So for our next project we thought it would be cool to take a few steps back in time to the so called 'golden age' of video games. Yep that's right we are going all retro with the development of an arcade style controller.
And why not ? after all the interest in retro arcade games has never been greater, Mame front ends like Hyperspin, and Launchbox are more popular than ever and there are a number of retro arcade collections about or in the pipeline. We are particularly exited about the upcoming 'Arcade Paradise' by Nosebleed Interactive (published by Wired Productions) which offers over 35 reimaged classics in one package. And lets not overlook the new Mortal Combat and Street Fighter releases.
So we figured now is a great time for classic arcade gaming on the PC. But there is one vital missing ingredient. There are no really decent arcade controllers currently on the market that do not either require a hefty bank loan to purchase, or require a gaming desk the size of a snooker table to use.
So in true GCOM style we simply decided to build our own.
Using a custom fabricated all steel enclosure, our own custom PCB with proprietary software, we are developing the Arcade Pro, and Arcade Pro Mini controllers.
In a stroke of pure genius we decided to pair a solid arcade style switched joystick with top of the range mechanical keyboard switches. And we truly consider this to be the best of both worlds, because while the joystick gives an authentic arcade feel and experience, the gaming grade keyboard switches are far faster, more responsive, and reliable, than traditional arcade buttons.
We have designed our own 'key caps' to fit the keyboard switches, they are similar in style to arcade push buttons, but smaller, we are therefore able to position them closer together, this is more comfortable and familiar for modern gamers used to using a keyboard, response times are measurable quicker than using the larger and further apart arcade style pushbuttons.
Our controllers are able to operate in either game controller(joystick), or keyboard modes giving compatible for games designed to use one or the other. And there is even a built in Mame compatible mode making the unit plug and play with over 90% of arcade games emulated or otherwise, without any configuration or programming needed.
Well that's where we are currently at, but further research and development is taking place to refine the product ready for our anticipated June launch date.
Pictures is an early development prototype unit, undergoing testing.
Watch this space for more details.