Use PlayStation Buzz! controllers with a Raspberry Pi
Buzz! was a favourite amongst my university housemates and me. With popular culture questions asked by an animated Jason Donovan, answered using real-life quiz controllers with a big red button, what’s not to like?
But, as with most of the tech available in the early 2000s, my Buzz! controllers now sit in a box somewhere, dusty and forgotten.
That’s why it is so goshdarn delightful to see PiMyLifeUp breathe new life into these awesome-looking games controllers.
Bringing Buzz! back
The tutorial uses the hidapi library to communicate with the controllers, allowing them to control functions through the Raspberry Pi, and the Raspberry Pi to control the LED within the big red button.
By the end of this tutorial, you will have learned how to read information about all your USB devices, learned how to read data that the devices are sending back and also how to write a library that will act as a simple wrapper to dealing with the device.
Aside from the Buzz! controllers, available on eBay or similar for a few pounds, you only need a Raspberry Pi and its essential peripherals to get started, as the controllers connect directly via USB — thanks, Buzz!
PiMyLifeUp’s tutorial is wonderfully detailed, explaining the hows and whys of the lines of code needed to turn your old Buzz! controllers into a quiz game written in Python that uses the coloured buttons to answer multiple-choice questions.
Guitar Hero, dance mats, Donkey Kong Bongos — what other gaming peripherals would you like to bring back to life?
The gun (and paddles) from the Binatone TV Master Mk. 6.
Great idea, we still have three sets of these controllers (2 wired and one wireless) and we still enjoy the Buzz games, especially the Monkey one (Jungle Party) even though the kids are young adults now.
Can’t wait to try and connect them up to my Pi and see what we can come up with.