Peripheral Review: Brook Wingman SD

Disclosure: The Brook Wingman SD was sent to us for review.

The Brook Wingman SD is an interesting device, coming from the powerhouse that is Brook Accessory. I’ve got one of their PCBs in my SEGA Virtua Stick High Grade, which permits its use on multiple formats with ease… and no lag. Brook have quite a catalogue of products, and I believe are building a decent brand name for themselves with quality useful products. 

What is the Wingman SD? In short, it’s a dongle, that allows the gamer to connect a multitude of modern peripherals to their Dreamcast as well as the Sega Saturn (check out Brian's article on The Saturn Junkyard for a look at the Saturn functionality). You can connect your 360, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch Pro controllers to the Dreamcast for some high quality gaming fun.

There was something a touch surreal pairing my PS3 controller to the DC… but it was incredibly easy to do, and worked extremely well, without any perceived lag. Same goes for the Xbox One controller. The Xbox controllers are often regarded as some of the most ergonomic (and I agree), and using them to play Sega Rally 2, Rez (OK I have that on 360 and PS4), Shenmue, Headhunter, Re-Volt, was really great. The device comes into its own with FPS, though, bringing the DC into the 21st Century proper. Some prefer keyboard and mouse, which you can do on DC, but I am a fan of controllers. And now, Quake, Unreal Tournament, etc… have proper dual analogue support. And wireless!! What a revelation! 

For me, this alone makes the newer controllers of today somewhat moot. It’s rare for someone to just have a Dreamcast right now, and though I agree the other controllers can look the part, there’s a lot of noise online about poor build quality and breakage. This small dongle enables *wireless* play of your DC, with dual analogue sticks, and a controller you know well… what’s not to love?

Another feature that some will love, though most shmups have this built in on the DC, is a “turbo” mode. By itself, turbo is nothing special, but it’s a nice addition. 

The absolute icing on the cake is that this little blighter has 200 blocks of virtual VMU storage. This means you can game without another controller acting as your VMU hub, which is a really nice touch and shows both attention to detail, and some good market research/customer appreciation. 

Negatives? I don’t really have any, to be honest. Other reviews I’ve read discuss “dead zones”, but this has mostly been with the Saturn-based reviews, so I am wondering if the 3D analogue and Saturn setup isn’t more to do with this than the Wingman SD itself? With the controllers tested (DS3, DS4, XBO, XB360), I didn’t experience any dead zones.

The only game I haven't yet tried, but want to, is Xeno Crisis. It supports the dual-stick accessory for the DC and I know a lot of people wanted the Retro Fighters Striker Pad for DC to have dual sticks (spoiler, it doesn't) to play this very game... and now in theory one can, with a PS (yuck!) or Xbox controller. Magic!

All in all, I am aware this review seems a little gushing. But for 40 quid, there’s little to complain about here. It could look nicer, I suppose. But in this day and age of expensive ROM hacks (link to MODE), expensive cases, HDMI mods, power supplies and fans, a 40 quid wifi controller add-on is something of a bargain.

Brook will most likely support the product for years to come with firmware updates (my PCB fight board has had a couple). If you like everything you've heard and fancy purchasing a Wingman SD, you can purchase it through Amazon by clicking here.

I wax lyrical even more on our latest DreamPod episode, and we'd love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and questions. Share them with us in the comments below, or on our social media.


Neil said...

It works well with xenocrisis. The right stick acts as the face buttons but not as a true second analog stick

Neil said...

I have a striker controller as well and while that better for xenocrisis than the stock controller the brook adapter is essential for gameplay.

Martin said...

Thanks @Neil, good comments! Yes, the right stick is the face buttons, but it worked really well in Quake. Thanks for the feedback.

way2easy said...

Great article Martin. I've been looking for a face buttons to analogue stick solution for a while now. I couldn't believe there was only one stick on the Striker DC, it was the perfect time to fix that oversight. Just ordered this and can't wait to see how it performs with Furfighters. (such a fun game made difficult by the controls)

DCGX said...

I was on the fence with this, but being able to properly control an FPS is what is selling me on the adapter too. I also have a keyboard and mouse for DC, but prefer a controller because that's how I grew up playing FPSs.

A said...

Picked up one and its amazing. Really helped me complete my recent dreamcast project. Great stuff

sunnshine said...

Can this be used to mimic the twin sticks on Virtual On?

Unknown said...

Don't forget about the Twin Stick + Mouse combo for Quake III Arena and Outtrigger.