Re: Re: [stella] Atari to re-release a whole bunch of stuff

Subject: Re: Re: [stella] Atari to re-release a whole bunch of stuff
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2004 11:03:53 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Chris Wilkson wrote:

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004, Manuel Rotschkar wrote:

But then I have years of NES experience with this kind of controler. I
wonder why all those pads are for left handed players, are the japanese
all left handed? :-)

No they are all righthanded...just like me and (not?) you. You don't really have to twitch your d-pad as fast as the action buttons, therefore the buttons are on the dominant hand.

It took a long time for me to adjust to NES-style gamepads for that exact reason: for 10 or more years, I played Atari using my right hand to control direction.. then suddenly almost overnight the whole video game industry switched to using the left hand. Technically I'm left-handed (I write that way, but learned do everything else right-handed), but I never did get to be any good at Mario games until years after everyone else had beaten them...

The new controllers look like they're more-or-less ambidextrous: the
buttons are on either side with the stick in the middle (like the 7800
and Proline controllers). The trouble with those controllers is that
(for me anyway) it's hard to rapidly press the buttons on the `wrong'
side of the stick (the right side, under your left index or middle finger,
if you hold the stick the way you hold a regular 2600 stick).

Probably the worst Atari controller ever is the `10-in-one' Activision
gamepad. It's pretty neat (runs on batteries, has composite out + a
nice menu to select games), but for some unfathomable reason, it's got
2 d-pads instead of a d-pad and a fire button. The left d-pad emulates
(simulates?) the Atari joystick, and you have to press upwards on the
right d-pad to press the Atari's joystick button. The other directions
on the right d-pad don't seem to do anything...

Anyone here know anything about the internals of these things? The game
graphics are close, but not quite right (extra-thick rope in Pitfall,
garbage at the top of the screen in River Raid), and the sound appears to
be missing the TIA's `distortion' modes (poly counters). Are these poor
copies of the 2600, running original 6507 code, or are they some other
architecture emulating a 2600 in software? (or something else entirely?)

(I'm sure this has been discussed here before, it's only new to me
because I finally bought one...)


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