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Intellivision Controller Observation for 2018


Denicio
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I was reading another thread a moment ago where there was some discussion about controllers. I 'flashed back' (see what i did there?) to my childhood where me, the lone Intellynerd, would get into heated child hood arguments with my brutish 2600 pals. We'd argue as pre teens do about the superiority of systems. The ONE thing they'd go for is the controller and how its not a joystick. This seemed to be their victory dance of insults. Yeah, i could never do anything but tell them about how more advance the games could be with many buttons versus ONE button...alas.....i'd just go home and play SUPERIOUR games...ha!

 

So...it just occurred to me...while admiring the lovely controller i have always used.....that how many 2600 users, TODAY, have something in their hands or pockets that look a hell'ova like a Intellivision Controller....a SMART PHONE!

 

HA! I have to laugh. Through the sands of time I HAVE WON THE ARGUMENT (at least in my mind).

 

The design of the Intelly controller was a precursor to all the smart phones we have today. My Iphone has two buttons on one side and when i pull up the calculator app....i chuckle. Too bad my Iphone 7's home button is not as big as the disc on the Intelly Controller!!

 

Just sharing my observation. Not sure if this has been discussed here before.

 

D

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Sorry, I still think for general game playing purposes the disc controller was a really bad idea. Such a design was used in very limited instances on other platforms, but was essentially abandoned in favor of joysticks and d-pads. Even Mattel was abandoning the disc when designing the Intellivsion III and IV.

 

I also don't see how it's really comparable to a modern smartphone other than touchscreens being good for many things, but not all things.

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Best INTV Controller is the arcade stick form Grips. As Bill said, its not about the buttons, its about the disc which isnt very good often. The buttons are fine. I also like the original controller, but I have to admit that some games are much, MUCH better with the arcade stick and so I can't say that the original controller is very good at all, because it sometimes ruins the experience.

 

So I am happy that a talented inventor took the issue and turned it into something great.

Edited by Ignorama
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Best INTV Controller is the arcade stick form Grips. As Bill said, its not about the buttons, its about the disc which isnt very good often. The buttons are fine. I also like the original controller, but I have to admit that some games are much, MUCH better with the arcade stick and so I can't say that the original controller is very good at all, because it sometimes ruins the experience.

 

So I am happy that a talented inventor took the issue and turned it into something great.

 

Speaking of buttons, let's not forget the dreadful side buttons on the Intellivision II. It's a shame that they weren't able to recreate the nicer buttons from the original controller for that model. Fortunately, the controllers are at least removable on the Intellivision II.

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You call the buttons from the original controller "nice"? :D To be honest, I think they are the actual worsed part of the controller, even worse than the disc. It starts to physically hurt the finger if you play in a HSC for a real long time using these buttons. They have a very strange response and feel just awkward. I have an Intellivision II, but not really played a lot with it, because I do not like the flat keypad and think its hard to impossible to play with that. So I can not really judge the side buttons, but the original ones were pretty bad imo.

Edited by Ignorama
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I also don't see how it's really comparable to a modern smartphone other than touchscreens being good for many things, but not all things.

 

I see it comparable as its rectangle and you must interface with it. Not a mirror image but a harbinger of things to come. Plus my Iphone has buttons on the side.

Color me kookey, i love my hand controller. So when i hold my Iphone it oddly feels natural to me with all the endless hours of my life sacrificed to my original Inty system.

 

Just an observation, thats all.

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You call the buttons from the original controller "nice"? :D To be honest, I think they are the actual worsed part of the controller, even worse than the disc. It starts to physically hurt the finger if you play in a HSC for a real long time using these buttons. They have a very strange response and feel just awkward. I have an Intellivision II, but not really played a lot with it, because I do not like the flat keypad and think its hard to impossible to play with that. So I can not really judge the side buttons, but the original ones were pretty bad imo.

 

I owned both back in the day. I STRONGLY preferred my Intv 1 to the 2.

 

I grew to love the hand controller growing up with it. When my fingers hurt...it was the Intellivision gods telling me to put the game system down and go ride my BMX Bike! (laughs as typing this).

