Quasicon 2P vs. X-Arcade Tankstick: The Review.

Entertainment, Gadgets, GameCube, Gaming, PC, PS2, Wii, Xbox by Richard

*NOTE: After this post went online, X-Arcade contacted me and asked if they could send a third Tankstick down for me to try with my PS2. I agreed, and said that I would post my findings here. The X-Arcade they sent me this time does actually work with both my PS2 and my PC.*

I love videogames… racing, fighting and first-person shooters in particular. In college, I bought a Dreamcast (best console ever) and SoulCalibur (best fighting game ever) and played my roommates until our thumbs went numb. Nothing compares to the feel of real arcade buttons and an arcade stick for really getting into a game though. To deliver an experience that’s as true to the arcade as possible, you’ve got to get a real arcade-style controller. We got our hands on the only real contenders in home arcade controllers that I know of, the X-Arcade Tankstick and the Quasicon 2P from Quasimoto.

The Tankstick is a solidly built, 20lb beast of a controller, which is good because you don’t want your controller sliding all over the floor when you really get into a game. It’s got a full set of 8 arcade-style buttons and a true arcade stick for each player, and even includes a huge trackball for those games that you can’t play without one, like Tiger Woods PGA Tour™, Marble Madness™, and Centipede™ . The Tankstick is a universal controller… it includes cables to connect it to computers via USB, but individual adapters are available to connect it to just about every major console out there… Playstation, PS2, Two, Xbox, Wii, Gamecube and Dreamcast.

In my experience, I never did get the PS2 adapter to work with the Tankstick. X-Arcade was more than helpful, and sent multiple Tanksticks and multiple PS2 adapters over. However, I tried it with multiple PS2s (both the old and new style), and multiple games. Nothing. I don’t know what was up with that. It worked like a charm when plugged into my PC though, and controlled anything I threw at it with ease.

Quasimoto sent their Quasicon 2P over, and I’ve been checking it out as well. The Quasicon is Quasimoto’s answer to the X-Arcade Tankstick, and I must say that it is more than a worthy competitor. I thought that the Tankstick was solid (and it was!), but I was still surprised by the Quasicon’s 30lbs of controller goodness. This thing isn’t going anywhere unless you want it to. The Quasicon has some very nice touches. Since it is a universal controller and the buttons can’t really be labeled because it has to work with any console, it includes a button map for each console it supports on transparent inserts that you slide right into the controller, where they are backlit. Nice! The buttons are also color-coded so that you can easily glance down and tell which buttons you are pressing. The Tankstick has all-black buttons, which I thought were just fine until I realized just how useful the color-coded buttons on the Quasicon are. It’s definitely a great feature that I didn’t even know I wanted until I used the Quasicon. The Quasicon also includes dual analog sticks for each player…they’re great for any games that require precise control of movement, like racing or fighting games in particular. My girlfriend and I gave it a shot with the PS2, playing both Burnout Revenge and SoulCalibur 3, and everything worked amazingly. The controls are awesome! Even the buttons are pressure sensitive.

So which one do I recommend? It’s not really an easy decision, and really comes down to how much you’d like to spend. The X-Arcade costs $199, while the Quasicon sadly isn’t available by itself, but only as part of a larger arcade cabinet kit that starts at $599. (August 7, 2007: I just heard from the guys at Quasimoto that both the Quasicon 1P and 2P versions are available standalone if you call them, at $179 and $259.99 respectively. Their number is 888.400.5774.) If you’re going to build an arcade cabinet from scratch to play some MAME or other emulators, I’d recommend the X-Arcade. I can’t really recommend it for console use, though because I never got it to work.

The Quasicon 2P is amazing. It shows great attention to detail (color coding the buttons and backlighting the current control scheme is a definite plus) , has pressure sensitive buttons, comes with adapters for just about everything you could possibly throw at it, and includes analog sticks for those games where you just need that extra bit of sensitivity. If you’re really serious about getting an arcade cabinet with the best controller you can find (short of custom-building one), get the Quasicade (includes Quasicon 2P as the controller). It is fantastic.


Comments (1)

One reply on “Quasicon 2P vs. X-Arcade Tankstick: The Review.”

Building a Mame cabinet is a project that is near and dear to my heart, and I have full intentions on getting around to it one day. In fact I’ve discussed it in great detail with Richard on several occasions.

I remember a friend of mine bought a cocktail table cabinet kit from a company online, he came to me and asked how easy was it to acquire new games for it. Being familiar with emulators of the old console variety I was quickly able to get like 500+ Mame roms for him. Thats when it started, I got curious and played a few of those old games I loved so dear. I was remembering those nights of pumping quarters into “Aliens” at our local Pizzahut, and playing the classic gauntlet at our local skate palace.

I like the looks of Quasimoto’s setup. Too bad they don’t sell it stand-alone. If I were to buy a pre-packaged control deck like that I would definitely buy something with as many buttons and options as possible, and the slide in reference to buttons reminds me of my old Intelevision controller. The only thing it’s missing is the track ball, and I only say that because I’m thinking of Golden Tee golf (Per scenario above only at an older age: Those late nights pumping quarters into that machine at the bar.)

The one thing I am interested in seeing though, is a light gun interface. I’d love some House of the Dead / Area 51 / Lethal Enforcer shooter action.

My suggestion to Quasimoto is to sell the control deck standalone, you’ll open up more markets.

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