If you've ever dreamed of playing old-school arcade games on your PC using actual arcade controls, then you know what MAME is. Put simply, to a nerdy retro gamer like me, MAME = heaven on earth. If you don't know what MAME is, then... well, that's a topic for another day.
The X-Arcade brand is the benchmark to which all other home-based arcade controllers are judged. These things are built like a brick shit house (I was going to say they're built like a tank, but I'm sick of reading that so I'll use the brick shit house analogy instead.) X-Gaming, out of Pittsburgh PA, manufactures stand-up arcade cabinets as well as independent control units. Everything is built using the same pro-grade components found in real arcade machines. So you know you're not getting some kind of half-assed wannabe setup here. And the company that makes them is so confident in its product, these suckers come with an unconditional lifetime warranty. On top of it all, these controllers hook up to your PC and perform magically, right out of the box -- recognizing damn near every game and its corresponding control configuration. This means no screwing around every time you want to switch from playing Donkey Kong to Crazy Climber... it just works! There's a good reason why X-Arcade controllers have received nothing but rave reviews over the years.
Many have called X-Arcade equipment "pricy," but I could not disagree more. You are getting top-shelf , Grade-A materials here. Reportedly, you can pound on this thing relentlessly -- just like you used to do back in the day at the old, crusty, school-skipping-burnout filled arcade -- and it will not break! And if for some ungodly reason it does break, the company will exchange or repair it free and pay shipping charges both ways! The two-player Dual Stick (above) goes for about $140 shipped. I mean, $140 shipped! What else do you want them to do... give you a reach around? Consider what you are getting and you'll realize it is a sick price.
In any event, I ordered a two-player Dual Stick Saturday night and it is being delivered today. I'll snap some pics and post a follow up tomorrow...
In the meantime, check out the X-Arcade website for more info.