a four-way gamepad hub, with four gamepads, for under $15. It is known as the Gravis Multiport, and now it is supported under Linux. The link describes patches for Linux 2.4, but the drivers are now included in Linux 2.6. This input system used to cost more than $100, but it has been abandoned by Gravis since Windows 98. Now it's possible to pick them up extra cheap. Four-player Gauntlet under XMAME, anyone?"

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wow (4, Interesting)

emkman (467368) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772292)

that actually sounds better than those [console]-to-usb adapters, especially for the price.

Re:wow (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772543)

yeah, wow. FUCKING WOW.

ATTENTION SLASHDOT EDITORS (4, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772589)

I also have a product that I wish to advertise on your website. What are the rates for a story like this one?

Thanks in advance.

Re:wow (1)

saden1 (581102) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772993)

I purchased a Logitech pad a month ago and boy does it suck. The up arrow doesn't work sometimes and the thumb stick won't respond when you press left. I'm never buy a Logitech gamepad that is for sure!

Great! (4, Insightful)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772293)

Now I can play Microsoft flight simulator...oh wait.
Does anyone out there know of any Linux games that require a joy stick? I'm a keyboard/mouse junkie myself...

Re:Great! (0)

gredman (665454) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772328)

Console emulation.

Re:Great! (5, Informative)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772363)

It sounds like it's aimed at retro-gamers. (I play SNES and Genesis games on my machine, and joypads are the only way to go)

Retro Hardware for Retro Gamers! (2, Flamebait)

L0C0loco (320848) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772660)

I normally just bite my tongue, but this is a big story because ...

"This input system used to cost more than $100, but it has been abandoned by Gravis since Windows 98."

everyone gets excited that linux finally has support for some ancient piece of hardware? Wake me up when most vendors support their latest video,raid,direct-to-disk-DVD+-RW,... by providing linux drivers & utilities.

Re:Retro Hardware for Retro Gamers! (4, Informative)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772927)

Did you even RTFA? This "ancient piece of hardware" is obviously quite useful, and the reason it's so cheap? WINDOWS XP DOESNT SUPPORT IT! So linux actually has better device support in this case, as in many others.

And btw, afaik all modern video cards (ie: radeon and nvidia) are very well supported in linux, and DVD+-RW drives should work flawlessly as well. I've heard RAID does too, but have never used it myself.

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772366)

I don't think that there are any games that "require" a joystick as much as it is a nicer way of using the software.
Example: Terminus (space sim type game, Linux, Mac, Windows one purchase), a joystick (analog) makes the game much more enjoyable.

The multi-controllers would be nice for the stuff like mame in say a dedicated cabinet, no worries about using the keyboard and having too many keys pressed down.

Re:Great! (2, Interesting)

bafu (580052) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772913)

Terminus (space sim type game, Linux, Mac, Windows one purchase), a joystick (analog) makes the game much more enjoyable.

That's for sure! Of course, I discovered that after I'd played the campaign through. Using the arrow keys to target something moving in 3 dimensions was a challenge... but not a very interesting one. :-P

Re:Great! (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772462)

it's quite hard for 4 players to use the same keyboard and mouse.

--

Re:Great! (2, Funny)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773078)

it's quite hard for 4 players to use the same keyboard and mouse.

Oh come now - I've heard of a few offices playing that 'extreme programming' game with only one set of controls.

gaming on linux: (5, Funny)

nil5 (538942) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772297)

with perhaps the exception of xmame, gaming on linux is almost as fun as,well, typing in an xterm while picking one's nose.

Re:gaming on linux: (2, Informative)

irokitt (663593) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772304)

I always thought that Quake was juxt as good on Linux as on the PC.

Re:gaming on linux: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772456)

and how fucking old is quake? jesus christ get with some call of duty, medal of honor, bf1942, ut2k3..

Re:gaming on linux: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772861)

more like a suggestion to step out of the 90's stupid mods... playing old games on a crappy os is not my idea of gaming.. but to each nerd their own...

Can't Wait (2, Funny)

bottlerocket (605232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772479)

Yeah, I can't wait until we can emulate Linux on PC's. Then we'll be able to play Quake!

Re:gaming on linux: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772445)

you wouldn't be saying that if you'd ever picked your nose.

Re:gaming on linux: (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772514)

Well there are also the Genesis Emulators, SNES Emulators and um more emulators. Of course not sure if there have been any major game releases apart from things like Quake3. Ever since Loki went under its been a bit quiet

Rus

Re:gaming on linux: (1)

Urkki (668283) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772618)

What you mean "almost as fun"? It doesn't get any more fun than ADOM or Nethack or your favourite MUD in an xterm, especially if you pick your nose while playing.

Re:gaming on linux: (4, Informative)

ciryon (218518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772639)

Not true. I've had many hours of gameplay on linux. First off, many windows games work very well with Wine [winehq.org] or Transgaming [transgaming.com] .

I've also played a lot of old nintendo games. I hooked up my box to the TV (using a nvidia card with TV-out) and then I inserted two Gravis Gamepads which only need one gameport. Kernel modules worked just fine, and this was some years ago. Grab the latest SNES9X [lysator.liu.se] -emulator and start gaming!

Re:gaming on linux: (1)

Tom (822) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772654)

Weird, you must be living in a timeloop.

I have a nice library of Linux games right here. In fact, I own more Linux games than I can play and some still sit here with that "gonna play that more once I come around to it again" invisible sticker.

Of course, if you go to school or are unemployed or otherwise have 16 hours a day to kill on gaming. Then... uh, wait. You could go and play A Tale in the Desert, that easily takes care of that (been there, done that).

Re:gaming on linux: (2, Funny)

MadChicken (36468) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772720)

/me jumps, nervously looks around, and covers up the webcam...

Not quite. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772300)

Actually, I find the d-pads on these things horrendous, especially after a month or so of use.

Your better bet by far would be to get several Dual-Shocks (PS1 version would be fine) and some -$10 USB adapters from Radio Shack. I did, and it works great.

Re:Not quite. (1)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772393)

I agree. Every pad that Gravis has ever made is absolute garbage. Aside from a handful of Saiteks and my trusty Thrustmaster Firestorm, I've found that the only acceptable controller is a good old Playstation controller with PSX->USB adapters, especially for PSX/SNES/Genesis emulation.

Re:Not quite. (1)

ottawanker (597020) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772415)

I have a Gravis Gamepad that looks just like a normal Playstation Controller (Not the dual-shock). I paid $19.99 Canadian for it, and it came bundled with 2 Disney games (IE, Christmas presents for relatives). It seems to work just as well as a real Playstation controller.

But, if you already have Playstation controllers lying around, I can see how the adapters would be economical. My only question is, do they support Vibration/Force Feedback?

Re:Not quite. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772426)

Yes,they do, if they're dual-shock. Most of the USB Adapters convert this just fine.

Recent gravis pads are better, but the D-Pad is still light years behind what's available on console controllers - they've copied the form, but the execution just isn't there. It's not just them; Logitech is just as bad.

Re:Not quite. (1)

Genom (3868) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772778)

i>But, if you already have Playstation controllers lying around, I can see how the adapters would be economical. My only question is, do they support Vibration/Force Feedback?

With the right drivers, yes. Under Windows, the support is a bit buggy with certain games (FFXI for one), but *does* work. Haven't found anything under linux that supports it yet...then again, I haven't been looking all that hard. I'm sure someone will elaborate.

Re:Not quite. (1)

AntiOrganic (650691) | more than 10 years ago | (#7773053)

My only question is, do they support Vibration/Force Feedback?

Yes, but there's very little that actually takes advantage of it aside from emulated Playstation or Nintendo 64 games.

Re:Not quite. (5, Informative)

zumbojo (615389) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772442)

XBox controllers are much easier to connect to computer hardware; they are USB controllers in disguise (read: "with proprietary connectors"). My friend simply bought a USB cable for two dollars and wired it inline on one of his XBox controller cables. Now he can use that controller on his PC (he uses it often to play NES emulators at work) and if he so wishes, plug USB devices into his hacked XBox. When he wants to fire up Halo, all he does is reconnect the controller.

Side note: The XBox proprietary connector is actually 5-pin (+, -, data, ground and "strobe") though with the fifth (strobe) wire disconnected the controller works just fine. Maybe it is for some as yet unreleased peripheral, but the controllers sure as hell don't use it.

Re:Not quite. (2, Funny)

luekj (692478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772721)

Prolly some exctravagant feature to make the xbox logo on te controller glow when the cd access/rumble things happened.

Would've been fun to laugh at....*sigh*

Re:Not quite. (2, Informative)

Samedi1971 (194079) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772726)

The strobe line is for light guns.

Drivers (3, Informative)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772755)

I like to use the USB cable that comes with a usb memory disk to do this mod. The cables are expensive when purchased on their own but they are virtually free with most flashram drives. HAve a look around you (not the parent) probably have one or two lying around.

Assembling the cable is childs play, all thats required is chopping the female plug off one end of an usb extension cable and wiring it up colour matching colour with the cable on an xbox controller.

To get it working on a PC Windows drivers are needed which can be found at:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/xboxhid/
or
http://grooveyardfunk.com/projects/xid/
or
http ://members.cox.net/lazerman/downloads.html

The drivers are made by different people so find the one that works best for you. some are picky about the version of windows. I do not know if there are Linux drivers.

I always thought the inline release on the xbox controller a marketing gimmick but it comes in quite useful when you do this mod because if you have another unmodified xbox controller cable you can still use the xbox controller on the xbox just by plugging the unmodified cable into where the inline release is.

Advantage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772310)

But that would involve prying three friends from their own computers and convincing them to come to your house to play a game when it's more convenient for them to stay in their own homes and play over the internet... Or if you're partial to the whole "physical presence" thing, have a lan and don't worry about the annoying 4-way split-screen...

Re:Advantage? (1)

wilper (103281) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772572)

That has happened...

I built myself a 4-joystick adapter for my amiga and then I brought some friends over for beer and retrogaming.

Ummm, where the fuck to buy em? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772311)

Every piece of info except where to get the stupid things at that price? Helllo? McFly?

Re:Ummm, where the fuck to buy em? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772364)

These are second-hand controllers. The place to buy them is called ebay.

Gamepads, and computer gaming (4, Insightful)

Geeyzus (99967) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772325)

Is it me, or does nobody use gamepads for computer games anymore?

Sports titles, racing titles, action titles fill the catalog of PS2 and XBox. Adventure and party-style titles grace the inside of a GameCube. These are suited to the gamepad.

But on the computer, what are the usual games? FPSes, RTSes, first person adventure/role-playing games, games that use the mouse to its fullest (The Sims). The sports titles exist... but I don't believe they are best sellers.

Why? Gamers simply don't play those kinds of games, gamepad games, on computers. Yes I'm sure that SOME do. Most do not. And it's for a reason, computers lend themselves to keyboard-and-mouse games quite nicely, and consoles lend themselves to gamepad style games.

So to me, this is no big deal. I love computer games, but I can't think of one computer game I have played in the last 5 years that I would have liked to play with a gamepad. And I love my PS2 also.

Also... Gauntlet on XMAME? 4 people crowded around your computer desk... I can imagine the comfort level there. 3 people probably can't see the screen well enough, and even if they can, the crowded space will make this interesting for about 20 minutes of gameplay... a novelty.

Nothing against the poster, but use the medium for what it is best at... one player and online multiplayer games, and leave the gamepad games to the consoles...

Mark

Here's a starter list. (5, Informative)

Blaede (266638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772342)

Tomb Raider series
Thief
Max Payne
Prince of Persia
007: Nightfire

Keyboards are hell with these type of games.

Re:Here's a starter list. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772361)

Most of those play much better with keyboard and mouse than with a joypad.

PoP:SoT even comes with a joypad, and it's still much more playable with keyboard and mouse.

Are you insane? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772423)

When I first tried Tomb Raider on keyboard, it was like "ARGGGG, this is useless". Let's compare technique with this game.

To move using a keyboard, I'd have to utilise 3 fingers, a joypad only required my thumb. This left my other thumb for actions on the pad. The keyboard would require a thumb too. Now for stuff like creep, sidestep, special actions, these were mappable to the 4 shoulder buttons on the pad, and I could use 4 fingers for each button. The keypad neccesitated me to do some fancy perpheral vision looking to make sure I hit those keys.

Then there's the case of ease. With the keyboard I'd have to give quick looks to make sure I didn't hit the wrong key. Plus my wrists were at awkward positions. With a gamepad, I never had to look at it, my eyes could remain on the screen 100%. Every button was immediately accesible and I knew what it was by pure feel. Both of my hands were my eyes, in essence.

There's no contest between a pad and keyboard for this game. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying, or just trying to start shit.

Re:Are you insane? (5, Insightful)

keroppi (160187) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772467)

Your arguments for the advantages of a game pad over a keyboard are completely unfounded.

I'd have to utilise 3 fingers, a joypad only required my thumb.

First of all, if you know what you're doing with a keyboard in any FPS, you would be using ASDF as your movement keys, or some kind of equivalent set of 4 in the same row.

Using WASD may seem the most intuitive to most people used to the arrow pad, but moving your middle finger up and down to go forwards/backwards is incredibly inefficient. Using the arrow keys is just plain stupid, you can't press any other keys with the left hand while using the mouse since they're so far away.

The other disadvantage of a gamepad over a mouse is the fact that you can't aim precisely. When you move a gamepad joystick, it only spins your view as fast as its maximum speed is set. The mouse however, just does a translation of your crosshair as far as you move your mouse. There is a reason why we use mice to navigate 2d computer interfaces instead of a joystick. Same for trackballs.

Then there's the case of ease. With the keyboard I'd have to give quick looks to make sure I didn't hit the wrong key.

Learn where the keys are on a keyboard, or at least change your keys for every new FPS you get to be virtually the same as all the others you've played. I've been mapping ASDF for movement and other keys nearby for everything else since Quake 1.

With a gamepad, I never had to look at it, my eyes could remain on the screen 100%

Just because you can't type doesn't mean that a gamepad is better.

And in closing, Turok is just another FPS, with the exact same control as all the rest. You cannot aim, or move quickly but precisely with a gamepad -- nor can you press nearly as many buttons for complicated games. But there aren't complex and detailed games for the console, that's not their market.

Note the games listed. No FPS in the lot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772482)

I've played those same games the dude listed, and I agree. Yes, your arguments are valid, FOR FIRST PERSON SHOOTERS. None of those games (except 007 and *maybe* Max Payne) would qualify in the Quake realm of gaming technique. The biggie in the list is Tomb Raider. You obviously have never played this game on both methods, if you did you'd agree that a pad is superior.

And even in the case of Max Payne, this game is more Tomb Raiderish than Quakish. So yes, for your Quake/Doom/etc type of gaming, have at it with the mouse. But when you get into adventuring a pad is the only way to go.

Re:Note the games listed. No FPS in the lot. (1)

cbirdsong64 (410584) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772501)

The real question here is, why would you want to play Tomb Raider in the first place?

simple... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772531)

Digital Tits(tm).

Re:Are you insane? (1)

phoxix (161744) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772893)

And in closing, Turok is just another FPS, with the exact same control as all the rest. You cannot aim, or move quickly but precisely with a gamepad -- nor can you press nearly as many buttons for complicated games. But there aren't complex and detailed games for the console, that's not their market.

Erm, wrong.

Clearly you've ever played Metriod Prime for the Nintendo GameCube.

Metriod Prime is a first person shooter thats pretty much unlike anyother. The attention to detail is amazing, and the game delivers quite a sophisticated game play. The game's free flowing motion and fluidity beats the pants off of your average FPS from the gods at id and Epic.

Being that Metriod is one of Nintendo's most valorized franchises, there was no way Nintendo would allow the game to be anything less than near perfection (especially when the last Metriod game was released ~6-7 years ago.)

Sunny Dubey

Re:Are you insane? (3, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772967)

First of all, if you know what you're doing with a keyboard in any FPS, you would be using ASDF as your movement keys, or some kind of equivalent set of 4 in the same row.

HJKL - those vi skills I learned at the office are just as useful at home! The cheat code :%s/badguy/nicedoggy/g is real handy too!

Re:Are you insane? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772512)

**Then there's the case of ease. With the keyboard I'd have to give quick looks to make sure I didn't hit the wrong key. Plus my wrists were at awkward positions. With a gamepad, I never had to look at it, my eyes could remain on the screen 100%. Every button was immediately accesible and I knew what it was by pure feel. Both of my hands were my eyes, in essence.**

well of course playing with keyboard is going to be difficult if you don't know where the buttons are.. duh.

tomb raider(1) was better with keyboard(if you know your buttons, of course). drakan was better with keyboard+mouse. there's plenty of games that pad is good for though, but for the most parts pad make it easier to leave the desk for playing(from tv, with multiple people..).

Re:Here's a starter list. (4, Insightful)

bottlerocket (605232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772429)

Did anyone that modded the parent up actually play the games listed? Two first person shooters, two third person adventurers, and one, count it, one side scroller. Have you actually played a game from the first two categories mentioned... on a gamepad? Do you know why Halo was so celebrated? Because it was perhaps the first FPS that was semi-playable on a gamepad.

Re:Here's a starter list. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772546)

I think a better list is:
Prince of persia
Need for Speed: Underground
Simpsons Hit and Run
Madden 2004
GTA3

Anyone notice anything about those though? They are all console ports. Yeah you can play them on the computer but they are made for consoles. As I don't own any consoles, it is much easier for me to play all the games I like and only spend a few extra bucks on the controller. Also if you have noticed lately PC games that are console ports are always much cheaper than the console versions. So basically gamepads are GREAT for people playing console games on their computer be it a native game or an emulator. I have several different styles of controllers all plugged into my USB hub and I pick the best one for the type of game I am playing. I personally love it.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (3, Insightful)

shadowcabbit (466253) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772362)

...leave the gamepad games to the consoles...

OK, but what about console games ported to the PC (Halo, FFXI, etc.)? Or even emulated console games? Emulated arcade games?

I agree that on some titles it's far easier to use a keyboard and mouse-- and those are the predominant titles on the PC. But to ignore a significant-- and growing, if you believe the number of console-first titles announced-- portion of the PC game repertiore just seems a bit misleading.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1)

ejito (700826) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772408)

Halo and FFXI work great with keyboards and mice. GTA III, Vice City, and halo are more true to their genre on the PC.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772459)

actually, i prefer to play the gta games with a controller WAY more than the keyboard/mouse combo... driving any type of game (and you do drive in gta) with a damn keyboard SUCKS.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772620)

get back to us after puberty

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1)

CrystalChronicles (706620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772781)

driving using a keyboard is no more 'suck' than using joypad. If you are really serious about the controller you have for driving games, get a steering wheel+pedal. You cant get closer to realism than that.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772474)

Games ported to PC from consoles tend to really, REALLY suck (the reverse is also true). Even when using a gamepad, something still seems to have gotten lost in the translation. It can be fun to play on the console, but painful on the PC. As for Halo, it might've been an innovative game on the PC if it had been released two years ago, but today, it's just average. It's no shinier than UT2K3, we've been driving multi-person vehicles for ages in BF1942. It just isn't the earth shattering game it was hyped up to be, especially after two years.

IMO, PC games should stay on PC, and console games should stay on console. Ports to the other platforms are damn near always just an afterthought, and they do a piss poor job of it anyway.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1)

toomuchPerl (688058) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772769)

The Gravis controller won't be any good for playing Halo. You need the xbox controller. What about console controllers? The Gravis gamepad really won't be good for much, at least for me personally.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (4, Insightful)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772382)

This is the era of "Gameplay? But we've given them all this beautiful eye candy, why would they want gameplay?"

Retro-gaming (8- and 16-bit consoles and, perhaps to a lesser degree, home computers) won't appeal to many new gamers (the games are longer in some cases, and more complex in others, and on the whole just not as pretty), but there's a great deal of nostalgia for those who grew up with older systems (originally Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64, personally, and arcade games of that era), and i reckon that's what this is targeting.

You're unlikely to get four 18 year-olds huddled around a monitor playing Gauntlet, but four 30-something gamers who grew up with it? Different story...

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1)

Filiks (578065) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772485)

I found Grim Fandango very easy to play with a gamepad and much more annoying with a keyboard. Using my thumbs was much more relaxing. Having the action keys all conveniently placed for one thumb was simple.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (2, Informative)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772486)

Also... Gauntlet on XMAME? 4 people crowded around your computer desk... I can imagine the comfort level there. 3 people probably can't see the screen well enough, and even if they can, the crowded space will make this interesting for about 20 minutes of gameplay... a novelty.

What ? There are numerous shared screen multiplayer games that will allow you to gather 4 or more people around a computer desk, and for most they are VERY enjoyable. Think about Micro Machines, Worms, Bomberman, Chu-Chu Rocket... You're missing a lot of fun here !

Computer desk? Crowded space? (1)

bureiku (733025) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772487)

> Also... Gauntlet on XMAME? 4 people crowded around your computer desk... I can imagine the comfort level there. 3 people probably can't see the screen well enough, and even if they can, the crowded space will make this interesting for about 20 minutes of gameplay... a novelty.

What, somewhere in the world there are still groups of geeks of whom nobody has access to a decent video projector? Not much problems seeing the screen when your entire wall is one. Tried it with Gauntlet 2 (sadly with only two players) and it was a great fun. If you didn't mind head-sized pixels, of course.

Re:Gamepads, and computer gaming (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772509)

I beg to differ that only consoles benefit from gamepads.

I have one of the Radio Shack PSX to USB adapters, and use it for almost every game I play on my PC. Hell, I even play FPS games with a gamepad & mouse, instead of the keyboard & mouse combo people seem to be so fond of. Using the program JoyToKey [vector.co.jp] to assign keyboard commands to the gamepad, I get 8 buttons in my left hand (Up,down,left,right on Left Analog, plus pressing the stick in, select, and L1/L2), and 5 buttons in my right hand with my wheelmouse.

I find this *so* much more ergonomic than a keyboard, and though it usually gets me some funny looks and comments at LAN parties, I don't get too many after I tend to run circles around them.

Also, you only get half the experience from any given emulator if you use the keyboard. SNES games in particular are horrid to play on one, especially since most keyboards won't allow more than 2 or 3 keys to be simultaneously pressed at once.

Linux gaming now as usable as the SEGA GENESIS!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772333)

My God, Linux sure is coming along!

Gamepad? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772346)

Nothing beats a good old handjob in exchange for a kernel recompilation, that's what I think.

Lhame. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772365)

Well we all know one thing is certain since its got 2.4 drivers, all you Debian 'tards won't be able to use it to play any games. Stick to Adventure+keyboard, I think Debian might support that!

Re:Lhame. (1)

KiwiRed (598427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772390)

Mmmmmm, ScummVM [scummvm.org] ...

Re:Lhame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772629)

hehe debian sucks

So... (4, Funny)

iamdrscience (541136) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772386)

How long until there's good support for these in EMacs?

I had one of these things, it sucked (4, Informative)

SexyKellyOsbourne (606860) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772435)

I got one of these -- just the controllers, not the gamepads -- back in the day when I was looking for a good emulator controller. It looks like it has 8 buttons, but it actually only supports the old standard of 4 -- the extras are just "turbo" buttons. Even though that's good enough for NES, they're still unwieldy due to the crooked cross controller, making Contra hard to play when you have to aim down -- it keeps running forward.

Linux's USB Sidewinder Pro support is perfectly fine, and they're not longer made and cheap. For $15, you get a controller with 9 buttons and good handling, more than enough for any console emulation.

Re:I had one of these things, it sucked (1)

IceAgeComing (636874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772623)

got one of these -- just the controllers, not the gamepads -- back in the day when I was looking for a good emulator controller. It looks like it has 8 buttons, but it actually only supports the old standard of 4 -- the extras are just "turbo" buttons.

Uh, then you didn't "have one of these things".

They've worked great for me. All buttons work fine, including the two on top for your index fingers. They're comfortable. And the whole point is that you don't have to pay $15 for EACH controller, which makes playing four-player games a bit more in some people's reach.

Hooray (4, Insightful)

bottlerocket (605232) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772439)

...but it has been abandoned by Gravis since Windows 98. Now it's possible to pick them up extra cheap


So Linux finally got around to supporting a crappy gamepad setup that was released almost six years ago and isn't even supported by the manufacturer anymore, and we're supposed to...what? Help me out here. In what way could this even be remotely considered news or something that matters?

Re:Hooray (1)

Trepalium (109107) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772477)

I agree. If you REALLY wanted lots of gamepads/joysticks attached to your computer, do yourself a favor and get USB. USB hubs are cheap, and when you're done gaming, it can be used for more useful tasks, too!

