Longevity of an expensive Arcade stick?


I’m one of those new guys that’s floated in on the SFIV wave, so I apologise if this is a “no brainer” but I’ve tried searching and haven’t come up with anything.

I’m looking to get a TE FightStick, but 150 is a fair chunk of change for me, and needs to be something of an investment rather than just a light purchase for me to spend that much. So I’m wondering about the longevity of arcade sticks and also whether the PS3 or 360 version might be better value for money in the long term.

The next-gen consoles will alledgely come out in 2011-2012, so that’s only 2 years or so which isn’t really that much considering the 150 price. I don’t know too much about consoles I just bought my first (a 360) at Xmas, but from what I can tell backwards compatability can’t be relied on? Microsoft I’m sure will be happy to change the security protocol/encryption (or whatever it is they have) so they can re-sell you controllers you don’t need with the new Xbox, but what about Sony?

There seems to be hardware compatability already with PS2>PS3 adapters, and from what I can tell they seem to be more open with USB and “plug and play”, so is it naive to assume that there will likely be PS3>PS4 compatability in future? I have an adapter that will let me use a PS3 controller on my 360, so I’m wondering if i’ll be better off in the long run getting a PS3 TE instead of the 360 version. Obviously this all depends on if the sticks themselves have that kind of longevity, I’m assuming they last a good few years?

Or do I just have unrealistic expectations about what I should be getting out of 150?


Get a 360 stick; if a future console comes out that you want your stick to work with you can always mod it. I wouldn’t worry too much about future consoles anyway at this point; this console generation is going to be exceptionally long. Sony’s looking at a PS4 launch in 2014 if they want to turn a profit on the PS3, and Microsoft is in no rush to replace the 360 now that they’ve finally leapfrogged Sony and developed dirt cheap methods of manufacturing 360s. As for Nintendo, the Wii is a money printing press. There won’t be any new consoles for several years, buy the stick you want and enjoy it.


I had a Dreamcast stick I used on and off for years. The stick and buttons were wearing out so I put in new, high quality Sanwa brand parts. Last month I pulled out the circuit boards and hacked in a wireless 360 pad, making sure it would be easy to replace or exchange that for something different in the future. Stressful and expensive to do without the experience and tools, but ultimately satisfying.

Don’t expect any kind of easy compatibility in the future. But do remember that there will always be a desire to play games with digital switches like arcade games and retro console games. With a bit of hacking you should be able to take your stick into the next generation.


Real arcade parts should last a home user for a LONG time, even with a lot of abuse. They’re meant to be in an arcade cabinet, where owners are notorious for not wanting to mess with anything, and random people from kids to older jerks do their best to break them. The stick I’m currently using was an old dreamcast stick also, and I’ve had the same set of Sanwa parts in it for around 2 years. It plays the same as the day I put them in, and my stick has seen a lot of abuse.

The TE should be no exception. It’s using very high quality parts, and in the event that you DO manage to tear something up, individual parts are not terribly expensive and it takes no more than a screwdriver to replace anything in it. If a joystick is something you’ll seriously use, it’s not a bad buy for the money at all, though they’re nearly impossible to find right now, especially at that price. If you don’t get ahold of one, a custom joystick or modded joystick should also last you nearly forever, and might actually be cheaper, since most of the stick builders charge in USD.

As for 360 or PS3, I say go with 360. With a Cthulhu board it’s extremely easy to add support for the PS3 to the 360 TE, but since Microsoft has a lockout on peripherals, the only way to add 360 support is to dismantle a controller and solder it in, or use one of the converters which have all received less than stellar reviews.


i think youre just asking about the longevity of the system, not the stick. You buy a stick, the box says it’ll work on a xb360, anything beyond that (next gen, and even PC compatibility) is just a nice bonus. No one here can tell you for certain that one system is better than the other. You’re assuming way too much as far as “security protocol/encryption” etc… just buy the xbox one, since you say you already have a 360.

And if you also have a ps3, it doesnt sound like you’re hurting for money either way.


If you just bought your 360 at Christmas then you’re not exactly going to go out and jump on a next-gen console the day it comes out are you?

So it doesn’t really matter when the next gen comes out.

The stick and it’s parts will last a few years at least. You’ll probably have your system for that long also.


Thanks for the replies guys, it sounds like the stick itself will definitely last which is the main thing. Getting 3 years of use out of it and then even if it can’t be modded for a future console being able to use it for PC play will be something.

Not sure what a Cthulhu board is, but I don’t have any specific need to be able to use my stick on both formats, I only thought simply because I can, and PS3 stick sounded more ‘future proof’ system wise, but after the replies here I don’t think that matters too much really, I’ll get my money’s worth from it.

I don’t have a PS3 though, I have a XIM360 (http://www.xim360.com) which is a 360 controller with a soldered PCB, that connects to the Xbox and the PC, and translates the input from the PC to the Xbox. So anything that is recognised as an input on the PC could be used to control the Xbox, e.g mouse and keyboard (I use it for FPS games) PS3 Fightstick, Sixaxis, Wiimote, Midi Drumkit etc.


Yeah, I wouldn’t worry about the stick itself, the Sanwa parts are so many times better than the junk you find in most sticks. I’d definitely go with the 360 version since that’s what you’re using it on currently, and even worse-case scenario you can absolutely mod it for the next generation of systems. My DC stick got a lot of abuse on the dreamcast, I gutted the dreamcast internals when I added Sanwa parts about 2 years ago, and converted it to original xbox. Then, for the release of SFIV, I gutted the xbox controller and threw in a 360 controller. I’ll keep it on 360 until whatever new system comes out with a fighting game I really want to play, and then I’ll do the same again, and I fully expect the parts to still be just fine.


Your original questions are kind of all over the place. If I’m understanding right, you’re trying to decide between the PS3 TE and the 360 TE, with the goal of as much forward compatability as possible. Well, we don’t know what what the future holds so there really isn’t anything we can say. Lots of folks can speculate, but that’s all it’d be.

If you want a stick with the most current gen compatability out of the box, you’re screwed. You know niether stick will work out of the box on the other console.

The case itself is pretty good. The parts (buttons/stick) in it are pretty good. Both box and parts will last a couple of years under heavy use, and far longer under casual use.

If you’re willing to mod your equipment, and judging by the fact you have an XIM I think you are, then the best current gen compatability would be to get a 360 version and install a Cthulhu in it. Look for the Cthulhu thread here in Tech Talk.

The step up after that for the absolute most possible compatability with current, future, and past console would be a UPCB. The UPCB thread is also here in Tech Talk but may require a search to find.