Retro-bit announce new/official Sega controllers

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by 360, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. doc eggfan

    doc eggfan

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    I'm also interested in this. If I want a 6 button usb MD pad, should I get the Retro-bit ones or get a Jap/Asian MD mini for the included pads (or are they all the same?)
     
  2. Spanner

    Spanner

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    I don't know about Mega Drive Mini but I certainly wouldn't recommend their USB offerings until they fix the firmware on them, which clearly isn't in their interest.

    They forced Switch macros which make button combinations like A+Start undoable. I was in email contact with someone there and they said developers were on the case but it doesn't appear they have released any firmware specific to the wired controllers yet.

    So earlier in the year I sold my six button Mega Drive controller on eBay and later on was lucky enough to get a Saturn SLS USB controller at a really good price, very close to what I paid for the MD USB controller.

    So yeah, if you want a USB controller for PC, I'd certainly recommend keeping an eye out on good prices for SLS controllers. Not all sellers are offering them at expensive prices now.
     
  3. Crasher

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    Massive bump, but they actually released an update regarding the Analog Saturn/Dreamcast controllers last month.

    They've been delayed due to "various factors such as manufacturing shortages such as IC chips". Unfortunate, but to be expected considering how there's a shortage all around with components it seems.
     
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  4. LordOfSquad

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    Delayed is better than cancelled. If they space the sticks out more on the Saturn one so they don't clack together when you push them both inward, it'll be probably my favorite controller ever. Dreamcast one is a little weird, the improvements they've made to it are probably gonna leave it feeling kind of like a mix between the actual controller and the vastly superior Saturn 3D pad, which I wish they were remaking instead lol
     
  5. ICEknight

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    So... What's the button order in those?
     
  6. How do you find out the button order? I have both the original USB SLS pad and the wireless (not Bluetooth) Retrobit Saturn pad and can check. I’ll even check the Virtua Stick (which is almost definitely the same as the SLS pad).

    Edit:

    Somebody already answered for the SLS controller, so I'll do the Retrobit:

    A = 3
    B = 2
    C = 8
    X = 4
    Y = 1
    Z = 7
    L = 5
    R = 6
    Home = 13
    Select = 9
    Start = 10
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2021
  7. Spanner

    Spanner

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    Looking at the game controller properties in Windows:
    A = 1
    B = 2
    C = 3
    X = 4
    Y = 5
    Z = 6
    Rewind = 7
    Fast Ford = 8
    Start = 9

    I don't own the Retro-bit pad any more, this is only the button order for the USB SLS pad, so can't help with that.
     
  8. Kob

    Kob

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    A couple of Instagram commenters recently asked if the Saturn 3D pads they teased at CES 2019 were still in the works -- Retro-Bit's community rep indicated that nothing is in development. I also prefer that controller to the Dreamcast pad, and a new version would present an opportunity to fully realize the possibilities of the connector port up top.

    In other news:
    • Crimson Genesis pads are available for preorder, available in 2.4 GHz wireless, USB, and console port configurations. Scheduled to drop "Holidays 2021."
    • Shortly after Nintendo announced its Genesis/MD 3-button pads for Switch, Retro-Bit shared concepts of the "Big 6" -- essentially a 6-button version of the original Genesis/MD pad, or a revised take on the MK-1470 pad. They're planning console port, USB, and 2.4 GHz wireless versions of these as well -- with USB-C(!) charging for the wireless option. Based on the concepts, the start button currently occupies the same spot as that of the old Remote Arcade Pad. It'll be interesting to see if they replicate the original controller's D-Pad design in the final, or if they opt to Frankenstein-in a 6-button style D-Pad instead -- similar to what they're envisioning for their Dreamcast controller.
    Speaking of D-Pads: Is anyone else bothered by the smooth texture of the Retro-Bit controllers' D-Pads versus the rougher, almost "powder-coat" finish of the originals? The new ones perform well, but the textured feel of the original D-Pads was part of what made them so nice to use. I'm planning to swap the D-Pads in my own Retro-Bit Genesis and Saturn controllers for OEM parts from older controllers to compensate.
     
  9. biggestsonicfan

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    Retro-bit has quietly discontinued their bluetooth line of Sega controllers, and resellers are starting to inflate prices already...
     
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  10. Willie

    Willie

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    Whoa, thank you for the notice. o_O I was waiting for the analog Saturn controller to release before buying any of them, but I guess we are never going to get it now if they discontinued making Sega controllers?
     
  11. biggestsonicfan

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    The key word here is bluetooth, they are still making the 2.4GHz wireless versions. I do not like those. I have never had luck with 2.4GHz accessories.

