If there's anyone that can come up with a product that's part eccentric, part excessive, it's Japan. Of course, if there's anyone to buy that product, it's Americans. Hey, we're all good at something.
Bit Trade One recently contacted us about their new USB paddle horizontal controller, a device that's been in production for some time in Japan but is just now moving to US markets. The somewhat-modular device is meant more as a general purpose control interface than a gaming controller, it does, however, target some old and retro games directly. In a world that aims on delivering very specific, niche-targeted products, it's exciting to see "MacGyver" style, geeky tools gaining popularity. If you haven't already installed some of our aesthetic PC improvements, you may want to consider giving this half-toy, half-productivity booster a look.
The Bit Trade One "Horizontal Controller" (yes, that's the actual name) is, as the name suggests, quite a simple concept: you get a spindle-operated knob, two arcade-quality buttons, and enough software to make use of it in ways you never really cared for before.
Yes, that's the tough part. It takes a bit of imagination to come up with something you could use it for (aside from retro gaming, which is quite obvious at the get-go), but once you've got it figured out, it is quite a versatile device. Think DIY. Here are the advertised features:
I look at it as a DIY 'completionist' package. If you're rebuilding a MAME cabinet, making your own retro controller (instead of spending whatever ridiculous amount they want, these days), or playing retro games, it's probably for you. If you're not doing any of those things, I suppose it could take place as a fancy volume controller -- but in all seriousness, if that's why you're interested, you may want to consider cheaper and more specialized routes.
We'll try to get a review of this product online for a more clear analysis. The current price is about 7,480 JPY, or ~$100 USD. For now, you can check out the US-facing page here: