Best option for a retro/modern console setup

Hi there!

I wanted to ask what is the best PCB option for me, since I have the following consoles and computers in my setup. At the moment, the only real requirement is being lagless, althoug not needing soldering is highly appreciated.

My setup includes:

· Atari 2600 (and several micro-computers that used the same D-Sub 9 standard)
· MegaDrive
· NeoGeo MVS (consolized)
· PlayStation
· Saturn
· Nintendo 64
· Dreamcast
· PlayStation 2
· original Xbox
· GameCube
· Xbox 360
· PlayStation 3
· Wii
· Wii U
· Xbox One
· PlayStation 4

Wii is not that relevant, since I can use the GameCube controller port. N64 and Wii U have almost no fighting games nor shmups, so I really don’t give a sh*t about them.

For the rest of the consoles, this would be very interesting, since there are hundreds of games like these in their libraries and I would like to have one stick for every console, not one stick per console…

Any ideas on this?

A Brook Universal Fighting Board will cover:

  • X360
  • PS3
  • XBO
  • PS4
  • Wii-U (Pokken-controller mode)
  • Switch (via Pokken-controller mode)

An MC Cthulhu or Brook Retro Board will cover:

  • NES
  • SNES
  • GameCube
  • Wii (via GameCube port)
  • PS1
  • PS2
  • Saturn
  • Dreamcast
  • original Xbox
  • PC
  • TurboGrafx-16 (I know you didn’t ask for these last couple, but felt the need to list them)

I don’t believe that there’s any multi-console board that will support:

  • Atari 2600
  • NeoGeo MVS (no PCB is actually needed anyways)
  • N64
  • MegaDrive/Genesis
    You’ll have to figure something out with additional dedicated PCBs for these.

Mega Drive can be accessed via a Brook Adaptor, it’s extremely slim pickings for an arcade stick on N64 but get the retrobit clone of the classic hori pad imo. Google seems to indicate that you can use the Brook Adaptor with the 2600 since it was mega drive compatible.

The Atari 2600 and the Sega Master System has no PCB as well. The SMS controller works on the 2600. Genesis controllers are designed to be backwards compatible with the SMS (actually compatibility is spotty as some games dont play nice).

Other 9 pin controllers for various systems. make sure you check out the pinout as they are all not the same. Example a Bally Astrocade controller can brick a Atari 2600.

  • PC
  • TurboGrafx-16 (I know you didn’t ask for these last couple, but felt the need to list them)

Oh, I forgot about these two!

An MC Cthulhu or Brook Retro Board will cover:

The thing is… would it require soldering? If so, could it be used for ALL these consoles you listed? Or is soldering just for a certain console?

Now… how easy it is to create a dual-PCB setup?

Well for the MegaDrive and other D-Sub 9 consoles/computers it would be great to have this, since there are some interesting shmups (although there are no relevant fighting games…). I can skip this for a while, I guess.

@Double_Draggin So… MegaDrive is an option with Brook’s adapters? Do these add any lag?

@Darksakul Well, honestly I don’t think I ever used a stick with those consoles… But just for knowing options and possibilities, it would be nice to know. However, some microcomputers did have shmups and super rudimentary fighting games, so it would be nice to know about this.


By the way, I just found this video with something called Retro Brook PCB.

Looks like it can be easily combined with the Universal PCB:

I already mentioned to you in your other thread:

If you don’t solder on an MC Cthulhu, you’re only going to get PS3/PC out of it. If you DO solder on it (it’s an all-or-nothing) and solder in an RJ-45 output jack, you’ll get access to ALL of the listed platforms via cable swapping.
The Brook Retro Board already has a built-in RJ-45 output already on the board to begin with, so you can get by without soldering completely.

… I’ve been recommending the Brook Retro Board on this thread AND in your other thread.

… I’ve been recommending the Brook Retro Board on this thread AND in your other thread.

Jesus, I feel retarded :joy:

Thanks a lot man! I think the best bet then is purchasing both boards by Brook: Retro and Universal.

