I think this thread would have gotten a lot more attention in tech talk, where the silver falcon was actually discussed in a few topics.
A controller, hybrid or otherwise, is an interface to play a game with. They are not created equal, but the games you play are still going to register your outputs the same. Different controllers may make it easier to perform certain actions, while making it harder to do other things. But if you can get out that 10 hit combo, or play footsies just right, you’re doing good. Evo winners have used all sorts of arcade sticks and regular controllers, so it’s really a matter of preference. Much unlike the arcade games of old that were designed for arcade sticks.
The rest of this post is purely my opinion.
While it was difficult to initially adjust, I definitely like the arcade buttons found on a joystick better than that of a controller. It’s easier for me to execute multiple button presses on an arcade stick than it is a controller. I also find the hand position far more ergonomic than a controller where you need to push 4 different buttons with your thumb.
I like joysticks for virtually every arcade game available except for fighters. There’s just too much room for error. I played a bit on a hit box I built for my brother and I think I prefer having my direction outputs as separate buttons. I think the D-pad is probably my single least favorite way to move a character period. It makes dashing a little easier, but it’s not as comfortable as a joystick. That’s probably why I build ergonomic arcade sticks. Comfort is everything to me.
As for the actual “hybrid VS arcade stick” debate? I think it’s pretty obvious that arcade sticks were designed to bring the arcade experience home. All of the hybrids were designed to be a better version of that one way or the other. Game pads like the Hori commander were designed to be affordable versions of the arcade experience. The hitbox aimed to make a controller that felt more like a keyboard, and the silver falcon presumably because the inventor felt the D-pad was more ergonomic/senior friendly than a joystick. They all have their ups and downs, and they are all stepping stones to the controllers of the future. But as more iterations of those devices come out, they distance themselves from what the arcade stick was: something built to replicate the arcade experience.
Early 30’s, and I use a custom ergonomic arcade stick. In a few months it’ll be an ergonomic hitbox.