    EDIT: So this affects things like pairing with Nintendo Switches and PCs
     
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  12. JustAMotobug

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    I wish I knew about that before getting a 2.4Ghz Wireless one. At least the one I have works well for what I do. Just wish I bought the bluetooth one so I could use it on a phone.
     
  13. Kob

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    Looks like there are still some Bluetooth models available through major sellers at their original price at this point. Meanwhile, I have noticed over time a few (most?) varieties of the 2.4Ghz Saturn controllers have sold out in the US, without restocks.
     
  14. LockOnTommy11

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    I have two of their 2.4ghz USB Wireless MegaDrive 6B pads, one in black, one in blue, and they work really well for me. I use them on the MegaDrive 1, MegaDrive Mini, PS3, Mac and Switch. Unfortunately the button layout for Switch makes playing games like SoR4 annoying as A and B become jump and kick, and Y is special move, but I have played MK8DX with it and it works pretty well. The B button on the PS3 is also X which is odd as you’d assume it would be Square but whatever. I’m trying to track down a cheap copy of Sonic Generations to play with it but seems that nowhere on the high street stocks as second-hand as I guess people liked that game enough not to sell it.

    I did have some bad luck with one though. The black one’s C button used to randomly work but only as if it were half pressed (so Sonic did a little jump) and ONLY when certain other buttons were already pressed. I checked the button and it’s connection to the board but everything seemed fine. I ended up contacting Retro-Bit who couldn’t figure it out but kindly sent me a replacement which came in a U.S. Genesis box which was cool. I guess things worked out well really because not long after my bloody curtain rail fell off the wall and just about touched the blue one, knocking it from 20cm height onto the floor which smashed the L button’s internal component so it wouldn’t press anymore. I ended up using the old black pad as spare parts and soldered it’s L trigger onto the blue’s board. Now I have two perfectly working controllers but I wouldn’t recommend dropping them from even low heights as they’re not shock absorbent in the slightest.
     
  15. I inadvertently started a collection of these things recently. I bought the blue 2.4 Ghz version of the Retro-bit Saturn pad in 2020 (which is a silly name since Bluetooth is also 2.4 GHz, but I guess everybody knows what it means). While I'd rather not have a dongle, I was concerned about latency and battery life with Bluetooth. It worked very well for a while, but for some reason, the USB dongle stopped working a few weeks ago. As far as I know, they're keyed to each other, so I can't really use the pad anymore (except as an actual Saturn pad, I guess), which is too bad because I like the color.

    I decided to replace it with the 8BitDo Bluetooth pad (I don't think they make a 2.4 GHz version, except for an actual Genesis). It has nice build quality, though it's a bit small. I guess it's modeled after the six-button Genesis pad and not the Saturn pad, though (but it has two shoulder buttons, so it can substitute for either). Unfortunately, it has quite a bit of lag. I didn't think I was especially sensitive to such things (considering I mostly play things in emulators, which people say inherently have input lag as well), but it's pretty bad. It also seems to just not pick up button presses sometimes (or maybe that's lag too). I was using a Steelseries Nimbus while waiting for this one to come in, which is also a Bluetooth controller (though more modeled after an Xbox controller, so not great for Genesis or Saturn games), and I couldn't perceive any lag with it, so if the problem is Bluetooth, other manufacturers have certainly done a better job of mitigating it. It also shows up, in Mac OS at least, as a PS4 controller, which probably gives it better compatibility with PC games at the cost of button mappings all showing up as Wingdings.

    So I decided to replace that with a Retrobit Bluetooth pad while I can still find one. I've used it a bit, and it feels a lot better than the 8BitDo pad. I can't notice any latency; it feels the same as the 2.4 GHz version to me. Again, I'm probably not super perceptive about these things, but the 8BitDo pad is noticeably quite bad and this one isn't. It's heavier than the 2.4 GHz version since it has vibration motors built into it, which I'm not crazy about, but it's not a big deal. I was hoping I could swap the case with the blue one since I can't find a blue Bluetooth one anymore, but the motors and the LEDs on the top mean that the moldings are too different for a simple swap.

    A visual comparison, with the USB SLS pad, 2.4 GHz Retrobit, Bluetooth 8BitDo, and Bluetooth RetroBit:

    [​IMG]

    The SLS pad is probably the best built overall. The buttons are firmer than the others despite being nearly twenty years older (most noticeable with the shoulder buttons and the D-pad). If you're looking for a USB pad, these are still the ones to get if you can find them for a reasonable price. That said, the Retrobits are perfectly serviceable as well, and I personally think the Bluetooth version is the one to get because of the lack of a dongle and the better device compatibility that that confers (though this one might stop working on me in two years for some other reason, so who knows). I might return the 8BitDo (I've also considered swapping it for a 2.4 GHz version for my Mega Sg, but I probably don't play that enough to justify it). One nice thing about the wireless pads is they have a few extra buttons in the middle; I use one as a dedicated screen shot button so I can take screen shots for Sega Retro.

    Here is also a comparison with some Genesis pads, the old infrared first-party controller (which I always liked because it was a little bulkier and had the start button in a better location), a Retrobit boomerang six-button controller, and the 8BitDo:

    [​IMG]

    (Edit: Forgot to mention the most annoying thing about the Retrobit pads, which is that they use micro-USB to charge. The 8BitDo pad uses USB-C. Maybe not annoying if you have other micro-USB devices, but these are the only ones I have.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2022
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  16. Yuzu

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    Have one of the Retro-Bit USB Saturn controllers and I absolutely love using it for fighting games. All of this talk in this thread about the Bluetooth (and possibly 2.4ghz?) controllers being discontinued makes me wonder if it's worth picking up a second as a backup.

    They're not perfect, but after using mine for two years I don't think I'd want to go back to another pad.

    EDIT: It is worth mentioning that if I could find an SLS pad for a decent price I would 100% pick one up. I should probably make it a habit to check eBay for one every now and again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2022
  17. Kob

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    On Steam at least, A, B, X, and Y all map to their corresponding XBOX-style controller buttons by default, which helps a lot when it comes to mapping buttons in-game and following on-screen prompts. It's become my default platform for Mania, SoR4, and Toejam & Earl: Back in the Groove for that very reason.

    It is possible to pair a controller with another dongle, provided you have a second controller + the dongle that came with it. Just follow the instructions in the "Pairing" section of the manual.

    I never really "got" the 8BitDo's appeal, given the existence of modern versions of the Sega pads it's trying to copy. Like you said, the Retro-Bits have their quirks, but all in all they're solid.
     
  18. LockOnTommy11

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    Not sure if this is beneficial to anyone, but I found it useful.

    I recently discovered via a random forum that latest versions of iOS on iDevices do allow connections from ‘unrecognised’ Bluetooth controllers, they just don’t show up in the way that recognised one’s (e.g. PS4 controllers) do.
    To do this, you need to go to Accessibility > Switch Control > Switches > Bluetooth Devices.
    From there, you can connect controllers and devices. I’m using an M30 8Bitdo controller to play the SEGA Forever and Sonic Taxman games.

    I also have an iDevice to TV HDMI adapter and can confirm that, when airplane mode is set (WiFi can still be on), that there is minimal lag, meaning I’ve been enjoying the Taxman games with little issue with an actual controller on my TV. I think that’s the best you can get legally whilst waiting for the eventual rereleases later this year.

    I assume this works with the Retro-Bit controllers too :thumbsup:
     
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  19. Thanks for the tip. I searched their web site for information but didn't think to check the manual. I ended up ordering a replacement dongle off eBay, and it paired up fine, so the Blue Bomber is back in service. I guess I'll put them all in different rooms in case I have a Sega Saturn-related emergency (like Segata Sanshiro coming out of nowhere and telling me to play Sega Saturn).
     
  20. President Zippy

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    I bought the Retro-Bit 2.4GHz Saturn controller (transparent gray with magenta shoulder buttons) to use for emulation, and it is an absolute godsend. The ergonomics are superior to the Genesis 6-button pad in my humble opinion, which makes it my favorite way to play Genesis/MD games, but it's also my favorite way to play most arcade fighters in MAME. Fight sticks have a certain feel that appeals to regular tourney participants, but I always found a nice flexible D-pad to be a better experience.

    Luckily for me, I also have a Saturn with Fighters Megamix, so I even get to use the Saturn receiver that came with it.

    After 2 years of good usage, I can safely it was the best $35 I spent on a controller. My only regret is that I didn't buy the transparent blue controller while I had the chance. If you want that one nowadays, it will cost over $100 on ebay.

    ... Oh, and I forgot to mention that I used it to set a world record in Sonic Mania: Mirage Saloon, Act 2 (Encore) w/ Ray. The leaderboards say I'm only #2, but I can't find any videos on youtube or the fediverse of anyone finishing this level as Ray faster than I did. I recorded this run back in mid-2019 on my Nintendo Switch, and I never got around to borrowing a capture device from a buddy to upload it.