Essential Arcade Sticks for Street Fighter IV
So, you've got a copy of Street Fighter IV on pre-order, you've faked an illness to secure a week home from work, and all of your old arcade buddies are coming over to test their mettle in your living room. There is one thing you might have forgotten -- an arcade controller.
Sure, you could go with a standard gamepad, but while analog sticks and triggers have made leaps and bounds over the past decade, the directional pads on our controllers have tended to deteriorate in quality. We aren’t sure that the Xbox 360 or Sixaxis controller is quite up to the amount of abuse you are going to throw at it in Street Figher IV. Thanks to some third-party manufacturers, however, you have other options.
1. MadCatz Official Fight Stick
The MadCatz arcade Fight Stick has been dubbed the “official” Street Fighter IV controller for the PS3. Besides the usual 6-button control buttons and stick, this accessory also comes with some attractive Street Fighter artwork on its face. It is also compatible with a wide range of arcade fighting games on the PS3, including Soul Calibur IV. It weighs a hefty 4 pounds, which is needed to keep the controller firmly planted in one place. These controllers will ship on February 20, but they are limited in number, so be sure and pre-order now.
2. Madcatz Street Fighter IV Gamepad
If you are determined to go the gamepad route, MadCatz has you covered there as well. The company has secured the rights to issue some gorgeous Ken and Ryu controllers with artwork from your favorite characters on the face. There’s also one with some Chun Li artwork on it, for that special video-game-loving lady in your life. This is more than a mere graphical upgrade -- take a close look at the gamepad and you will notice that it has six face buttons in the traditional street fighter layout across the face.
3. Hori Real Arcade Pro 3
The Hori Arcade Stick is the undisputed champion of arcade controllers on the PS3. It features a nice, heavy base with 8 mappable face buttons and a well-built joystick. There is also a 20x turbo function for all of you cheaters and shmup fans out there. The Hori stick is the most expensive of the various options, but the extra money is worth it for true arcade aficionados. In Japan, the Hori Arcade stick has long been the standard for arcade controllers, and it has only become available in the United States recently. It is widely compatible with most arcade games available for the PS3, as well as PC emulators like MAME.
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