Next Gen Consoles Sticking It to Stick Players

Looks like PS4 players are stuck on pad for fighting games for the foreseeable future.

If you're a grumpy old man like myself, you likely remember playing fighting games in the arcade with a joystick and six buttons. Very few home consoles have had a control pad that is conducive to this layout, with the exception of the glorious Sega Saturn pad.

With both next gen consoles having fighting games at launch, Sony and Microsoft have been somewhat coy about whether our current sticks are compatible.

Lead architect of the PlayStation 4, Mark Cerny, was asked directly about current gen fightstick capability before launch and he responded that he was unsure if it was supported out of the box, but there was no reason why they shouldn't work. Sony took it one step further and officially addressed the answer in their blog.

Will PS3 peripherals such as fighting sticks and steering wheels work with PS4?

Generally speaking, no. However, at launch, users will be able to use these controllers if a specific game title allows it to be used within the game. This decision is upon the game developer and will vary from game to game.

Sure enough, after the PS4 launched last week, enthusiastic fighting game fans plugged in every kind of stick imaginable to find out none of them work. The only fighting game available at launch was Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, so it could just be possible that Netherrealm hasn't added support yet... although there has been no mention of it by Ed Boon. 

Xbox One has already been announced as uncompatible with any Xbox 360 peripherals, but I'm sure that's not going to stop people from testing anyway this Friday. Mad Catz already has a $199.99 FightStick and a $399.99 RaceWheel ready to launch, so things don't look too hopeful there. 

So I know what you're thinking, "Teh greedy console makers want me to buy new stickz." At least one person has been speaking up about this, Mad Catz Community Manager (and Divekick character), MarkMan. 

nscwrote: »
I refuse to believe your company wants to lose money because nobody will need to buy a next-gen fightstick. If everyone buys one because they have to you guys net loadsamoney and it's not YOUR fault because evil sony/microsoft took out the console support.

It's not that easy. There's more to it than that. I refuse to believe that most people would understand because a lot of people are only thinking about their benefit.

If our existing sticks worked on PS4, we could continue to sell the sticks we still have (which we have plenty of). Instead of trying to invest/make and TAKE A RISK on creating a new stick that only works on one console. But yeah. If you think we're only out to make money (which is logical if you don't think about everything), then that has to be the conclusion you come to.

So it doesn't seem like there's much love for fighting game players in the next-gen. You get a free-to-play Killer Instinct that's going to cost you $200 for a new stick. Playstation 4 has Injustice out now, and Guilty Gear Xrd coming out next year with an unconfirmed Street Fighter title... with no new sticks or support for old sticks. Meanwhile the WiiU is backwards compatible with the Tatsunoko vs Capcom fightstick... just saying. 

Fighting game players are people too, dammit!

Featured Columnist

Lifelong gamer, artist, writer, lurker, occasional troll, and 1994 Blockbuster Game Tournament Store Champion.

Published Nov. 20th 2013
  • Coatedpolecat
    Featured Correspondent
    Good read. I enjoyed it. Though I need not a fighting stick to lose. I can do that with a regular controller.
  • Ryan Kerns
    Featured Columnist
    If you get a chance to play Killer Instinct on Xbox One I've heard it has the most beginner friendly training mode of any fighting game to date... and with only 6 characters on the roster right now it's not overwhelming with the amount of things to learn.

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