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When I bought my new PC the one thing I didn't check was whether or not it had a 15-pin joystick port. It doesn't. My Microsoft SideWinder Gamepad rendered useless?
Undeterred, I surfed away and came up with this little treasure, the Super Joy Box 7. It is advertised as the ideal solution to my problem, i.e. connect any old 15-pin joystick, gamepad or steering wheel to a new PC via a USB port. It only costs £8.90 (from Console Plus UK), about a third of the price of a new Microsoft SideWinder USB Gamepad, so I ordered one straight away.
The Super Joy Box 7 plugs into a USB port and works without the need for drivers on Windows XP. It registers on the system as a "Human Interface Device"! You simply plug your 15-pin controller into the Super Joy Box 7 and then select the correct position on a 3-way switch: P for gamepad, S for joystick and W for steering wheel.
Simple? Yes. Good? No. I couldn't get the SideWinder to work on the P setting, so following the almost non-existent instructions I tried the S and W settings with a similar lack of success. I quick email to the Chinese manufacturers, Mayflash, quickly established that no, the Microsoft SideWinder Gamepad is not in fact supported by the Super Joy Box 7.
The Super Joy Box 7 was returned rapidly for a full refund. Mayflash get full marks for a good idea, and full marks for a quick response to my query, but zero on useability for firstly not stating that the product might not work with all controllers and secondly for not stating which controllers it does work with.
Mayflash produce a number of variations of the Super Joy Box, e.g. two 15-pin controllers to a USB port, four 15-pin controllers to a USB port, XBOX controllers to a USB port, Playstation controllers to a USB port etc. My advice is to be very careful. I'll be buying myself a new SideWinder USB Gamepad!