Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Play (Mostly) Every NES Game from Your Browser with Joystick Support

Awhile back I was introduced to http://www.virtualnes.com and was told that it was a great place to play all of my NES favorites from the comforts of my own browser.  My first impression was, "damn, this is great, I can get rid of my ROMs and just enjoy the games without having to have all of the ROMs, etc. on my machine."  Then, I noticed a large hole in my plan - no joystick support.  I hate using the keyboard so I came up with a "pseudo-hack" that will allow me to use VirtualNES and my Joystick.

It is actually rather simple, the first thing that you will need is JoyToKeyboard - located http://electracode.com/4/joy2key/JoyToKey%20English%20Version.htm

Install and configure.  You configure simply by double-clicking each of the buttons and assigning it.  Here is how I set mine up (but, depending on your controller and how you like yours set up, it may differ).  I use my PlayStation II controller with adapter, see http://www.geekyclown.com/2009/12/use-your-playstation-controller-on-your.html.

Once configured, you could actually go to the Web site and play right away but since I plan to use this more than once, I am going to write a .bat file that will call up both the browser and Joy2Key.

Open NotePad (Start > Programs > Accessories > NotePad)

You will need to know the path to Joy2Key and your browser.  I am currently working on my work laptop so this is Windows Vista (64) and Google Chrome.  You may have to adjust the paths depending on where you saved Joy2Key/what OS you are using/what browser you prefer.

In NotePad type (again for Vista (64), you will have different paths for different machines, the easiest way to find the path is to Start > Programs, find the program, right-click and choose 'Properties' then copy and paste the path),

START "Joy2Key" C:\Users\TheUser\Downloads\jtk374en\jtk374en\JoyToKey.exe
START "VirtualNES" C:\Users\TheUser\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe virtualnes.com

Then, hit File > Save As and change the 'File type' drop-down from text to All Files.  Finally name the file whatever you would like but put a .bat extension.  Then, next time you want to play NES games, just double-click the bat file and it will fire both Joy2Key and Google Chrome (or whatever your browser of choice (as long as you don't tell me it is IE6)) with VirtualNES.com preloaded.  The makers of VirtualNES have a SNES site coming in 2011 and this should work the same way.  Happy gaming!


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  2. hi,

    is it possible to save a configuration using a demo joy2key. unfortunately i am unable to pay for the software as i am unemployed and rather ill and may be another 18months before i even think to look for a job ( if i get better ). i would like to play games on my lap top which is running windows vista. i would like to play ghost recon advanced warfighter. i know how to use joy2key - assigning buttons- temp disabling one joy stick so i can use another/ buttons etc-- but cannot find save. please help.