An Authentic USB Controller For Pi’s and PC
Developed by Tomee, this USB NES controller is pretty damn close to the real thing. After unwrapping it from the packaging, I compared it to my original NES controller to do a complete spot the difference comparison.
Comparing With An Original NES Controller
Initially, the first thing I noticed was the plastic. It was very shiny and glossy in comparison to my old NES pad but bearing in mind my original pad is the same age as me, maybe the original was the same when it was first opened.
The moulding of the pad itself was pretty much identical, even on the reverse it had the screws in exactly the same place; the only thing missing was the Nintendo logo on the reverse mould and on the front sticker. Again the sticker was shiny and new but when I took a photo of the two side by side it reflected the light from my flash unlike the matte finish on the original.
The weight of the Tomee controller is lighter than the original due to the modern components and the shorter cable. However, saying that after 10 minutes of playing with it I didn’t notice the difference. With my eyes fixed firmly on my goomba stomping Mario, it felt like I was playing an NES on my computer monitor.
The buttons on this pad are a little stiff, but after 10 minutes on Track and Field I wore them in a bit and it felt perfect by the time I was playing Punch Out. The only thing I didn’t like about this controller was the attention to detail on the start and select buttons. These were plastic instead of the original rubber; a minor thing which again I got used to but still ruins the full nostalgia treatment of the original.
The Tommee USB NES Controller in Action
I tested this on my Windows 7 PC, but according to the box it runs on any machine from Windows 98 to later. One thing to note for those using a Mac, you must be using OS X10.0 or later. Overall this is a pretty sturdy and glossy little device. It runs well on Windows 7 and is the closest thing I have gotten to an authentic NES emulation on my PC before. If you are a retro purest, you wouldn’t even contemplate playing an emulator in the first place.
If you were to use this, the little niggles such as the lack of rubber buttons and the missing Nintendo logo might give you a nervous twitch. However, as a purist myself, I found myself lost in the game after 10 minutes and really enjoyed the feel of it.
The Verdict on The Tomme USB NES Controller
For me, this pad gives me the opportunity to play some of the rarest NES games on my PC without having to go out and spend over the odds on games that were so bad and yet still so expensive. So for the same cost as a copy of Mario you are getting quite a lot of games for your money.
With Worst Wednesday only round the corner and this new pad under my belt, I can play the most expensive, worst NES game of all time… Cheetahmen! Wish me luck and I will let you know if this pad survives the first throw across the room.