>> Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Back in 1995 TecnoPlus produced the TP521 CD-i joystick. The one and only 3rd party manufacturer of CD-i controllers until now. It´s the only availabe joystick for the CD-i system as well; while Philips had an original CD-i joystick in prototype form, they eventually cancelled the joystick in favor of the gamepad (The Logitec design with the thumbstick). The TecnoPlus CD-i Joystick offered fully microswitched actions, A, B&A and B fire buttons, 3 speed settings (excellent for games like Chaos Control), maximum stability at 4 points, an ergonomic design and unique biogrip action provide precise control and smooth flowing movements (yes yes, Tecno Plus sales points for CD-i!)
Please click on the thumbnails to view the high-res images! I don't want to take away the other 'advantages' of this CD-i joystick: Extra long cable for maximum convenience; Color co-ordinated to match your CD-i system; High quality durable construction; Nice! Unfortunately, it's a pretty rare item and personally I don't like to use these types of joysticks. The only fun way for CD-i would be to control Atlantis: The Last Resort. Or The Lost Ride, as in these games you have your own control in movements.
Tecno Plus didn't only produce the joystick for CD-i though, they also created the CD-i gamepad. This features the original Philips CD-i gamepad (the one that followed up the Logitec touchpad). Now, who owns the design? It's obvious one party took a license of the other! However, a few days back Omegalfa from Le Monde du CD-i posted an interesting picture of a Tecno Plus Super Nintendo (SNES) controller (Posted on the right of the next column).
"Do you recognize this one? It has the same shape as the "CD-i 3-Button Arcade Pad", wonder why they stole that design? They have placed the L and R beside the other buttons which make this one pretty lame, perhaps it's good in some fighting games though. It's a really weird one with an unknown background. Even though it's pretty ok to play with and has turbo & autofire for each button and even a slow switch.
This one is made for the Philips CD-i system that came in lots of different versions. The most console-lookalike was CD-i 450/550. The joypad has pretty thick ends and a thin centre which makes the grip really nice. The three buttons to the right is called dot, double-dot & dot+double-dot (which means that it has the same function as pressing the first two at the same time). It also has a speed switch on the side where you can select N, I & II. It controls the speed of the steering cross, a weird but nice function. The "CD-i 3-Button Arcade Pad" was not the original joypad released with system, but the orginal one was pure crap so this is preferred by most of the CD-i gamers (if there are any...). The cord is 310 centimetres long."
Now, except for the Tecno Plus CD-i controllers I'm aware of the Gamester CD-i gamepad, which had some extensive play-tests by Devin and he was very enthusiastic about it: "I knew they were bad but not THAT bad!! Recently got my hands on a Gamester joypad controller for the CD-i and the feeling playing with it is 100% better than any other official device i've ever tried! It's really that good and puts Philips CD-i controllers to shame, with the Gamester I can even pull off The Apprentice cheat codes in the first go. Before due to the cumbersome nature of Philips devices it was very hard to input precise directions to activate the cheat. Just knew this was going to be a treat to use and it didn't disappoint, if you can find one buy it straight away. One highly recommended device."
Credits: Syntax Error