Re:Hooray (1, Interesting)

IceAgeComing (636874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772632)

Perhaps a legitimate question coming from those who have been into gaming on the PC for a long time.

Don't forget that there are people who are curious about gaming and want a way to find out what's there and how well it works without shelling out a considerable amount. If they like what they see after spending $15, then they can go ahead and shell out more for better stuff.

they can kiss my sorry butt. (5, Interesting)

mushroom blue (8836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772444)

I swear by the EMS USB2 adapter [play-asia.com] . it allows you to use 2 Playstation Dual Shock pads per adapter. fully supported under linux, and recommended by the PyDance [icculus.org] authors for those who crave Dance Mats. Works wonderfully in every emulator that supports the kernel joystick driver, and especially rules for XMame's fighting games The PS2 Dual Shock is the best controller ever made, other than the Japanese Saturn controller. Why use a crappy Gravis "good enough" pad if you already have the real thing?

Re:they can kiss my sorry butt. (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772718)

Personally, I prefer the PS1 Dual Shock. Same shape, but the buttons aren't pressure sensitive, which is good because I found myself putting a lot of force into the X button to keep the gas pedal down in Need for Speed: Underground with a Dual Shock 2...

Re:they can kiss my sorry butt. (0, Troll)

luekj (692478) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772728)

"especially rules for XMame's fighting games "

[face_barf]

Exactly why piracy is ignorance. Bliss or otherwise.

Re:they can kiss my sorry butt. (0)

metalmario (717434) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772758)

I also have that EMS adapter and use my PS2 controllers to play PC games, but PS2 Dual Shock controllers are much like the third party GameCube controllers - made of cheap plastic and they feel like they could break any minute. IMHO Nintendo's GameCube controllers are much superior, much better controllers in every way.

For people round a monitor? (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772469)

Its going to get a bit friendly unless you've got a big monitor on a low res allowing everyone to see. Of course 4 person TuxRacer would be fun but I don;t think its supported

Rus

Cutting Edge (2, Insightful)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772533)

Not trying to be flamebate but is there any reason someone has taken time to write new drivers for hardware that is 6 years old. I can understand legacy code, which is why linux will still boot on a 386 however this just seems a bit off. Is this bit of hardware really that good?

Rus

It's a good price... (4, Informative)

cowbutt (21077) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772542)

...but I think I'd prefer the flexibility of a Sony PlayStation Dual-Shock controller together with a USB adaptor. In the UK, the adaptors are easily available from Maplin [maplin.co.uk] for 7.99. Alternatively, they also do USB pads for 5.99 each.

I have no connections with Maplin, I'm just a satisfied customer.

--

Re:It's a good price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772642)

there were some ps one pads for 2.99 at HMV... believe it or not, they look crap but they're not that bad considering the price :-) also consoleplus.co.uk has the mayflower x2 or x4 usb to ps2 adapter which is the one I'm using. Never had any problems with neorage but people have reported problems with other game/device combos... YMMV

Cheap and Plentiful.... NOT! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772558)

I found ONE for $40 at Half.com NONE at eBay.

BTW, what is it with Gravis abandoning everything they start?

Why USB gamepads are so expensive. (1)

t0qer (230538) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772569)

I think the USB chip in them costs like $5 bucks or something. So it's an added $5 bucks per controller that doesn't really have to be there.

Well, ok it has to be there, but why doesn't gravis make some sort of multitap USB device so they can crank out cheaper joysticks that don't need USB chips in them. Since USB i've noticed most true analog joysticks are using cheaper potentiometers, probably to offset the cost of the USB chip.

Re:Why USB gamepads are so expensive. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772588)

you obviously haven't used the garbage that pc sticks were around 1990 or so? the quickshots in particular were so cheaply made that you could break them in 10s of use in accident if you didn't handle them gentle(one quick move of wrist and it was toast).

there were exceptions though.. ch flightsticks for example.

Re:Why USB gamepads are so expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772640)

Because people already HAVE usb hubs. It's one thing to look at a gamepad and say "I can buy one to use, then get more later." It's entirely different to say "I'll buy this gamepad that requires I also buy a hub." This is scary, even if the total cost of the hub and pad were the same as a pad alone... which is highly unlikely.

