Thursday, May 1, 2008

Types of Gamepads

With every generation of game console, the gamepads have changed. Until the early 1990s, most gamepads consisted only of some buttons directly connected to the console. Since gamepads were designed with more and more buttons, new ways for reading out the data had to be found. Original Play-Station gamepads, for example, have a small microcontroller inside that handles all the button input, converts the analog stick data to binary values, and communicates with the console over a serial protocol.

For this project, I will use a Sega Master System gamepad, which consists of only six buttons and uses a 9-pin SUB-D connector.

If your eyes are starting to glaze over right now, don't fret. You just need a crash course. Dan O'Sullivan and Tom Igoe's Physical Computing (Course Technology PTR) explains everything involved with projects such as this, from the individual components up to the power supply, to all the skills you need to breadboard up your circuits.

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