My first videogame love was a Competition Pro

competitionproA500There it sat, full of mould waiting for its next battle.  It was a well made machine of war, having been to hell and back again and battled the most harsh and bloody opponents.  But it was always ready, always standing to attention and willing to follow me into war.  It was my Competition Pro.

It actually was full of mould.  

The Competition Pro by most is regarded as the greatest joystick to grace the Amiga 500.  I certainly consider it so.  Everything about the controller just feels right, the feel of the stick, the tactility of the buttons, the contours of the base.  A fault just could not be found.  It is essentially the epitome of functional industrial design.  Substance over style.    And more importantly it just never broke.  The Competition Pro was the victim, wrongly accused, of many-a-tantrum.  Every time my beloved Brutal Deluxe fell to a lesser team, every death in Shadow of the Beast and every loss in Sensible Soccer saw my beloved thrown to the ground.  Made to suffer for my shortcomings.  And time after time, every time,  I came crawling back to the Competition Pro it – she –  would forgive and forget, and serve me as well as it had the countless times before.  This was a love affair plain and simple.  But a love affair that had to end.  With a new generation I saw younger, prettier models that played the games I wanted to play.  And with that it ended in a flash.

Of course there have been others since.  But none of them, not one has been so unconditionally loyal.  And as beautiful as they have all been since my first, they haven’t had the heart and soul of the one I loved so.  And sometimes that’s all that matters.


  1. Was it really full of mould? Bleeeeeurgh!

    Great to see an article all about joysticks – reminds me of the days when all gaming magazines seemed to do was review peripherals. Maybe we should bring back the tradition and do an old-school joystick round-up? Strictly for people who know the difference between a micro-switch and a leaf-switch…

    1. I’m on board! I could gush about my various arcade sticks…. And of course a Commodore 64 joystick – a love affair that started when I was very, very young (of which there is photographic proof.)

Leave a Reply