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Best INTV Controller is the arcade stick form Grips. As Bill said, its not about the buttons, its about the disc which isnt very good often. The buttons are fine. I also like the original controller, but I have to admit that some games are much, MUCH better with the arcade stick and so I can't say that the original controller is very good at all, because it sometimes ruins the experience.

 

So I am happy that a talented inventor took the issue and turned it into something great.

Do tell....Arcade Stick from Grips?

 

I'm all ears.

 

Tried a joystick from a 3rd party back in the 80's that was junk.

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Well let me say that while playing in the HSC that the controller is another obstacle in a game. It makes things more difficult to achieve and do that's for sure.

Not to mention what it does to your hands.

 

Lol

 

But hey that's the whole intellivision game playing exprance. ;) lol

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Well let me say that while playing in the HSC that the controller is another obstacle in a game. It makes things more difficult to achieve and do that's for sure.

Not to mention what it does to your hands.

 

Lol

 

But hey that's the whole intellivision game playing exprance. ;) lol

Well, you just articulated exactly what i was thinking.

As frustrating as it can be...its part of the complexity of the gameplay.

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Here you get the infos about the stick: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/213043-intv2-arcade-controller-pre-order-interest-list/

 

 

If you can spent the money and its available take one of these, you definitely will not regret it. They are just amazing, I bought two of them some years ago and I am very happy with it. Best Intellivision-Investment I could make. Its no joke, I really recomment these Sticks if the budget allows it. Worth every Penny.

 

That said: They are not compatible to every game, because they do not support the full 16 directions, but for most games it doesnt matter and for some games its even better to limit it to 4 or 8 directions. I have said it very, very, very often and I still think it will show up again: Best Hardware for the Intellivision. Period.

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Speaking of buttons, let's not forget the dreadful side buttons on the Intellivision II. It's a shame that they weren't able to recreate the nicer buttons from the original controller for that model. Fortunately, the controllers are at least removable on the Intellivision II.

The buttons on the Intellivision II controller aren't really "buttons," though. They're more like touchpads or something. Not that that's a whole lot better, but I think it's an important distinction to keep in mind--if you expect them to react and behave like buttons in the conventional sense, with clicky-clackiness and tactile response, it's probably not going to go well.

 

For what they actually are, they work very well--sensitive and responsive, requiring only a light touch. Again, it's still probably not the most brilliant design ever, but FWIW I've never had the problems with Intellivision II controllers that other people seem to. The II is my favorite version of the console, in fact. :)

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Here you get the infos about the stick: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/213043-intv2-arcade-controller-pre-order-interest-list/

 

 

If you can spent the money and its available take one of these, you definitely will not regret it. They are just amazing, I bought two of them some years ago and I am very happy with it. Best Intellivision-Investment I could make. Its no joke, I really recomment these Sticks if the budget allows it. Worth every Penny.

 

That said: They are not compatible to every game, because they do not support the full 16 directions, but for most games it doesnt matter and for some games its even better to limit it to 4 or 8 directions. I have said it very, very, very often and I still think it will show up again: Best Hardware for the Intellivision. Period.

 

ONLY because i did a couple of 80's cab referb/mods in the past 3 years i know the difference...but do these joystick mods use Microswitch or Leaf?

 

I have found micro switches to be the most offensive thing ever unleashed upon gaming. I grew up on leafs and when i rebuilt my Stargate cabinet that had micro's, unbeknownst to me, i was shocked at how awful those felt.

 

Just curious what they have. If its micro switches then i'll stick with the OEM Intelly controller.

 

(So i sound like a joystick snob? Sorry if i do...there is just a larger than life difference)

 

D

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Sorry, I still think for general game playing purposes the disc controller was a really bad idea. Such a design was used in very limited instances on other platforms, but was essentially abandoned in favor of joysticks and d-pads. Even Mattel was abandoning the disc when designing the Intellivsion III and IV.

 

The Intellivision disc -is- a D-pad. It's just 16-way instead of the typical 4-way or less common 8-way D-pad seen on modern systems.

 

While I wouldn't say the Intellivision controller "won" the controller war, the classic Atari-style joystick definitely lost the war. On modern systems, nobody sells systems with a joystick you grab with your fist. The exception is the niche aftermarket of flight sticks, but these are not sold in-box with systems.

