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The Death of the Joystick

Recently I read an article entitled The Death of the Joystick. I have to say that it greatly saddened me, as i was an avid flight/space-simulator gamer in the mid to late-1990s.

JoystickOur main joystick at home was the Microsoft 3D Pro, and for all intents and purposes it is/was a fantastic joystick. To this day it has never died, and I only use past tense because Microsoft have stopped updating its drivers, and computers have mostly stopped using the old serial and 'game' ports that the joystick used.

I remember wasting many hours using that joystick playing all the Wing Commander games as well as all the Star Wars ones: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter, X-Wing Alliance, etc.

For some reason though games just aren't made any more that require a joystick. At least for the time-being, flight/space-simulators seem to have gone the way of the Dinsosaur, with the only exception being Microsoft's Flight Simulator series. Most say that these type of games moved away from PCs onto the consoles, but as with First Person Shooters and Real-Time Strategy games, i really think the experience of playing these games on a console is significantly inferior to that of a PC in terms of the controls, in this case a joystick.

I'm seriously considering buying a new joystick (if i can find a place that still sells them) and seeing if it'll play my old games on Windows Vista.

4 thoughts on “The Death of the Joystick

  1. I wouldn't bother trying to get them working in vista. I would just run them in a virtual machine. I currently play all my old MechWarrior favourites in a Win98 virtual machine - they are as buggy as ever, except now that the internet is everywhere I can get the cheat codes!

  2. Ah the humble joystick! Takes me back to 1992 when we got our first ever computer - and Amstrad! And to play Lemmings (my favourite game) you had to type 'lemmings' in to the dos thingy. Good times, good times...

  3. Ah yes, I never thought of using virtual machines to play old games...

    But of course I don't have any disks of older versions of windows before 2000, and i still don't have the ports on the computer for the old joystick 🙁

    I'll have to install vmware on the new computer though...

  4. Ha ha. yes of course. A virtual machine does not help if you do not have a physical port on the machine to plug the joystick into...

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