I'm not kidding when I say that this has got to be one of the coolest items that I own. I received it as a gift last Christmas, and within minutes of opening the box, I was transported back in time to my days spent playing games in the local arcade.
Once we unpacked it, my brother and I connected it to one of the nearby computers, fired up our favorite emulator, and loaded up one of our old favorite games. Mere seconds later, we were bickering and competing with each other just like we did when we were kids. It was seriously awesome!
The Tankstick is built for two players, and it offers two arcade-style joysticks and a large set of arcade-style buttons for each. The center of the controller contains a single trackball, and the sides of the controller contain two buttons which can simulate the "flipper" buttons on a pinball machine on different games. It can connect to a PC using either USB, or its PS/2 interface.
The Tankstick weighs around 20 pounds, and it is EXTREMELY well built. It is so solid and well made that it should stand up to as much abuse as you, or your kids, can throw at it.
It's easy to customize the buttons and controls however you'd like, and the company that makes it also offers add-on interfaces that allow you to use the Tankstick with many of the modern-day console gaming systems too.
Honestly, the only thing that is preventing me from playing my favorite old games with this controller every single day of my life, is that it is just so big. It makes for a fantastic retro-gaming experience when you can set it up on a table with a lot of room, but it's kind of difficult to find the space for it on a n already crowded desk.
If you're looking for a way to bring the old-time arcade experience home, to buy a stout controller that your kids can stomp on and abuse, or to recapture part of your long-lost youth, I can't recommend the Tankstick (or any of the other controllers) from X-Arcade enough. HIGHLY recommended!