|Platforms||XSX / XB1 / PC|
In the previous generation of consoles, Hori presented the fighting game community with many great options from the Real Arcade Pro VLX to the Fighting Edge. With the Xbox Series X dominating the PlayStation 5 in the majority of the specs department, it seems that Hori made a wise decision by developing the Fighting Stick α for it, although it is likely that we will see a PlayStation 5 fightstick from Hori down the line. The fightstick is officially licensed by Microsoft.
Another incentive that may have motivated Hori to target the Xbox could have been Microsoft’s recent purchase of ZeniMax Media, which might make games such as The Elder Scrolls VI exclusive to the Xbox. More Xbox players means that there is a bigger buyer base. In fact, the Xbox Series X could end up being the dominant console of the generation, potentially becoming the fighting game community’s console of choice in tournaments.
This time around, it seems that Hori will bring us the same high level of quality that we have become accustomed to. Needless to say, the Hayabusa joystick and matte finished buttons will be coming back, and Hayabusa parts have built up a reputation for themselves as parts that are on par with the industry standard. Also, there will be a share button, profile button, key lock mode, and more to provide players as many options as possible.
A companion app will enable players to use the profile button in order to switch between four custom profiles. What is the most interesting, however, is that the chassis can be easily opened for both maintenance and customization, which is a feature that is not completely new to the world of fightsticks but still rare. For the sake of convenience, audio and microphone controls are readily available on the board itself to avoid any unnecessary hassle.
The artwork is completely new, with grayscale shapes that look geometric and modern. Regardless, players can still choose to replace the artwork as the layers of the fightstick are easily distinguishable. As for the silhouette and layout, the fightstick is quite reminiscent of the Hori Real Arcade Pro N Hayabusa, a fan favorite from the previous generation. However, one concern is if plastic dominates the fightstick’s composition, cheapening the look.
The upper midrange price seems quite reasonable. First and foremost, Hori is quite reputable despite mishaps such as the Hori Fighting Stick Mini. Otherwise, this is the only next generation fightstick that we know of, so Hori is providing a product unlike any other, which deserves a small boost in price. The thoughtful additions justify the price as well, from the onboard audio and microphone controls to the easily distinguishable layers of the fightstick.The concern about plastic strikes back, though, since plastic is known to be a relatively cheap material that is not usually associated with higher prices. Only time will tell whether or not Hori will continue its legacy with a powerful debut fightstick in the generation of consoles. Otherwise, the Victrix Pro FS might grab your attention as it is compatible with the Xbox Series X and has already been out in the market for a while.