Peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz has said it will struggle to meet UK demand for the official FightStick: Tournament Edition for Street Fighter IV.
In a statement issued yesterday evening, the firm said it would be "working hard to meet day one shipments" but "can not guarantee that every customer wishing to purchase this premium product will be able to...on the first day of release".
Instead, Mad Catz is advising UK gamers to keep their eyes on its online store this afternoon when it will be taking "strictly limited pre-orders". "Orders on the store will be fulfilled strictly on a first come first serve basis and will only be available for purchase and delivery to mainland UK customers," it said.
The FightStick: Tournament Edition, a regular FightStick and a range of SF IV-themed FightPads with arcade-style button arrangements are due out at the game's launch on 20th February for PS3 and Xbox 360.
Interest in the FightStick: Tournament Edition grew after its CES unveiling last week. With a design influenced by SF IV producer Yoshinori Ono, it's built from actual Japanese stick components and has all sorts of wacky mechanisms for ensuring you get what you want during tournament play.
Those who are less serious about virtual punch-ups can opt for the considerably cheaper vanilla FightStick (USD 69-79 versus USD 149 for the Tournament Edition), which lacks the authentic Japanese components but still promises things like dual-speed Turbo buttons with LED indicators and moves-list inserts.
UK pricing is still unconfirmed, according to a Mad Catz spokesperson, but presumably we'll find out when the pre-orders go live on the website this afternoon.
Meanwhile, responding in Edge magazine this month to suggestions that third-party peripherals are usually tacky, Mark Julio, one of the stick enthusiasts contributing to the FightStick design, said that Mad Catz is "now focused on quality and not quantity; we're a very different company today to that of a few years ago".
You'll be able to find out whether we agree when we review the FightSticks and FightPad closer to their release date.