After my disappointing experience with an inexpensive–perhaps I should just say cheap— X-Kim USB gamepad, I decided to give the GT Max Playstation-USB converter a try. This inexpensive (under $5) adapter lets you use Playstation and Playstation 2 (PS2) controllers with a PC.
I’m just interested in being able to use it with emulators for older systems, so I can’t comment on its suitability for using Playstation dance pads with PC games, or using inexpensive PS2 controllers with PS3s. Other users report some degree of success for that.
I’m happy to report that I can now play five or six levels of Jumpman or 9 innings of Baseball Stars without my hands hurting.
Some purchasers report the CD that comes with the adapter has malware. So I didn’t even touch the CD. I just plugged the adapter into a USB port and let Windows install it as an HID-compliant game controller. Then I plugged an original Playstation controller into it. CCS64, a popular Commodore 64 emulator, recognizes the controller when I plug it into the rightmost port. Unfortunately I couldn’t get CCS64 to use a controller in the second port. I don’t know if that’s the fault of CCS64 or the adapter, but I suspect it was CCS64. I was able to configure the FCEUX emulator for the Nintendo NES to work fine with either port. Simply go to Config, Input, then click on each controller’s Configure button, which brings up a virtual gamepad. Click a button in the virtual gamepad, then push the button on the controller you want to map to that button. Push the button again to confirm, and you’ve got it.
I will say the controller responds just as nicely when plugged into a PC as it does when plugged into a Playstation. No lag or anything else. It has way more buttons than I need for Commodore emulation, but I can ignore those. And yes, perhaps I would rather use an authentic, period joystick, but the pad works well. The adapter is cheap, and Playstation controllers are plentiful and cheap. Used dualshock controllers sell for around $4, and the original, non-dualshock pads can be even cheaper than that. I had a couple of disused spares anyway, so I just used them. I prefer the digital pad over the analog joystick,
I have numerous classic systems and enjoy them, but I don’t have room to keep them all plugged in at once. And I don’t really want to dig one out and set it up just to play a quick game. So being able to emulate the old systems on my main PC–or on my netbook, when I’m on the road–is nice. And being able to use proven, reliable Playstation controllers on that PC, rather than buying expensive USB controllers for it, is nice. It saves me money, and it’s one or two fewer electronic devices in the house. If any of what I’m describing sounds like you, you’ll like this device just as much as I do.