I used to be a pad player, and have several friends that still are. For any 2-D game, not just fighting games - that controller represents the best option there ever was. I know retrolink makes a pretty chincy reproduction, and there was a limited run of PSX controllers back in 2005/2006, with an extra face button:
I just got my hands on a japanese saturn pad recently, and it has occurred to me to go a few different directions with this:
- create a 3D scan of it, and crowd-source being able to both 3D print the housing, and CNC mill the housing out of whatever material we like (aluminum, titanium?).
- create a silicon mold of both halves, allowing for resin casts of the housing.
That’s all well and good, but the real magic of this pad is in the material the D-pad is made of, and more importantly, the silicon/rubbon “springs” being used to engage the switches. It has occurred to me to reach out to sega of america to see how much it would cost to license those designs officially for a kickstarted run of them, and maybe try to partner with Brooke for their universal chipset. Or I can try to reverse-engineer it myself and try to improve upon it myself. There’s been a marked uptick in interest of cherry switches and mechanical keyboards. Perhaps someone more versed in those could help me to find something of similar throw and resistance to the orignal so that a generic saturn board could be produced with just line signals to be hooked to whatever board you like?
Just a thought. Old Saturn controllers seem to be going for about $20, but I have to imagine time is going to make these harder to come by, and less reliable. Heck, just getting ahold of fgwidget converters to make adapters is getting difficult. I could publish a 3D scan, and I could publish a board schematic with a site like oshpark.com. Then anyone could print a small run if they’d like.
Just brainstorming. Don’t know if anyone cares about it anymore, with the revival of fight sticks.