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Crystal Gamepad


October 24, 2020 - By Bobbi

You most probably already heard of one of those neat converters, which allow you to plug your original PSX gamepad into your parallel port or USB port and use it like a normal PC joystick afterwards. The disatvantage of these converters always was, that you had to buy a gamepad and that converter as well. Now, Crystal ships a gamepad which looks pretty much like such a PSX joystick, and even comes with more functions !

When opening the packet, there're two things in it : A big cardboard containing the joystick and a small manual which describes the extra functions like Auto key, Turbo key and mode change (more about that later). You heard right, there is no driver disc included. You're supposed to just plug the gamepad into your USB port and should be ready to start away. Theoriticly seen at least ...


Getting started

Like already mentioned, the joystick pretty much looks like the original gamepad from Sony, but has some differents. First off, instead of a start and select key, there's a turbo and a clear button. Using those two, you're able to activate options like autofire (very useful in some games). On the back, there's a button for normal and exchanged mode. It's meant to flip around the buttons, so the X, O, Triangle and Square buttons become the L1, L2, R1 and R2 button and the other way around. I'm not really sure what this option is useful for yet though ...



Driver installation

Since all joypads I tried so far didn't worked under Win95a, I wanted to see if this one does and, like expected, it doesn't work as well because of missing USB drivers. Though any version above that with the latest USB update should work fine. I tried to install it on my PC with Windows ME. After plugging it into the USB port, Plug and Play did what it's supposted to do and found a new USB decive. In the system configuration, I promptly found it installed as USB Gamecontroller with the following options :




Easy visible here is the first negative point I noticed : The two buttons in the middle can't be assigned to start and select like usally since special functions are assigned to them. So, in order to use those two keys, you need to assign them to other buttons on the controller or to your keyboard in case the game you want to play allows this.

Time to play !!

Now it's time to start up some emulators and see how the gamepad performces with those, since it's mainly designed for them. But before, I was playing a match of NHL 2001 against a friend and noticed, that this joystick isn't really useful for this game since you can't use the right stick, you need to use the analog ones, and it's hard to steer properly with them. But since it's a gamepad for emulators, this isn't really the thing that counts, so I started up ePSXe and wanted to see how this new emulator works.


The configuration went very easily, some other emulators should really take a sneak look at the way this one works, I had it working in less than 1 minute. In the game itself, the controller did what is what meant to be, it worked great with all games, just like the PSX controller I had connected to my PC using the Smartjoy Adapter ... had a real good match against a friend with those two.
With bleem!, I had some problems at the beginning since I wasn't able to assign the analog stick to the correct functions, but after some playing with the configuration, it was also running and playing nicely. So a big thumb up for emulator compatibility ! The only thing I started to miss after some time was the dual shock compatibility, may it be because it takes up to much power or whatever ... this feature would have been the point on the i ...

Restults

The first impression with this new joypad was great, it looks nice with it's transperent case and the original PSX design. The configuration went quick and worked great afterwards. The two bad things I noticed are the missing dual shock compatibility and that it only has 8 buttons although the original analog PSX controller has 12 buttons. But with some flexibility you'll surely be able to get around that flaw. All together, this is a product every interrested gamer should take a look at. The suggested retail price lies between 30 and 40 US$.

Rating



Quick facts



Crystal Gamepad - Now $34.95




Pro

No need for a converter
Easy installation
Easy to setup for emus

Contra

Not useful for PC games
No Dual Shock function
High price

Result

Great for people who want to get the last thing out of their emulators and don't fear the price, which is a bit to high. Also useful for newbies.



       
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