Could be a while before we see the last copy of the Astrocade-style sticks from Hori disappear. There really is a glut of these sticks in stock now at many shops!
At the very least, there still seem to be plenty of licensed sticks using the HRAP-style casing in the inventories of many import shops. There seems to be tons of Arcana Heart 2, Blaze Blue, regular HRAP 3, and HRAP 3 SA’s still at JVG and other domestic places. I know lots of Arcana Heart’s have recently come up on e-Bay at reduced prices. Wasn’t that long ago you couldn’t buy one of those for much less than $200 but now they can’t give them away for $130!
Blame it on overproduction for SF IV and the like or Mad Catz’ successful joystick line-up… or maybe people just got tired of Hori recycling the same case style over and over again for the better part of at least 5 years now! Even most automotive companies would have restyled/redesigned their main carlines twice during the same time frame…
(The only Astrocade-styles you can’t seem to find much anymore are the Amazon-Japan HRAP 2 Oranges and Greens as well the HRAP 2 SA. Nobody seems to have those in stock anymore! HRAP 2 SA in particular seemed to available for a very long time until the past few weeks.)
Tekken 5 sticks still show up occasionally and it’s easier now to get them for $40 or less online. The last one I bought cost me $20. Still good for a used stick!
There’s really no reason anyone can’t find a copy of one of these sticks for $150 or less. A used Tekken 5 joystick gives you the best bang for the buck mod-wise but all of them can easily be upgraded to pro-level with minimal effort.
I’m still looking forward to the “V” series of Hori sticks just for a change in case styling and button config. The wider style is growing on me, too. I just hope the darn thing can be modded to open from the top because I sure don’t see any carriage bolts or cap socket screws on the faceplate of the “V” in any of the photos I’ve looked at!
I’m sure we’ll see an HRAP V SA/SE line in the near-future, too.