MAME inside joystick?

I was casually reading articles on the net about cheap “Plug and Play” toys, like the Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter pads that you can hook up to any tv and play w/o a console. Plug It In & Play Mortal Kombat Game: Toys & Games

Then I was thinking how cool it’d be to pick one up for like, five bucks, take out the pcb and throw it into a joystick. Expanding on this idea, maybe even gut an old netbook or something with just enough power to run Mame, and put the insides into a stick? I think X-Arcade already does that (…or maybe just provide the install cd for your computer?) but it’d be so handy to have the console INSIDE the stick for when you’re traveling to a friend’s house.

I’ve seen some pretty half baked ideas in the forums, like the guy that wanted to build his stick in the shape of a Gundam w/ legs, but would this be feasible? I don’t own a netbook so I’m not sure of the internals, whether there’s fans and such. I have an iPad and nothing ever heats up at all, and it could easily run Mame.

Perhaps a GP2x board (with the video cables plugs on the case!) would fit better, and produce much less heat than a netbook. Not sure if you can plug an additional controller to the GP2x though.

I’ve thought about doing this with my GP2X before. I ordered the TV out cable for it but it doesn’t seem to work properly. Not sure if its a problem with my tv or my GP2X. The GP2X will take a second controller if you have a USB host cable. For player 1 controls, just treat it like a regular pad hack and solder to the button contacts. GP2X would be the best option for this due to its size and ability to run pretty much any CPS1/2 and neogeo. the only problem I can see is getting it to start in TV out mode, I’m sure that its possible I just don’t know how

build a small panel for the LCD from a psp, use the custom firmware and select tv out, mount everything securly and not only do you have a stick, but you can watch cartoons on it too !

realistically, you could build a low profile micro motherboard cpu combo, and house everything in the box, use some start up scripts to have it bring up your mame front end and call it a day…

thats 2 legit ideas, I might steal one…

Why would you use a psp when a gp2x is cheaper and better suited for the job?

PSPs go for pretty cheap nowadays in the US at least…

Just wanted to contribute to the party… mame live cd

Advance Projects - AdvanceCD

The problem with the PSP is that you can only play by yourself, or with another PSP via wifi. It is apparently very hard to make the psp support additional controllers, and the emulators would have to support the feature (they don’t).

P.S. Somebody please make this now :slight_smile:

Amazing idea! Make it happen, rich boys!

I believe a few people on tis board have thought out loud about this as well at some point. Would be awesome to actually see someone do it.

Personally, I’d go with a small PC (either a microATX or a netbook board) and have a USB slot on the side for connecting a second joystick. Either that, or build a 2 layer box.

Just wanted to tease a feature in a upcoming Dual Strike V2 firmware: a MAME working mode - the DS is working as a keyboard with the standard MAME keys, either for player 1 or player 2 and with a mode to control MAME. It will not be available for stock V1 DSs, but there most probably will be a upgrade available for classic DSs by swapping the microcontroller. I don’t know about the SMD-version’s upgradability.

I’m contemplating getting a GPX2 now. I’ve never heard of it before, but for its size, price and functionality, it might be the best choice. It looks like it might even fit into a Hori FS3 case. The only problem is once I get it, I might just wanna keep it to use a portable game player instead. Maybe I’ll do some research to find like, a GPX2 knockoff or something, with the same guts but shoddy hardware, so I don’t mind taking it apart.

I don’t think I’d go for a MicroATX board. I had a NES PC project going, and after housing the power supply, a fan, and a harddrive, it gets pretty heavy. (and expensive).

I had a great idea for this project today. If you used a clear case, one of Art’s acrylic cases for example, you could mount a GP2X (with it’s case still in tact but no buttons) in such a way that you would have its screen in between or below the stick and buttons and basically have a self contained portable mame cab with hookups on the back/side for second controllers, power and TV out.

I was toying with this idea a while back. My plan was to buy a control panel like this and gut a laptop and put the parts inside, then have outputs for audio and video to connect to a TV. I’m kinda broke now but I might actually give it a shot once I got enough money spare.