Additional ArcadePC Controllers
From my countless searches on the web to find anything that would enable me to change control panel interfaces on the Hanaho ArcadePC, I found absolutely NOTHING. There were indications from Hanaho's site (and others), that Trackball and Spinner interfaces would be introduced into the market sooner rather than later. However, I became impatient once I actually had the glory of playing MAME on the ArcadePC, and even though the 2 player control configuration plays 90% of all the games I love, there still remain those choice few that the controls just aren't fit to play.
I began seriously looking into building my own control panel for the ArcadePC. I took the measurements, cracked open the HotRod to see what the innards looked like and began looking online to see what type of interface I would use and what it would cost. BUT...before I decided to make the jump so many people had before me, I decided to ask Hanaho just where they stood on new HotRod joystick controls. Within a day I received a reply email from Richard Ragon stating that it was available NOW!!
I called Hanaho afterwards to ask a few more questions. Conway Ho, who handles much of the design and support of the HotRod and ArcadePC, filled me in on a lot of information that is simply not out there on Hanaho's web site. So I thought I would share the information I received with you.
Firstly, Hanaho does have a trackball style controller (i.e. - Centipede) in two models.
Secondly, Hanaho has recently added the option of adding an spinner control (i.e. - Arkanoid) to their line of HotRod products.
Additionally, Hanaho and XGaming have a HotRod style controller to be used with any PC or console gaming system.
Many of you have likely already heard about the X-Arcade from other emulation sites. X-Gaming has already begun shipping units to those people who pre-ordered the controller. Many sites even have X-arcade controller reviews already out there. My biggest concern was that the controller would not come in an ArcadePC style panel that would slide into the cabinet. Conway negated my fears as he said that the X-Arcade would definitely be available for the ArcadePC. In fact, Hanaho is working on a console style cabinet called the Arcadestation. Here is a crude picture taken from another website (this was from the E3 Expo I think). It simply looks like an ArcadePC with different Logo and I am not sure what they use for video but my guess would be a television (NSTC or Svideo).
I'm not sure if it is standard procedure for buying the X-Arcade, but I was told that I could order the ArcadePC version of the X-Arcade joystick directly from Hanaho. The parts for the X-Arcade controller are a little harder to come by as some are specially made for it. They are still arcade quality parts, but from what I can gather from the X-Arcade website they were specially made for the controller (so they are not Happ controls). Conway said that both the trackball and X-Arcade orders for the ArcadePC panels would take about 6 weeks.
While consoles do not really carry on the spirit of emulation as well as true emulators, I myself, am ecstatic over the fact that I will soon be able to play some of the greatest fighting games (thanks to the Dreamcast or PS2) on my Arcade PC, with the simple addition of the X-Arcade and VGA box. While I have not tried this yet, it is in my plans to see if it is possible and report the findings to all. We'll see exactly how dynamic the ArcadePC truly is.
Finally, let it not be said that the ArcadePC is not alive and well in Hanaho's evolving product line.
I'm sure many folks who already have an ArcadePC or are in the market for buying one will see the addition of two new control panels as manna from Heaven. With the addition of these controllers, a whole new collection of games are available to the ArcadePC owners that can be played the way they were meant to be played. And considering that running newer console games on your system (as long as the system can filter output through VGA, which can usually be done through a myriad of converters), you can seemingly play any game you wish on the ArcadePC. Hanaho has already beefed up their ArcadePC site, and they have provided more information on their existing products (even added a cool Flash website).
The modular layout of the ArcadePC is beginning to pay off for owners of the ArcadePC. I will bring you full details of the new arcade control panels for the ArcadePC as soon as I find the time (and extra money to buy them).
Thanks to the Oscar Controls websight for the additional pics on this page.