aka I occasionally find things that are (partially) outside the scope of Sega Retro, but ought to be written down so it doesn't get lost. Disclaimer: much of this is only partially researched. Facts might be wrong. So every 6-12 months (or whenever I feel like it), I scavenge ebay for Sega-related things. In the absense of scans or people wanting to document their stuff, it can often be the best way to get details (or at the very least, replacement photographs). And then you find something, discover our coverage kinda sucks, and spend the next day getting stuck down rabbit holes. So here's a question nobody asked: ~Mysterious~ Dreamcast controller, DC-6. We don't even know the year it was made... and we still don't. But we do know the branding: Competition Pro. But if you look up "Competition Pro" on the internet, you get... a Competition Pro: It's one of the most iconic line of computer joysticks ever made. In fact... they're still made today, albeit as USB devices, and with a fraction of the build quality. People collect these things - there's so many little variants and off-shoots, and yet when you put the term into Wikipedia, you get... a sub-heading of a defunct electronics company. So if Kempston Micro Electronics died in 1993, why I can I buy Competition Pros today? ...because the German company Speedlink got the rights a few years ago. But what about 1999/2000 for this Dreamcast pad? Well uh yeah Wikipedia is probably wrong. So Kempston, based in Kempston, was a company most famous for the ZX Spectrum add-ons. Or specifically the "Kempston Joystick Interface", which let you plug joysticks into the machine, because Sinclair didn't offer that as an option straight away. It was a big deal, and a big faff because other companies had similar ideas but didn't talk to each other. As such, the Spectrum games often ask you which type of joystick "standard" you're using - you never had this issue with Commodores and Amstrads because they had joystick ports from the get go. Sell an interface, and you might as well sell a joystick. And that's where Wikipedia's research stopped - Kempston made things, so they must have made joysticks, the end. Not quite. I think Kempston just distributed Competition Pros - they were manufacturered by this company, Coin Controls Ltd.. Usually you can trace a (recent) British company through Companies House, but this isn't a recent company, and their business is... unusual. That address is an old cotton mill: https://email@example.com...174.19713&pitch=0&thumbfov=100!7i16384!8i8192 "Grape Mill" was turned into a factory and produced "controls". My vague understanding is this is literally the control panels of say, vending machines or telephone booths. In 1982/1983 they got into the business of producing computer joysticks, and the first in the line, the "Competition Pro 5000" was born. People liked it because it had proper arcade microswitches in it. Coin Controls didn't have a full distribution network in place, however, so it was up to companies like Kempston to sell the things. But they weren't doing this for very long: The bods in charge set up their own distribution firm in the same building. And for the rest of the 1980s you got Competition Pros in many different colours and some with extra buttons. The Sega bit - the Master System and Mega Drive got the third iteration of the controller, the Competition Pro Star but there's an obvious problem - the Mega Drive has 4 buttons, the SNES has 8 - it's not a good enough design for console gaming. But rather than make something new, Coin Controls rebadged some products from the far East They also had a US branch by then, and the "controls" division was spun off and became "Happ Controls Inc." in 1986. Meanwhile in the UK, "Powerplay Ltd." was set up for distribution in UK. Eventually they stop talking about Coin Controls - I can only assume the business of selling video game accessories was transferred to these two distributors (given they weren't manufacturing them in-house anymore). Competition Pro is literally just a brand at this point. It goes away in the 2010s though, probably around the point Speedlink obtained the license and actually started making "proper" joysticks again. It's probably fair to say the average console owner doesn't, and perhaps has never, given a damn about the Competition Pro brand, so it's no great loss. Where are they now? https://www.speedlink.com/en/COMPETITION-PRO-EXTRA-USB-Joystick-black-red/SL-650212-BKRD Speedlink still exist, and will happily sell you a Competition Pro USB joystick. I've heard mixed reviews, but that was ages ago - maybe they've got better. https://na.suzohapp.com/ Happ Controls merged with a rival company, Suzo and became Suzohapp. They're still in games... kinda - they'll sell you parts for arcade machines and the like. https://www.powerplaybrands.com/ Powerplay gave up on the video game accessories dream and now sells... clothes. And they're still based in Grape Mill. Perhaps they should pave that road. Kempston Micro Electronics's headquarters probably still exists, but the company has been dead for years. Competition Pro joysticks remain a perfectly valid way to play games designed for 8 and 16-bit home computers.