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Konix Speedking

From Joystick Directory

The Speedking was a joystick launched in late 1985 / Early 1986 by Welsh company, Konix. It was designed to be held in the left hand, and controlled with the right.

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Launch and Production

The joystick launched in January 1986 and due to the popularity, the production rate was increased from 3,500 units per week to 50,000 units. Konix’s Managing Director, Wyn Holloway said at the time, "We would like to thank all our customers for thelr patience over the last few months. Now that the joystick can be produced in sufficient quantities we can concentrate on ensuring that the best joystick yet is also the best selling joystick yet."[1]

Manufacturer's Description

The Konix Speedking packs more punch. That's why it's fast overtaking ordinary joysticks to become one of the world's most popular hand control. As it's[sic] name suggests it's built for fast handling to give you lightening fast control. Micro switches await your slightest movement, and fly into action - ZAP, POW, SPLAT, BLAM -giving you instant reaction to every command. Tough, rugged and made in Britain to the highest standards, the Konix Speedking comes with a 12 month guarantee.

Epyx 500XJ

The US company, Epyx, distributed the joystick in the US, under the name 500XJ. According research by Epyx, the joystick will give you an 84 per cent chance of improving your high score.[2]

'Waggle' Test

In 1987 Konix tested the longevity of the Speedking by subjecting the joystick to a test, which rotated the joystick 450 times in minute.[3][4] The joystick was connected to an Amstrad 6128k computer to measure the waggles per minute. The 450 waggles was based on the fact that this was the rate the joystick would need to be moved to qualify for the first round in the 100 metres in Daley Thompson's Decathlon.[5].

The company ran a competition[6] for consumers to guess how long it would take for the joystick to no longer function. "It just started missing the odd click, nothing particularly phenomenal", Konix's Michael Baxter said. The joystick eventually ran for 652 hours, racking up 17,604,000 waggles.[7]. The competition was won by Belgian, Maris Geert, who guessed 643 hours.


As well as the Atari Style Joystick port - Konix produced versions of the Speedking for the Dragon, Commodore Plus/4[8] Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment System.[9]

According to advertisements from the brand, some versions were available in a left-handed model.[10]

Version Launch Notes Model Number
DE-9 (Atari, Commodore, Amiga) 1986
DE-9 with Autofire 1988[11]
Sega Master System Features A and B Buttons, and Turbo Fire.

A rebadged version was launched by Epyx named the 500XJ

Nintendo Entertainment System 1986 Features A and B Buttons, Start, Select and Auto Fire
Amstrad GX4000[12] Unknown Launch
Analogue (Gameport version)
Analogue (DE-9 version)
Commodore 16 / Plus/4 No autofire
Dragon 32


"This is the joystick that's hot at the moment. If you believe the makers and PR hype, it's selling faster than the speed of light.

no base or suckers so you can't stick it the table. It fits snuggly into the left hand, forefinger curling under to hit the fire tuition. The stick itself is operated by the right hand. If you're left-handed, forget it" 8/10

"..The Speedking is probably the only joystick which has been designed, solely to fit perfectly into the hand, that is, into a big hand.."

"Superficially , this actually looks like a poor cousin of most of the sticks here . Cheap and shabby, even its markings are the result of

transfers overlaid on to the moulded plastic of the main body . Aesthetically, it's a non- starter. but once you've summoned the courage to remove the L-shaped contraption from its box, it fits rather nicely in the palm of the hand with the thumb occupying a special groove and the index and middle fingers centred around the firebutton. During use, the stick gave a very good tactile response and the microswitches worked well. From initial misgiving, the Speed King quickly became one of our favourite sticks and proved adaptable to any type of game."

"Acclaimed to be ’The World’s First High Performance Joystick', the Speedking fits comfortably into your hand. It has a solid feel and a loud shaft click so you can hear each move, A good all-rounder, it feels as if it will last a long time. Also available wiih turbo-fire (£12.99), Sensible Software used it in their recent soccer World Cup. What more recommendation do you need? There is also an analogue version (£14,99) with free-floating and self-centring modes - useful for flight sims like Knights of the Sky. Analogue joysticks will only work with analogue compatible software." {{{score}}}
  • Steve Bradley
  • Amiga Format
  • August 1993


  1. "Konix on Course", Issue 20, Computer Gamer (Argus Press), November 1986
  2. News, Computer & Video Games, Issue 66, April 1987
  3. News, Computer & Video Games, Issue 66, April 1987
  4. "Konix Stick Up", Issue 27, Computer Gamer (Argus Press), June 1987
  5. "A Wag Too Far", Issue 41, Crash (Newsfield), June 1987
  6. "Konix Competition", Issue 45, Your Computer (Focus Magazines Ltd), February 1987
  7. "Riddle of Boffin's Wag Bid Tragedy", Issue 45, Crash (Newsfield), October 1987
  8. C+VG Magazine (EMAP), January 1987
  9. C+VG Magazine (EMAP), February 1988
  10. "Now Finger Tip Control is within your grasp" (Konix Advertisement} Issue 23, Crash (Newsfield), December 1985
  11. "Riddle of Boffin's Wag Bid Tragedy", Issue 45, Crash (Newsfield), October 1987
  12. https://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Konix_Speedking