Author Topic: Looking for opinions on the first party PCE “cordless” controllers  (Read 170 times)

pacowles

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Hi all! I’m hoping someone can give me a rundown of the PCE cordless controllers and opinions on whether they are worth picking up. I also posted this on the TG16 subreddit, so I apologize in advance if anyone already saw it there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any useful replies there, mostly just people expressing their disappointment in 1990s IR technology in general, but no hands-on experience with the PCE cordless pads.

Here goes...

So I’ve been looking at options for wireless controllers for the PC Engine, and none of the modern/Bluetooth options appeal to me. For example, I’m aware of the Brook adapter, but I’m not interested in playing PCE with a PS3 controller, especially with input lag if I use it wirelessly.

During my search, I came across the first party controllers marketed as “cordless” that require a receiver. Unfortunately, there is remarkably little information online about these controllers. The very few comments I’ve seen range from “don’t bother, get an extension cord” to “best wireless option available.” I assume the truth is somewhere in between, but I’d like to hear from folks who have actually used these controllers, as they look to be quite expensive due to the required receiver being in the $300 range.

So what’s the verdict, PC Engine enthusiasts? Are these things worth the cost? Any and all opinions would be greatly appreciated!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 10:37:04 AM by pacowles »

Necromancer

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$300?!?  Holy smokes!  Even if they worked like a dream, I'd have a hard time arguing they're worth that much scratch.

I bought mine new back in the mid-90s for $25ish.and I love it.  It feels very much like a regular pad (same basic shape and buttons but heavier with the batteries), has reasonable battery life, and the receiver works as a tap if you have multiple wireless pads.  Having to maintain line of sight can be a hassle on fast paced games like shooters and vs fighters, but I'm mostly okay with keeping it pointed the right way in RPGs, digicomics, and similarly leisurely titles; I can always swap out for an Ave6 or whatever if needed.

I also have the 3rd party wireless stick.  The IR specific bits are fine, but it's not a great stick, having way too much play in the stick before contacting the switches.

Finally, I also have one of those 8bitdo pads for my TG16 mini.  It feels quite good (close to an OG pad but a bit smaller) and I'd love if they made a dongle like they have for the NES/SNES/FEKA.
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pacowles

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Thanks for the reply, this is the type of information I was looking for!

The receiver seems super rare these days, with only one for sale on eBay, currently listed at $325 OBO (no controller included). The wireless pads themselves seem to run in the $70 range for a working controller, although there are some posted on Yahoo Japan for $35 before all the shipping and fees for a proxy service to actually buy them and ship to the US.

It’s super unfortunate that there aren’t really any options for wireless controllers for the original hardware aside from a few adapters that would force the use of inconvenient modern controllers and introduce input lag via Bluetooth. I guess there just isn’t enough demand to warrant someone making a proper wireless dongle/pad for the TG16/PCE. I also have the 8bitdo PCE pad for the mini, and it’s great... I’d love to be able to use it on my actual PCE  :(

At any rate, you’ve at least given me confidence that the OEM wireless pads are usable — all of the replies on Reddit (from people who have never even used them) suggested that literally no IR controller from the 90s could be effectively used today. On a related note, if anyone wants to sell a set, give me a shout  :)

Keith Courage

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I had the 1st party wireless Pads before. I didn't realize how much I moved a controller when I played a game until I had them. No matter how much I tried to keep the controllers in the line of site for the receiver, I'd have a drop in connection from time to time. So I sold them. This was years ago.