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Retrode

Have your heart set on some authentic retro gaming? Well, you could probably buy a real SNES or Genesis for far less cash, but if you'd rather play your old carts on your computer, you'd best pick up a Retrode ($85). This compact gadget houses cartridge slots and two controller ports for both 16-bit consoles, and connects to your computer via USB, offering driverless operation using any emulator — no composite RCA input required.

  • iControlpad

    It sure took long enough, but if you own any smartphone not named "Xperia" and want to play games using a real controller, your wish has been granted. The iControlpad ($75) is a Bluetooth-based hardware controller that'll work with your iPhone, Android phone, iPad, PC, Mac, and anything else boasting a Bluetooth chip inside, offering up dual analog nubs, a digital D-pad, six face buttons, and two rear buttons, as well as the ability to masquerade as an iCade cabinet, and a universal holder that lets you strap your phone to the top of the controller without the need for duct tape.

  • Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel

    Speaking of racing games on the Xbox, if you want to make the most of your virtual driving experience, you might want to invest in the Xbox 360 Wireless Speed Wheel ($60). This U-shaped controller uses motion sensors to detect your steering angle, while trigger buttons give you comfortable, sensitive access to acceleration and braking controls, and buttons on the top of the two stalks offer easy access to other game functions. Oh, and it has rumble feedback, so you'll know instantly when you've veered just a little to close to the edge of the track.