Mad Catz has officially unveiled its range of Street Fighter IV peripherals for PS3 and Xbox 360, which includes regular and tournament sticks and a reconfigured control pad.
The FightPad, as it's called, boasts an enlarged, circular, eight-way floating d-pad, along with six buttons in two lines of three for arcade-style easy access. There's also a switch so you can tell the pad to pretend the d-pad's an analogue stick. Judging by retailer listings it comes in a range of colour schemes including flirty Chunners and honourable Ryu.
The sticks, though, will be where it's at for a lot of beat-'em-up fans. The vanilla FightStick is impressive as it goes, with eight-button arcade configuration, a switch to tell the stick it's a d-pad or an analogue, dual-speed Turbo functions for each button (with LED indicators), concealed start and select/back buttons to avoid accidents, and inserts for the top panel that list special moves.
But the king of the line is the FightStick: Tournament Edition, which has been overseen by the game's producer Yoshinori Ono, apparently. Its main virtue is that it's almost identical in form, function and components to the Vewlix cabinet that houses the game in Japanese arcades, with the same "Japanese style ball-handled joystick and 30mm Action Buttons" and the same exact layout.
Like the vanilla stick, it also has the d-pad control switch, dual Turbo functionality and discreet start/select buttons, but it also has a locking mechanism so you can avoid accidentally switching Turbos on during tournament play, and screw-on rubber feet to avoid it shifting when it's on a desk or whatever.
There's no immediate word on how much either stick will cost in Europe, but US pricing on Amazon.com is USD 39.99 for the FightPad and USD 69-79.99 and USD 149.99 for the regular and tournament editions of the FightStick. Amazon's UK outlet only lists the FightPad at the moment, for GBP 25 (down from an RRP of GBP 35). It says it will be released on 20th February, the same day as the game.
We've contacted Mad Catz for more on pricing and availability, so we'll let you know. In the meantime, you can check out the pads and sticks in our Mad Catz Official Street Fighter IV peripherals gallery. Be sure to check out Monday's Street Fighter IV console hands-on preview while you're at it.
Oh, and if you're into that sort of thing, there will also be faceplates and "Console Skinz" for Xbox 360 and PS3. We're not.