UNITHOR: A BRAND NEW JOYSTICK FOR RETRO COMPUTERS

 

 

UNITHOR: A BRAND NEW JOYSTICK FOR RETRO COMPUTERS

UNI-joy presents UNITHOR

 

Plug and play before it was trendy

Yes, you’ve read it right – it’s a new joystick for the Amiga, Commodore, Atari, ZX Spectrum 1 and an array of game consoles fitted with DE-9 ports (sometimes referred to as DB-9). 2 No adapters, no tinkering, no workarounds of any kind – just pure elegance. If you don’t have any of these machines, but still would like to give it a try and relive the unique feeling of classic-style retro gaming, worry not: our retro joystick will also come in a USB version, perfect for PC-based emulators.

1) ZX Spectrum support via third-party adapters.
2) Please note that some devices beyond the Commodore and Atari realm – even though they use DE-9 connector – are incompatible with our joystick because of different electrical wiring in the plug.

UniTHOR joystick - DB9 and USB connector

Press play on tape again

There will be two joystick variants – standard (Basic) and customizable (Assembly).

Both share common characteristics:

  • Top quality components. Compromise wasn’t an option in UNITHOR design process – we’ve used a forged head and carefully selected industry-grade microswitches capable of withstanding 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 massiveness 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 🙂 ).
  • Two fire buttons comfortably positioned on the stick – just where they should be, i.e. under your thumb and index finger.
  • The balance of looks and ergonomics. Hundrends of prototyping iterations and organic modelling have produced a device that – despite its classic look – feels truly handy. The new USB 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.

 

Retro – future game changer

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 DE-9 and USB versions of the joystick to minimize the risk of Gordian knots and sight issues that could spoil your retrocomputing experience.
  • No suction cups. Taking advantage of UNITHOR’s mass, we’ve used bump-ons instead, thus eliminating the cups and the downsides they brought. The joystick doesn’t slide uncontrollably during use while allowing instant repositioning on the table.

Back to the Basic

For the Basic version you can pick any case colour you like – as long as it’s black. Decor and fire buttons wll come in two flavours – Plutonium Orange and Radioaktiv Uranium. The Basic features two uniformly operating fire buttons.

Upgrade your vintage

For the Assembler version of joystic we envisage a selection of most sought for classic colour schemes, finishing touches and additional features including soft touch. Going under the hood, we can customize microswitches, springs, lever characteristics, force, resistance and reaction time. Let’s not stop here and add bespoke fire button step distance for best retrogaming experience. Depending on your retro platform of choice, we can also provide two-fire button support that some games utilize – all this to cater for the needs of avid gamers. Such advanced customization is meant to give you a perfect joystick for emulators.

Future past

For those willing to venture even farther into the „future past”, we are going to add one more feature to the above-mentioned array of options: RGB LED. It will give UNITHOR a modern-looking design that is on par with contemporary peripherals. Just imagine a LED-lit joystick working with your faithful Amiga, Commodore or Atari!

Last but not least, Assembler version will come with a collector’s box showcasing UNITHOR’s strenghts, making it a unique gift or an eye-catcher on your shelve.

NEWS

  • JUMP! First game supporting force feedback on Amiga

    So, now it`s what we call immersive gameplay! UNI-joy has joined forces with Machinery Software – the creator of upjumping Amiga game that you might have already heard of. 🙂

    Yes, it`s an Amiga 1200 of silicon and copper controlling LEDs and force feedback motor in UNITHOR Assembler version. That`s one small “Kick back” for man, one giant “Flash back” for retrohood 😀

    WE BRING THE JOY!

  • Turrican 2 gameplay on two-button UNITHOR

    The time has come to show you some action! Hereby we’re starting a gameplay series featuring UNITHOR joystick on our YouTube channel.
    Today we kick off with Turrican 2, so 2 independent buttons will fire the first shots. Now we know what we have missed! Please like, subscribe
    and tell us what gameplay you would like to see next time.

    Click!:

  • Interview with AtariOnline PL

    On 28 of December 2021 we had our first interview! We hope that despite some jitters it was interesting to hear about the UNITHOR project. For everyone who missed it – you’re welcome to visit AtariOnline PL YouTube channel and their website. You will be able to learn more details about the progress of our joystick, see it in action and listen to some tasty oldschool stories of UNI-joy team.

