Consoles, joysticks, wheels...what's needed?

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Consoles, joysticks, wheels...what's needed?

Postby Vikster » Fri Jan 03, 2003 10:52 am

My nephew's coming to stay for a month, and he likes gaming. While I play a few RPG's, I've never done much pc gaming. I'd like to surprise him with a decent setup, since my new machine is a screamer.

I've seen consoles, sidewinders, joysticks, and MOMO wheels available. Can someone tell me which types of games use which hardware? And how desireable is the add-on hardware? Is it really difficult to play the games without?

Some of the games his folks got him for Xmas are Battlefield 1942, Combat Flight Simulator 3, and I think he also got Hitman 2.

Thanks for any advice and explanations!!
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Postby Johnny Mnemonic » Fri Jan 03, 2003 1:35 pm

For B1942 and Hitman, you don't need anything more than a good wheel mouse (preferably USB and Optical), and a keyboard. For the flight sim, a joystick would work, but so would a gamepad. I've had good luck with the microsoft series of joysticks for a while, but haven't owned any recent joysticks. A gamepad is a good all around controller. Major pro's, easy to use for driving, flying, etc. Cons: not always the most accurate approach. A genuine joystick is preferable for flight and combat sims (mechwarrior), as this allows more precise "aiming" action. Only if you plan on playing any racing/driving games, will you really want to get a steering wheel. These cost alot, but are much easier to use than a joystick in driving games.

If you decide on a joystick, try to find one with a 4 way positional switch, a good solid feel to the springs, and 3d movement(X & Y axis, plus twisting motion).
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Postby White Raven » Fri Jan 03, 2003 2:54 pm

If your looking at first-person shooters then I would recommend the following:
1. Belkins Nostromo n50 Speedpad*
2. Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 (USB or wireless)

For any Flight sim or Mechwarrior game:
1. Microsoft Sidewinder Joystick* or Logitech Wingman Strike Force 3D

I don't play any racing games but have had luck with a Logitech Wingman Rumble Pad for when I use to do some racing.

Overall, I would recommend getting the Nostromo Speedpad for your own use. It can be programmed with many different applications for quick-keys.

*These controllers come preconfigured for certain games already and can be configured for just about any other games out there.
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Postby HotshotTrebor » Fri Jan 03, 2003 11:10 pm

I have an Interact Hammerhead Pro, and I haven't had any problems up until recently, when the left stick stopped working. I typically only play FPS and strategy as far as PC games go and I have the pad mainly for 16-bit emulators, and the 8-way pad works fine.
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Postby Vikster » Mon Jan 06, 2003 8:23 pm

Thanks, everyone! I made a deal with him - I'll supply the mouse and a Sidewinder joystick -- he gets to bring his own gamepad if he feels he needs it. Of course, he's bringing his own games, too.

As to the mouse -- I have a Logitech MX700 cordless optical. Will the cordless respond as well as a wired mouse, or am I going to need to go out and buy another one to avoid hearing him complain all month?
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Postby gamepyrate » Mon Jan 06, 2003 9:01 pm

it'll probably do. i mean, by far the microsoft intellimouse explorers are the best mice, but logitechs are the only other real alternative and they don't do too bad. really the only problem besides size and buttons is the laser. if you move too fast the mouse will go in circles instead of going straight. a lot of people don't even notice, just people who have too much time or are just intense gamers would note the difference.. i haven't even touched that particular mouse, but i could assume it's the same.. just try moving it real fast and see what it does?
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Postby Vikster » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:47 pm

Gamepyrate, I can't even convince teh mouse to do what you're describing. Maybe this model is better?

Anyway, if this setup isn't enough, he'll just have to pack his own. After all, by the time he visits again in a year it'll probably all be obsolete!
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Postby david4991 » Sat Jan 11, 2003 1:00 am

btw the way what is your screamer? 8)
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Postby Vikster » Mon Jan 13, 2003 4:51 pm

The screamer is...
Asus A7N8X mobo w/2x256 Crucial DDR 2700
AMD 2100+ (yeah, I know... lame. But it's the one place I cut costs... upgrade planned for mid-year)
Radeon 8500 128MB DDR
2x 80GB WD w/8mb cache
Pioneer A05 DVD-R/-RW
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Postby Johnny Mnemonic » Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:27 pm

Damn, 2100 is lame? <Looks at my 1600> Oh well, I do have a Intel 533 board, so that will be my next CPU, but 200 bucks is well, 200 bucks! :)

Vikster, as far as mice go, optical mice really only care about the surface they run on. I have an el-cheapo Memorex PS2 optical wheel mouse, and it probably cost at most 15 bucks. It runs just fine on any game I ever throw at it. It only gets confused if I use it on wood grain, but with my textured mouse pad it never skips a beat.

I have heard USB is more accurate, due to the times per second the device is polled is higher in USB vs PS2, but I don't think it's really noticable.
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