I am working on a universal joystick controller board. Basically a PCB that you connect your joystick and buttons to, which then allows you to hook up directly to the following consoles:
- Playstation 3
- Playstation 2
- Playstation 1
- Sega Saturn
- Sega Dreamcast
- Nintendo Gamecube
- USB (Windows/Mac/Linux etc)
Note that these connections are all “native”, there is no need for ugly pad hacks or secondary boards. You will be able to have one DB15 on your stick, which then connects to any supported console with a simple cable.
I could also add Nintendo 64 and almost any 8 bit machine, but I don’t think there is much interest in those.
The board would support at least 12 buttons, probably up to 16. I was also thinking of having support for LEDs or an LCD screen (Nokia full colour) to show button layout (since each console is a bit different). For the LCD you could have custom graphics personalised for your stick. The LED and LCD connections would be optional.
Other ideas include configurable button layouts (so you can instantly switch from Street Fighter to Guilty Gear layout) and auto-fire.
XBOX 360 support is something I’m looking in to. It will not be easy, as Microsoft protected the protocol. At the very least, support via a PS2 to XBOX 360 converter will work fine.
I currently have a working prototype with all interfaces done except the Dreamcast one, which is tricky but doable. I am using an AVR microcontroller that costs around 2.50, and the whole thing can easily be built on stripboard (very low parts count). If there is interest, I could do PCBs and finished units with screw terminals (for no-soldering construction of your stick), and single pre-programmed chips for those who want to do their own.
Is there any interest in this sort of thing? I see a lot of people have the UPCB, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time documenting and making PCBs for my project if everyone already has one