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Old 09 January 2009, 23:33   #57
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Sidcup, England
Posts: 10,300
This evening, I've just had time to give my new Competition Pro USB joystick a preliminary test - my first experience with a joystick controller since the days of the Atari VCS.

Connecting it to a spare USB port on my PC, I tested the function of the stick and buttons with the Control Panel -> Printers and Other Hardware -> Game Controllers -> Properties -> Test menu.

At first, the response of the stick and buttons seemed to be quite satisfactory, with all four buttons auto-fire enabled.

However, the moment I swapped the Competition Pro for a PC compatible USB control pad, I could clearly see the problem.

These USB pads are nothing special. I bought two of them quite cheaply about six months ago. They look much like a PS2 controller, but without the analog sticks.

Although this was also the first time I have used one of these, it was immediately apparent that their response is far superior to that of the Competition Pro USB.

Swapping back to the Competition Pro, it became evident that there is some discernible lag between actuating the microswitches by pressing the buttons or moving the joystick and observing the on-screen response. And the auto-fire function is less rapid as a result.

It was good advice to have a spare controller with which to compare the new joystick, because the lag is quite subtle when tested in this way and I might not have noticed it otherwise. No doubt the effect will be more pronounced during gameplay.

Unfortunately, Turrican (the game recommended both by TCD and Retro above for testing this joystick) is not one of the games included in the Amiga Classic Diamond Edition collection, but I have found it readily available for download with a manual and Amiga cheats too!

I'm not too disappointed with the Competition Pro USB stick. I can't say yet whether I would prefer a joystick or pad for game playing. I guess, being ambidextrous, it will more likely be the pad.

For existing owners of Competition Pro USB joysticks who might be concerned about this problem but are otherwise quite happy with their purchase, I have two items of good news: (1) there is no need to buy another one just yet, as the "Second Edition" appears to be no better than the "First Edition", and (2) it might be possible to improve the response simply by using a cheap USB joypad to provide better components for the USB interface.

Last edited by prowler; 10 January 2009 at 00:48.
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