Any tips for someone very good with electronics looking to make fight stick for PS3/4 from scratch?


Hi guys - I hope this is the right place to ask this. I’m sorry if this has been answered already, but it looks like a lot of the talk on the subject of fight sticks here is all about mods, or building from kits, as opposed to from the ground up.

I’m thinking of building a nice fight stick, from scratch, for fun.

It doesn’t look all that too difficult to do. I have a lot of experience working in interfaces for music production and performance (MIDI controllers, etc), but never explicitly for video games. I’ve done a lot of DIY and custom stuff, and currently work for Keith McMillen Instruments. (Interestingly, one of the boutique competitors in the MIDI controller space is a company across the bay that makes something called the MIDI Fighter, a sixteen arcade button interface obviously inspired by the kind of games we like here. Their interfaces are pretty, but actually not very musically expressive in practice). I’m really, really in to even much more complicated electronics, and am in the process of starting a company that makes high-end next-level analog modular synthesizers and other studio music electronics. (If that sounds cool, check out the community In comparison, a joystick and eight Sanwa buttons doesn’t look too tough.

The reason why I’m thinking about this is because I’m getting back into games after years away, and am over-excited. (Things happen, and I’ve been focusing on school and all of the work stuff above.) I’ve settled on a PS4, and am thinking about picking up a PS3 as well, just for USF4, SFxT, and Jojo’s, because the former is really wanting for fighting games other than Injustice, with SF5 and MKX quite a ways away, and streaming for fighting games not being ideal. I see that Mad Catz is planning on releasing a stick that will work for both consoles, but with a budget to match the price of one of those, I think that I might be able to do even better. A lot of guys (including DJTT, mentioned above with the MF) have adapted Dualshocks, Wiimotes, and other video game style controls to music interfaces - it shouldn’t be too hard to go the other way.

So, as someone who’s been away for a while, my questions are:

Are there any special messages necessary or shenanigans or hoops one has to jump through to get an interface to talk to a PS3 or PS4? Based on this, it doesn’t look to bad at all. I’d probably use the same chips as the dualshock 4.

What makes a fight stick great? I assume it should be as low latency and as quiet as possible.

Would I be allowed to play with this thing in anything other than a friendly competition at my place?

Hypothetically, if I could do better and/or beat bigger companies to market, would anyone else actually want one of these things?


We got theories how the PS4 controller works but nothing proven

The current idea is the controller (even wired controllers) use a bluetooth chip as a security lockout
No idea on how the actual security encryption or protocols work


Shoot. Thanks for the heads up.