  • Bad joy

    Merry Christmas! We wish you better presents than this next year! 🙂

    Click following video to see an unboxing:

    Bad JOY - youtube: https://www.youtube.com/embed/WOSGP56WmIg
  • Krakowskie Retrospekcje – round IX

    We invite you to Krakowskie Retrospekcje on October 23. You will be able to warm up in the glow of the tube monitors, make some copyparting and test our fearless UNITHOR with your favorite retro game titles.

  • PIXEL HEAVEN

    It was really great to meet you live at Pixel Heaven – thank you for testing the joysticks and leaving your feedback. Kudos to winners of our gaming competition – emotions were high, reverbatng among the participants, spectators and ourselves alike. 🙂 Photo story of the event coming soon in the gallery – stay tuned.

  • IGNITION SEQUENCE START

    After more than two years of painstaking work and heavy testing, we’re pleased to emerge from the underground to present a brand new joystick for retro computers. Meet us at Pixel Heaven 2021, test the prototypes of our product and prove your skills in Dyna Blaster competition – attractive retro prizes are waiting for you!

FAQ

Q: How and where to buy the joystick?
A: Currently the joystick prototypes are in final testing stages. Sign up to our newsletter and join the upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Q: Where can I actually test your joystick?
A: At Jarek’s place. Seriously. 🙂 If you happen to be within short travel distance from Holy Cross Mountains in Poland, just drop by our inconspicuous retro corner. The exact whereabouts can be found in the Contact section. We can also meet during upcoming events – sign up to the newsletter to be up to date with our tour.

Q: What’s inside?
A: The best heavy duty components combined with experience and genuine enthusiasm. Speaking more technically – microswitches designed to withstand one million cycles and a forged metal head.

Q: Does the joystick feature autofire?
A: We’re working on something more advanced than just autofire you’re used to. 😉

Q: Will your joystick for retro computers and consoles work with emulators as well?
A: Absolutely – just hook it up using an adapter available on the market. Still, we’re working on our own concept that will let you fully utilize the advantages of such a solution.

Q: I’d prefer the joystick to work differently – I like it when the control is more delicate / rigid.
A: The Assembler version will be customizable, allowing you to choose mechanism sensitivity that matches your gaming style preferences. This will include the choice of microswitches, springs, lever characteristics, fire button step distance and even finishing touches of the joystick case.

Q: Why no suction cups?
A: Tests have revealed the cups’ performance to be somewhat disappointing – they tended to gain and lose traction in the worst possible moments, spoiling the gaming experience. Additionally, they require very smooth surfaces to work and degrade over time. To eliminate these downsides, we’ve decided to take advantage of the joystick’s mass and use highly adhesive quality pads, often found in top-tier laptops. They do a great job indeed.

If you have futher questions, just drop us a line.

 

KICKSTARTER

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We’re launching preorders soon – sign up to follow the upcoming campaign.

ABOUT US

We’re retrocomputing enthusiasts who simply ran out of joysticks. And so we’ve decided to develop a modern controller for computers and consoles from the era. The idea was that it wouldn’t just fit retro machines design-wise – it was equally important that it’s better and more wear-resistant than its long-gone or ailing predecessors. At first we meant to build it just four ourselves, but with the ecouraging feedback we got, we thought – hey, why not share it with other gamers?

The development team: Marcin, a guy with professional 3d graphics background, has been responsible for UNITHOR’s project and design.
Jarek, with 30 years of experience in hardware sales, service and production, is the man behind the joystick’s hardware and software.
Both of us love demoscene productions that squeeze the last bits and cycles from computers that did exactly what their users expected them to. This philosophy has been and will remain a major influence on UNITHOR development.

CONTACT

Sign up

e-mail: info@uni-joy.com

UNI-joy sp. z o. o.
Al. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego 28 /53A
26-110 Skarżysko-Kamienna

KRS 0000910117
NIP 6631882691
REGON 38937834600000

Company information:
Kielce District Court,
National Register of court,
10th Economic Department
Share capital 20 000 PLN, fully paid

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