As a result, someone who is setting out to buy four pads might take to the hub, but almost nobody else would.

Gamepads suck....the old Atari Joystick rulz! (2, Interesting)

Danathar (267989) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772598)

Maybe it's because the first computer games I played were on the Atari 2600, but I've never been able to get used to the gamepad. It's always HELL on my thumbs! I really LOVED the old Atari Joystick! Especially after you broke it in. Does anybody know of one of those that could be modified to work on a PC?

Does anybody else out there feel the same way?

My preference might not be specifically tied specifically to the 2600 game controller. Epyx made a 2600 controller (I think it was the 500XJ?) that was a 2600/C64 type controller with ergonomic design and "clicky" precision when you moved the stick into the right position.

With the Epyx controller I DESTROYED people in the Bitmap brother's "Speedball deluxe"!

Re:Gamepads suck....the old Atari Joystick rulz! (1)

shione (666388) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772840)

I hated the atari 2600 joystick. Probably because I'm left handed....

I eventually broke it (inside plastic that hit the 4 way buttons cracked) and I got a third party joystick to replace it. It had grips on the stick, a button under the index and another one over the thumb. I like that one a whole lot better. It was much more comfy but soon after I got a SNES and I moved on from the Atari.

Better 4 player solution (3, Interesting)

gnudutch (235983) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772605)

Like cowbutt said, you can get cheap USB pads like Logitech in the $5 price range. Also, beware the cheaper PS2-USB converters, I bought a pair and they have a very noticeable delay between button-press and game response. Try before you buy...

Waste of time and effort (2, Interesting)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772611)

USB natively supports up to 127 or so devices in V1, not sure how many in V2.

That's a lot more than four controllers.

Why bother with some obsolete and oddball hardware when you can just get a bunch of usb controllers?

Re:Waste of time and effort (1)

CrystalChronicles (706620) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772791)

USB2.0 is the same. They didnt change it.

What's this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772624)

I don't understand a thing..

WTF??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772625)

Do we really need an article like this in late 2003?
Come on, everyone knows that the usual PC-controller simply sucks! I killed so many of these expensive pieces of crap that using a decent controller (yes.. like that one for the playstation) with an USB adapter is a blessing!

And even if your PS pad is broken... Hell, I don't give a fuck. I just look at ebay or run down to the chinese shop at the corner and get a new one for a fragment of the price Gravis want's me to pay for their poor crafted, poor in handling, poor in almost every aspect PC-Gameport(!??)-Joystick-Crap.

Nice /. advertisment BTW...

USB adapter!!! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7772627)

Why on earth do I need that for? I use an USB adapter because it's better!!!

That's like an slashdot article about sleeping with boys when everyone does it already with women!

Free setups in exhange for some (simple?) hacking (2, Interesting)

IceAgeComing (636874) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772652)

I have some to give away (the hub and four gamepads). They were bought unused from a reseller.

  • I'd really be interested in making binary RPMS available for the driver.
  • I'm hoping someone who knows how to write DirectX joystick drivers will port it to WinXP. Insert your favorite bash about sucky MSDN driver documentation here.

If anyone manages to help out in these ways, I'd be more than happy to mail you one.

Excellent! (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772657)

Now you can play old games with older hardware! Ins't Linux just the best gaming platform?

Good god, I hate Microsoft.

Re:Excellent! (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772711)

You can also use Dosbox [sf.net] to run old dos games on Linux. Or dosemu/freedos but this is more diffiult. Linux can be a good base of a gaming console.

Works great for me... (2, Informative)

Quigley (18976) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772734)

I've been using the multiport and driver off and on for a year or so now. I haven't had any issues with the gamepads at all, in fact, they're some of the better PC gamepads I've used. Could be better, yes, but all in all they're worth every penny I paid for them ($20? :) That's about the price of a single USB or console controller.

I'd like to see a DirectX version as well.

Forgive me for being perhaps a bit obtuse.. (1)

iantri (687643) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772796)

..but since USB joysticks are just HIDs, won't they all be automagically supported under Linux?

At least that's what I thought the whole USB Human Interface Device thing was for.. to eliminate the need for drivers for every simple device..

XMame? (1)

disntrstd (705189) | more than 10 years ago | (#7772874)

What the hell is XMame?
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