Task: Purchase a RetroHQ Mega7800 Controller Adapter for Atari 7800
Needed: Web browser, Sega Genesis Controller
Time: 5-10 minutes
The Atari 7800 was an awesome game console that, had it been released earlier instead of the 5200, could have dominated the market. One of negative aspects of the 7800 was the truly awful game controller. In fact, this controller is so bad that it has limited my engagement with the 7800 over the years. Same is true for the 5200. What Atari should have done is kept the CX40 controller from the 2600 and 8-bit computers and added a second button.
Fortunately, there is now an adapter that allows you to use a Sega Genesis-compatible controller with the 7800 or the new 2600+ that also plays 7800 cartridges. Here is the description from the Stoneage Gamer website where I bought mine:
“The RetroHQ Mega 7800 is a controller adapter which allows you to use your Master System and Genesis/Mega-Drive controllers with your 7800 or 2600. This includes Master System control pads, joysticks and also the light phaser as well as 3 and 6 button Mega Drive pads and sticks.”
This is a wonderful alternative to the original 7800 controller. Shown below is Pole Position II for the 7800 that I used to test the controller on the 2600+. This was a good game to try because it has two-button play.
If you don’t have a Sega Genesis controller, I recommend the newly made 8Bitdo M30 2.4G Wireless Gamepad. I purchased this one from Amazon for $29.99. It can be charged by USB-C and has a wireless dongle.
I will definitely play more 7800 games with this much better controller option. Bring on Dark Chambers!
I did confirm this works with original hardware. I used the 2600+ to get the HD photo.
Note that the controller does not seem to work with 2600 games. The joystick directions seem to work but the fire button does not respond.