X-Arcade Solo USB Joystick on OSX Review

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I have been considering getting one of these babies for probably about two years but I was always too scared. My main concern was if I could perform with this stick as well as I can with a controller. After all I have twenty years of practice playing with a controller. Well it was my birthday and I got it for myself! The verdict? A resounding 1/1. I have never felt better playing the arcade games of my childhood. Yes it will take me a long time to reach the same skill level I have with a controller but I will get there. The nostalgia is too strong.

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There are some hardcore gamers who will ask questions like “What kind of stick technology does it use?” That conversation is way over my head. You can read all about that on tested.com. I can say this uses a US stick which is a “Happ” model characterized by a long pear-shaped stick and convex buttons. Some people prefer the asian-influenced round-knob sticks and concave buttons. I grew up with US arcade games and this makes me feel the most nostalgic.

The product itself feels amazingly solid. If I dropped this on the ground I would only be moderately concerned that I broke it. It weighs about 5 lb and sits on a desk very firmly. The stick is firm and springs back to centers nicely and the buttons make excellent clicking sounds. There are 8 face buttons, 2 side pinball buttons, a power button and a start button. My model shipped with a USB adapter but they do not ALL SHIP WITH THAT! Make sure you know what adapters you are getting, they cost extra.

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In my video you can see me test the stick on a variety of MAME-emulated games. The joystick is 100% plug and play on OSX. The system simply treats it as a USB keyboard. You go to map your buttons and the joystick inputs some random keys and the game is ready to rock. Of course it works great on Windows and a variety of consoles as well. If you are considering getting an arcade stick, I think this is an excellent bet.

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2 replies
  1. Stefan Stockinger
    Stefan Stockinger says:

    Yesterday I left a comment here but for some reason it’s no longer here. Second try:

    So let me thank you again for this review, I have been waiting for such review for quite some time. My problem: The manufacturers of X Arcade still have a disclaimer on the limited support under MacOSX: http://www.xgaming.com/support/questions/75/How+To+Use+MAME™+On+Your+Mac+With+Your+X-Arcade™

    Since I am using SDLMame along with QMC2 (both in their very latest version), I was wondering whether you can confirm these problems in this configuration.

    Let me once again (like in my first post) thank you for this review, the reasons for playing Arcade emulators are just the right ones, revivals are never the same…

    Many thanks and greetings from Vienna, Austria

    Stefan

    Reply
  2. Stefan
    Stefan says:

    Oh, finally somebody in the web that tested the X-Arcade on a Mac. Thank you so much! When I listend to your reasons for playing old arcade games I smiled because that’s exactly it! If you play DigDug that has a 28 KByte ROM, it is just pure genius to get so much gameplay out of a few bytes. But a heavy sturdy control is needed, for sure.

    The only question I would have to you: I am playing SDLMame (http://sdlmame.lngn.net/) via QMC2 (http://qmc2.arcadehits.net/wordpress/) simply because these seem to be the cutting edge on the Mac. I am currently on the most recent version 0.162 and it rocks (also because the old games still receive frequent upgrades). Did you have any chance to test the X-Arcade on such configuration? Because the X-Arcade website itself still warns of a bug in SDL Mame that seriously hampers usage: http://www.xgaming.com/support/questions/75/How+To+Use+MAME%E2%84%A2+On+Your+Mac+With+Your+X-Arcade%E2%84%A2

    If you find some time to share your ideas, I would be very grateful. Needless to say that my Touchpad hovers over the Order Button of the X-Arcade from time to time, and some hints from an X-Arcade owner such as you could successfully close the deal. Many thanks and greetings from the other sinde of the pond, that’s Vienna, Austria (Europe).

    Keep on Gamin – Stefan 🙂

    Reply

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