 

The controller that actually won is a 3rd design: the thumbstick. On modern systems, the Intellivision's D-pad design is included a side feature while the Atari's joystick is absent and only for niche scenarios.

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The Intellivision disc -is- a D-pad. It's just 16-way instead of the typical 4-way or less common 8-way D-pad seen on modern systems.

 

While I wouldn't say the Intellivision controller "won" the controller war, the classic Atari-style joystick definitely lost the war. On modern systems, nobody sells systems with a joystick you grab with your fist. The exception is the niche aftermarket of flight sticks, but these are not sold in-box with systems.

 

The controller that actually won is a 3rd design: the thumbstick. On modern systems, the Intellivision's D-pad design is included a side feature while the Atari's joystick is absent and only for niche scenario.

 

When i'd visit my pals house who had 2600 systems i ALWAYS felt like i was in a losing match with a superior arm wrestler. It was like a baseball glove that could NEVER be broken in. You had to muscle that joystick at all times. To me, that made the 2600 systems very very un-enjoyable.

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My Intellivision arcade controller uses microswitches for joystick and buttons. I also sell common ground Intellivision pcb for people who want to use their own arcade stick. PCB supports common ground for joystick, buttons and keypad. So even if someone wanted to use a ton of leaf switches in lieu of keypad they could. Details on pcb only are in that thread.

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My Intellivision arcade uses microswitches for joystick and buttons. I also sell common ground Intellivision pcb for people who want to use their own arcade stick. PCB supports common ground for joystick, buttons and keypad. So even if someone wanted to use a ton of leaf switches in lieu of keypad they could. Details on pcb only are in that thread.

 

Thanks for the response. Hope you dont think i was knocking your product. I just dont like microswitches.

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For me, I love the Intellivision controller.

16 directions is great for finer control in sports games etc.

 

However, MOST 4 direction games are not implemented very well on the intellivision.

 

But when done well, the disc is still very good. But these days, for 4 directions games, I like a keyboard the best.

 

Anyway, the Flashback Controllers are pretty awesome. I hope they do another release just so we have a few more replacements around.

Also to correct the few bugs. And Controller wiring. Though I didn't mind buying the extensions that corrected the wiring.

 

Here is the crazy part... I agree, the 2600 stick was a PAIN. I used to bring my coleco controllers to my friends house to level the playing field.

Now, I kinda hate that controller. I guess my hands are to big now? But at 12, the coleco controller was okay.

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I like the controller just fine the problem is they don't last so none of them work properly anymore I certainly like the disc much better than an atari joystick. The side buttons are the worst part. It's not the location they just aren't nice buttons they take too much force and are small and sharp

 

intv 2 controller number pad just takes some getting used to, you have to basically memorize the locations of all the buttons without having to look. But again they don't last.

Edited by crade
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I see it comparable as its rectangle and you must interface with it. Not a mirror image but a harbinger of things to come. Plus my Iphone has buttons on the side.

Color me kookey, i love my hand controller. So when i hold my Iphone it oddly feels natural to me with all the endless hours of my life sacrificed to my original Inty system.

 

Just an observation, thats all.

 

I totally understand. But I'm coming at it from the opposite direction: while I played Intellivision BITD, I never owned one and by the time I got heavily into playing it, I'd already owned various smartphones for years. So for me, picking up an INTV controller feels like picking up a smartphone very much. The disc is the home button, the side buttons are thumb/fingers... yeah, the parallels are definitely there!

 

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The Intellivision disc -is- a D-pad. It's just 16-way instead of the typical 4-way or less common 8-way D-pad seen on modern systems.

 

 

Not quite - and this is the single biggest difference/complaint: a good D-pad has a tactile direction indication. The cross in the middle. You can easily feel which way is "up".

 

Sega's Master System had a D-pad that was close to the INTV disc (it did have some raised bits, but they were very shallow) and it suffered for it. Everyone got on board with Nintendo's raised cross idea because it's so intuitive to use.

 

Not crapping on it. It was a different time and this was a level of innovation unseen for many years. It's just too bad that so many games of the era played better with discrete/obvious directional controls. The 16-way disc, along with the ability to easily rotate your thumb around it, could have led to some amazing ideas. We really didn't have that level of fine control until analog thumbsticks nearly 20 years later.

 

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