I’ve noticed no big joystick sales this holiday season.
I generally depend on this forum to find sales myself but so far the sales are just not happening this year.
Even last year, there were very good sales to be had with HRAP V3 SA’s going for $99 + shipping (or free shipping) and markdowns on Mad Catz product as well. You couldn’t go to many sites without getting hit in the eye by sales and hardware.
2010 was a fantastic buyers’ market with all kinds of joysticks popping up at cheap prices. I saw a lot of HRAP 2’s and Agetecs going on sale for very low prices at online auction.
Likewise, 2009 had huge joystick sales during Christmas season.
This year – squat so far. Even the Mad Catz joystick events and sales seem to be a bit further spaced apart.
My gut feeling is that stick production was already down this year for a variety of reasons so there probably wasn’t as much inventory to begin with. (Of course, if Mad Catz and Hori are smart, they won’t tell us this…)
Also, the recession has deepened just a bit (real life intruding on people’s videogame fantasies) and some of the more niche ticket items are not getting the price markdowns they may have in the past.
It has been harder for people to find TE’s and HRAP’s this past quarter; it hasn’t been unusual for Hori Store and other online vendors to be out of stock on joystick items.
Note that TV markdowns are in sync with last year and there are still very good deals to be had on other items like movies and clothing.
… Although in all honesty you can probably expect more people to upgrade entertainment hardware and get new videos than a new joystick. Most people are not into hardcore gaming peripheral collecting. Even some collectors have gotten blase with the year’s offerings.
I have seen HRAP V3 's coming back into stock lately. Bad news is that there are no sales to see anywhere online. You’re gonna pay MSRP any way you slice it…
I’m predicting 2012 will be better for collectors in general. It looks like Hori might finally be competing seriously again and the addition of EightArc/Qanba and Razer is only going to make the options much better for more people. None of these peripheral companies can afford to go to sleep or let their quality drop. The players are that much more demanding on the equipment. I do think, though, that price is going to play a bit of a factor… How many people really want to pay over $160 for a new joystick that isn’t a limited edition??? The LE’s themselves can take months to completely sell out, too, and people get burned out buying the same thing with different art over and over again. There’s only so much that I think gamers can be squeezed for.
As lovely as some of the EightArc art schemes have been, there’s little chance I’m going to pay much over $150 for a joystick. IF the market is overestimated, we may see peripherals going on sale as they did during late 2009 and most of 2010.