Playing classic games on your PC via an emulator --- a program that simulates a platform such as an NES, Commodore 64, and even Microsoft DOS, used to load and play games made specifically for that platform --- can bring back fond memories of your favorite games of yesterday. However, playing these video games can be difficult using just your keyboard. To play these games properly, you may need to use a PC-supported controller.
Xbox 360 Wireless Controller
While the Xbox 360 wireless controller (also available as a wired controller) certainly is designed to work with the console first and foremost, it also works with your PC. By connecting the wireless gaming receiver to your USB port (or the wired portion of your Xbox 360 wired controller), you can use your Xbox 360 controller with your emulator. Go to the "Options" portion of your emulator and choose "Device" (or the equivalent). You will be able to choose the controller and even assign an action to each button; for instance, in an NES emulator, the "A" button could be the "A" button on the controller. It features two thumbsticks (one in the top corner and one in the bottom corner), an eight-direction D-Pad in the bottom left corner, a left bumper and right bumper on the top of the controller, two trigger buttons on the back, and four "action" buttons (Y, B, X, and A buttons) on the right side of the controller. As of 2010, the Microsoft Xbox 360 controller ranges from about $38 to $60.
Saitek P3600 Cyborg Rumble Pad
The Saitek P3600 Cyborg Rumble Pad is a revolutionary PC controller that allows you to actually switch up the controller -- whether you prefer an Xbox or PlayStation3 layout. Featuring a D-Pad, two thumbsticks, four "action" buttons (Y, B, A, and X), and rumble support, this controller is the best of both worlds for fans of modern console gaming. As of 2010, the Saitek P3600 Cyborg Rumble Pad ranges from about $27 to $50.
RetroZone USB Controllers and Ports
If you are a fan of classic video games and would like to play them as they were intended to be played, purchase a classic controller designed to work with your PC. Many of the items available from RetroZone are ports, meaning you will need to purchase your own classic controller and will need to plug it into the RetroZone port designed for that controller. This port will then plug into your computer, allowing you to play your classic controller on your PC. If you want a new classic controller, you may purchase the NES or SNES retropad. These products range from about $21 to $38.
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