You said NeoGeo and MegaDrive (probably other systems with similar interface?) do not need a PCB. So would I have to do something else? I mean, would an RJ45-to-NeoGeo do the thing?

No, that’s not how it works.
The reason they don’t need a PCB is that there’s enough signals on the wire to accommodate for all the switches as-is as separate signal lines.

Think of it this way: your buttons are joystick are a bunch of switches. When you press any of them, a circuit is closed, your PCB sees this, and translates this down the USB/RJ-45/whatever cable to your console to tell it that you pressed a button/direction.
The way the Neo-Geo works (and MegaDrive/etc? I haven’t had the opportunity to mess with those) is that there’s no PCB. When you press a button, the closed circuit is seen directly by the console as-is; that is, there’s no PCB needed to translate the closed circuits to the console itself.


Mega Drives use a PCB. There’s multiplexing involved with the six button controller - whatever the fuck that means!

I see… So, at least for the NeoGeo, if I just use a DSub-15 connector and connect it to my buttons, it would work with no PCB in between, right? If so, and taking into account I will very likely use 2 PCBs (Brook Retro and UFB), would I need something like a multiplier?

Is there any PCB that does the thing? I mean, an alternative to just destroying a real MegaDrive pad and soldering it to the original board.

Nope. You just need to splice your signal lines (from your buttons) to go to both your PCB and your D-Sub 15. Keep in mind that the Golden Rule of Dual-Modding will still apply: even when using your D-Sub 15, you will still need your PCBs to be fully powered (both Vcc and GND lines need to be connected).

I don’t believe that there’s any available custom board that does MegaDrive/Genesis. Someone can correct me if I’m wrong, but you’ll probably need to hack up a real or 3rd-party MD/Genesis controller to get it to work.

So if I wanted a 100% versatile version, I should do a 4-PCB stick, right?

  • 1) Brook Universal Fighting Board w/ USB output (paired with Retro Board)
    Xbox 360
    Xbox One
    PlayStation 3
    PlayStation 4
    Wii U
    PC (XInput)
    Nintendo Switch


  • 2) Brook Retro Board w/ RJ45 output (paired with UFB)
    PC Engine
    Super Nintendo
    Sega Saturn
    PlayStation 2
    Wii (through GC port)


  • 3) Specific PCB w/ DSub-9 output


  • 4) Just wiring to a DSub-15 output
    NeoGeo MVS

Looks like I will have to put lots of cables inside! :joy:

  1. I personally wouldn’t say that it’s “100% versatile”, but close enough. :slight_smile:
  2. That’s actually 3 PCBs, not 4.
  3. Keep in mind that all PCBs need to be powered at all times, even if you’re not directly using it.
  4. It’ll be fine on its own, but make sure your consoles are able to supply power to all those PCBs in addition to what you may already have plugged into the console.

Well, if you exclude Nintendo 64 and Commodore 64/128… Yes, it is comptaible with almost anything… Although now you say, probably they change the connection standard for Xbox 4 and PS5…

Yeah, ok. 3 PCBs plus another set of wires for the DSub-15 output port.

Huh, I did not know this… I think I will have to take a look to this carefully.

Yes, thanks for the advice. This is something I will have to consider for sure.

Another option is just the dual PCB version (UFB + Retro) and using some lagless adapters, such as this one for the Nintendo 64 and a similar alternative for the MegaDrive. And of course, having the wired connection for the NeoGeo DSub-15 port. Maybe this is the best solution.

The 3 button controller also uses Multiplexing, the Six button multiplexes the multiplex.

The way the Standard Genesis 3 button controller is wired so that each wire out can have a possible of one of 2 different inputs. A Select wire is ether held Low or High to decide which input is being received. The game pad will cycle it’s Select line between High and Low.

Pin Name (Select=GND) Name (Select=+5V)
1 Up Up
2 Down Down
3 Gnd Left
4 Gnd Right
5 +5VDC +5VDC
6 Button A Button B
7 Select Select
8 Ground Ground
9 Start Button C

Further info on the multiplexer can be seen here.

A 6 Button pad has 4 cycles rather than 2 with the 4th cycle being ignored of any inputs.