Just after Razer announced its upcoming arcade joystick, we managed to get our hands on it at TGS. The verdict so far: It's pretty slick. The prototype I used featured Sanwa parts, though Razer is attempting to accommodate "as many brands as possible" in the final model, which is hopefully good news for those who prefer HAPP/IL sticks (like me). The real kicker, however, is the ability to crack open the case by simply pressing the Razer logo at the base of the stick.
Well, it's not that simple. It takes quite a bit of pressure, since you don't want to accidentally open the case during a fight. Once open, all the innards are completely accessible, allowing for very simple modding (no soldering required here). The inside of the case also includes storage for extra parts, meaning you can carry both a ball top and a bat top for the joystick at all times.
The inside also includes a tool that can be used to remove the top plate, a plastic panel that rests atop a solid metal layer underneath. The matte black plate can be replaced with a clear plate, allowing modders to insert their own artwork underneath if desired. Overall, it seems like a very well made, solid piece of kit that could possibly open up the otherwise daunting world of joystick customization to a much wider audience.
Check out a quick hands-on video above and some pictures in the gallery below.