UNITHOR

A BRAND NEW JOYSTICK FOR RETRO COMPUTERS AND CONSOLES IS ON KICKSTARTER!

We need your support to launch UNITHOR production – let’s make this happen! If you like our project, please go to our project page and preorder a UNITHOR configuration you like. 🙂

UNITHOR is a modern, retro-styled joystick designed for gamers who:

  • need a USB controller to play their favourite classics on a PC-based software emulator or contemporary re-editions of the machines from the 1980s,
  • are fond owners of actual Amiga, Commodore or Atari computers, wishing to give their noble machines a new joystick with standard 9-pin DB9 (DE9) connector.

But that’s not the whole story. UNITHOR is a modular solution – you can have extra features added to its basic version so that the joystick suits your needs and taste better.

BASIC VERSION:

  • DB9 / DE9 plug for 8-bit/16-bit computers
  • two uniformly working fire buttons (2 x Fire1)
  • attractive and ergonomic desing
  • basic colour scheme (Black Devil – black joystick with red fire buttons)
  • matte finish
  • a long, elastic cable
  • rubber pads underneath

ASSEMBLER VERSION OPTIONS:

  • USB plug
  • electronics (autofire/rapid fire, support for additional fire buttons and their mapping)
  • screw-in suction cups
  • RGB LED backlight (FlashBack)
  • vibration mechanism in the handle (KickBack)
  • four auxilliary buttons in the joystick’s base (Extra Sidekicks)
  • four full-sized additional buttons in the base (Extra Firepower)
  • glossy finish for the joystick’s base (Extra Polish)
  • pinout changes for ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC oraz MSX (Rewired)

There are even more options down the pipeline, but… we needs to start somewhere. You might ask, “so, where can I buy the thing?” Well, you’ll be able to order your configuration of choice on Kickstarter within days. We’ll additionally inform about the campaign start in our newsletter – you can sign up here if you haven’t already). Being among the first to act does bring certain benefits. 😉

That would be all in a nutshell – if you want more details, please read on.

Back to the Basics

Whatever options you decide on, every UNITHOR will share common characteristics:

  • Top quality components. We’ve used a forged head and carefully selected industry-grade microswitches capable of withstanding at least one million clicks. Countless tear and wear tests resulted in hundreds of design iterations covering both construction and materials used before the product matured enough to be ready for your grip.
  • Equilibrium of mass and compact size. The materials and components that comprise our Hammer of Sprites tally up at the notable 500 grams (1.1 lbs), thus ensuring solidity, stability and durability – the exact characteristics of a retro gaming joystick we’ve been after. Saving space on the desk received a lot of attention as well – the resulting compact design even makes it possible to rest the joystick on your belly – yes, we’ve tried that too 🙂
  • The balance of looks and ergonomics. Hundreds of prototyping iterations and organic modelling have produced a device that – despite its classic look – feels truly handy. The joystick is symmetrical by design, which should be good news for all the left-hander gamers out there. The device’s base has been shaped so that it’s possible to either hold the joystick resting on the desk or grab the thing and enjoy retrogaming while UNITHOR remains in your firm grip. The latter option makes the joystick a great solution for consoles.
  • Two fire buttons comfortably positioned on the stick – just where they should be, i.e. under your thumb and index finger.
  • The stick has been conceived with different gaming styles and palm sizes in mind. Your hands may be small or (extra) large, you may prefer to make a full grab or use just your fingers for more precise joystick control in platform games or flight simulators.
  • An elastic, 180 cm (71”) cable for both DB9/DE9 and USB versions of the joystick to minimize the risk of Gordian knots and sight issues that could spoil your retrocomputing experience.

Upgrade your vintage

The Basic version of UNITHOR can be expanded in a number of ways. Some extra options can be freely combined, while others are mutually exclusive. Here they are:

ELECTRONICS

This one comes in two versions – DB9 and USB. This choice determines the type of connector your UNITHOR will have. It’s also the most imporant add-on: firstly, it offers a few features out of the box, and secondly – it enables you to have more add-ons that require electronics to operate..

Out of the box features

  • autofire / rapid fire
  • two independent fire buttons in the handle (Fire1 + Fire2)
  • fire button custom mapping (the only fixed function is that for Fire 1 under your index finger)
  • fire button mapping presets

Possible further additions

  • four auxilliary buttons in the joystick’s base (Extra Sidekicks)
  • four full-sized additional buttons in the base (Extra Firepower)
  • RGB LED backlight (FlashBack)
  • vibration mechanism in the handle (KickBack)

Can’t Combine with: Rewired

SUCTION CUPS

The basic version of UNITHOR will be equipped with rubber pads – owing to its mass, UNITHOR doesn’t slide uncontrollably during use while allowing instant repositioning on the table. But if you prefer suction cups nonetheless, no problem – you can have them instead of the pads. They are screw-in – you can easily remove/replace them later without disassembling the joystick.

EXTRA SIDEKICKS

A set of four small buttons at the back of UNITHOR’s base. Helpful in consoles for function selection, but still can offer some in-game help (if the game supports more buttons in the first place).

Can’t Combine with: Extra Firepower

EXTRA FIREPOWER *

Some gamers prefer the hand resting on the base to do the firing. You can have four full-sized additional buttons in the base, thus turning UNITHOR into a formidable six-button beast.

Can’t Combine with: Extra Sidekicks

* Option available if at least 3000 UNITHOR units are sold on Kickstarter.

FLASHBACK

For those willing to venture even farther into the future past there’s RGB LED backlight, giving UNITHOR a modern-looking design on par with contemporary peripherals. Adjustable colour and brightness, switching on/off. Just imagine a LED-lit joystick working with your faithful Amiga, Commodore or Atari:

KICKBACK

The good thing about games is they ain’t actually real. Still, a pinch of feedback in your palm is like salt in your food – it adds to the taste. KickBack is a vibration mechanism in UNITHOR’s handle that could be triggered as evil sprites on the screen fight back or your pixel car veers off the track.

Please note: This feature is proven to work only with the Amiga (support for other platforms in development).

A short break from reading – have a look at what UNITHOR equipped with FlashBack and KickBack can do when a game knows how to use them. 🙂

HYPERCHARGE *

Following Ford’s tradition, by default UNITHOR will offer one colour scheme to choose from – Black Devil (black joystick with red fire buttons. HyperCharge is the additional red colour option for the joystick’s base.

* Option available if at least 2000 UNITHOR units are sold on Kickstarter.

EXTRA POLISH

Make your UNITHOR more glamorous by giving its matte base smooth and glossy surface. Please note that the handle will have matte finish with or without this option – it applies to the base only.

REWIRED

DB9 plug was widely adopted, but the wiring behind it was hardly a standard across the platforms of the day. UNITHOR is an answer to this problem – the default version can be rewired in one of the following ways:

  • to work with Amstrad CPC (Fire2 support included)
  • to work with MSX (Fire2 support included)
  • to work with ZX Spectrum models not compatible with Commodore/Amiga/Atari pinout (no Fire2 support)
  • to add Fire2 support for the Amiga (and only Amiga) without the need to buy electronics add-on

Please note: this add-on can’t be combined with electronics. And if a game doesn’t support Fire2, the button may do nothing. 🙂

Can’t Combine with: Electronics