Welcome to another edition of the Import Report. First off, I'd like to thank those who have read my first report and gave it 400+ views so far and counting. This tells me that there is an interest in knowing what is out there and wanting to bring it stateside. Now I know I said I'd look for something from Europe, but when I saw this item I really couldn't believe that something like this was made. I had to do an Import Report on it. What is it, you ask? It's the Real Arcade Pro. 3 PREMIUM VLX arcade stick from Hori of Japan.
Anyone who knows or is in the fighting scene knows who Hori is. For those who have no clue, Hori is a company in Japan that specialize in making third-party controllers for consoles and arcade machines. They are most noted for their quality arcade sticks used in the majority of arcade/console fighting games. Not only were they of the highest caliber, but Hori also made them customizable so that players can easily swap out buttons, joysticks, and make any other mods that fit their style of play. A downside though that to get a hold of one of these, you would have to import, which can cost a bit of money. Even through they opened an American branch back in 2004, arcade sticks would still have to be imported.
In 2009 saw the release of Street Fighter IV and the TE arcade fightstick from Mad Catz. These became so popular that Street Fighter pros have started to use them. Hori, not wanting to be out done, released the Real Arcade Pro. 3 PREMIUM VLX in March of this year. It was not just any arcade stick, its a beast of an arcade stick. Why do I say that it's a beast? Take a look at this comparison shot taken by Destructoid user 50 ft. samurai, and you'll see why:
This thing is huge! It's bigger than the TE arcade stick. Looking at the arcade stick with have you thinking, "Haven't I seen this before on a Street Fighter IV arcade machine?" The answer is yes, this is the same arcade stick used in the SFIV machines. To arcade nerds and owners its know as the Taito VEWLIX, the standard arcade stick used in all Japanese arcades.
The size of the arcade stick has a price to match it. Right now the cost of one of these beasts runs about 30,000 Yen. In US dollars thats roughly about $300 plus tax and shipping. Right now, they are only sold through the the Japanese side of the Hori store, with online import merchants sold out at the moment. Although this is a really nice product, the price is a bit too high for my pocket. For pros wanting a quality stick, hardcore arcade fans or those building their own arcade machine and want an authentic arcade stick, this is right up your alley.
Now, what do you think? Thinking about wanting to import one, nice but to pricey, or will you pass and go with a different brand/wait for the size and price to go down? Express your opinions in the comments below. That wraps up this edition of the Import Report. On the next report, I'll take a look at a game from Europe that will augment your reality and change the way games are played.
- Mike V.