I’ve toyed with console emulation many times over the past decade. This weekend I decided to give it another run, this time on my Mac.
For reference, I’m running a Dual Processor G4 system with a 20″ Cinema Display. A while back, after I upgraded to Tiger, I experimented with a shareware X-Box HID Driver to use an X-Box controller with OS X. I registered the program (only $5) but I had a problem getting it to work properly. Tiger was still new and not officially supported by the driver software. I contacted the author, sent him some debug info, and forgot about it. I don’t know if he fixed the problem in later releases, or if I simply built my adapter better this time, but it works perfectly.
To construct the USB adapter I simply cut and stripped the wires from the end of the X-Box controller cable that plugs into the console and also cut and stripped the end of a USB cable that plugs into a standard USB port. I then wrapped the same colored wires around each other and seperated and insulated them using electrical tape (I have a soldering gun, but didn’t feel like breaking it out at the time).
I won’t bother going into the details of finding and using ROMs.
So far, I’ve used two emulators and they both work perfectly with the X-Box controller and driver.
SNES9X – A Super Nintendo emulator that has been around for many years and generally considered to be the best. A port for OS X is available.
Genesis Plus – An excellent Sega Genesis emulator. In order to use a controller you’ll also need to download and install Emulator Enhancer (shareware, it’s available on the same page).