It's strange enough that I often buy cheap Playstation games from car boot sales, just so I can test them out using the Bleem beta, and end up sticking to playing them though it (despite the glitches you often have to put up with), when I actually own a Playstation which cost me a measly 5 quid that just sits there waiting to be used, but now I've gone and got me one of these:
I found this on Ebay with a Buy it now of £8, but it also had a "Make Offer" option. I made an offer of £5 and it was accepted, which is nice. They don't often show up on there, but Play Asia sell a few different ones (that look to be a bit better) for about £12 a piece, including one that lets you use Saturn controllers on your Dreamcast. Very handy if you've got, say, the rare Saturn Twin Sticks for Virtual On but don't want to buy the also very rare Dreamcast twin sticks for Virtual On 2. Unlike most of their Dreamcast stuff, they still have these in stock.
Anyway, this one I got is a "Mullennium 2000 (yes, it's actually spelt like that) Magic Converter" that rather poorly states on the back of the package: "Connects DreamCast, PSX controller, your TV as shown. Watch when you want to watch! Play when you want to play!" (What?) It was being sent all the way from Hungary, so it took a little while to arrive (not helped by the Post Office strike we had last week.) but it came through the post as I was chomping on some Corn on the Cob about 12 today.
As the packaging illustrates, you can use a standard PSone Dual Shock, along with a Playstation Steering wheel, of which there is a switch to go between the two (along with a DC plug adaptor hole. Did the PSone steering wheels need a separate plug?) I only have one Playstation controller on me (the one that came with my PSone) so this is all I have tried on it so far. I'll be sure to pick up some cheap bits and bobs to also try on it as well, though.
All the Dreamcast buttons are mapped to the a like parts on the PSone controller, with the left analogue stick on a Dual Shock becoming the analogue control. L2, R2 and the right analogue are not used for anything. I'm not sure if these buttons will function when playing a PSX game via Bleem, though, so I'll have to check that out.
* For many, the Playstation controllers are generally more comfortable than the Dreamcast ones, especially thanks to the nicer buttons and analogues. personally I'm still not used to the shape of these controllers, but after playing Soul Calibur with it for a while I'm growing to like it.
* The button layout is more or less the same (except the D-pad and Analogue being swapped) so playing Dreamcast games with it shouldn't disorientate you (the ultimate test for this will be Crazy Taxi, though, as I have that game down to a art, not even having to remember what button does what).
* Makes playing Playstation games through Bleem a lot easier. Parappa the Rapper with Bleem for example was impossible for me because even with the PSX controller I haven't quite figured out where each shape named button are (seriously, what was they thinking when they named the buttons triangle, square, circle and X?). You can tell I've rarely ever played on a Playstation before can't you?
* The rumble in the Dual Shock will work with rumble pack compatible Dreamcast games, which is nice.
* If you have a mate around for a multiplayer session who is more used to Playstation controllers than Dreamcast ones, than they'll feel right at home if you give them this. Mind you, do you really want to give them an advantage?
* Instead of forking out on a Japanese DC Dance mat, you could pick up a cheap Playstation one for a couple quid and plug that in instead. I'm not too sure how compatible other PSX accessories are with this particular one I have is though, I'll get back to you on that one.
* You could also pick up a better steering wheel. The Dreamcast didn't have many of these but the Playstation had bloody hundreds of them.
* For Dreamcast games, you're gonna have to stick a DC controller in the 2nd port for your memory card much like you would with the Fishing controller, which is a pain when some games can't even read the memory card from the 2nd port.
* This is more a snag with the Dual Shock itself: having to keep turning the analogue stick on. It has a habit of turning itself off in loading screens too, which can be a tad annoying.
* No light gun compatibility. Bleem Time Crisis with the gun is still a no no then.
* According to the packaging, when using a Steering wheel the Brake and Accel triggers are reversed for some reason. I can imagine this being a bit bizarre.
Phew, that's a long post. I presume the "Total Control" converters at Play Asia are better than this cheap one I have, but so far it's doing it's job nicely.