Razor first unveiled this arcade stick way back in 2011 and I am pleased to say that Razor’s customizable arcade stick (Atrox) is now available for Xbox 360/PC!
- 10 tournament-grade Sanwa Denshi™ buttons
- Authentic Sanwa Denshi™ joystick with ball top
- Interchangeable top panel allows for custom artwork finishes
- Fully accessible internals and storage compartments for easy modding
- Honeycomb structure on the inside for easy screw mounting
- Storage compartments for alternative bat top joystick and more
- 13 ft / 4 m detachable USB cable
- Screwdriver included for modding
- 2.5mm audio jack for headset use (Xbox 360)
Razor took it upon themselves to not just release an arcade stick into a growing niche for gamers, but actually go out and get feedback from the Fighting Game Community (FGC) as well as professional gamers. Even going as far as to sponsor a few notable players such as RZR Latif. The company ran beta programs with select applicants and is marketing this premium peripheral towards the tournament crowd.
So what sets this stick apart from the current flock of Mad Catz and Hori fightsticks? The physical design is the most unique and appealing aspect for myself. It comes standard with Sanwa buttons and joystick, which are the best in my personal opinion (but some people do prefer the Semitsu buttons), and this is a pretty standard for most all arcade sticks in this class. The one really noticeable physical difference is the ease of access to the internals of the stick, which makes for easier modding, button replacement, and interestingly enough…storage. There are several internal storage compartments for extra parts and the usb cable. Another thing that the FGC loves to do is replace the stock artwork with some great custom artwork and Razor’s go that covered as well. The Atrox has a “fully interchangeable top panel” for custom artwork and even gives a template for you on their website which you can download here.
This arcade stick is by far one of the most well thought out options to come around in a long time and I have some high hopes for it. But there are a few issues I’ll take up with the Atrox. It may not be the first thing you notice, but the Atrox is only available for the Xbox 360/PC and does not have a PS3 counterpart. I’m not fully sure why that is as of right now, but there are still options if you want to run it on a PS3. There are several adapters (I do not recommend those) that you could use or you could dual mod the stick. Dual modding an arcade stick is simply modding the stick with an additional PCB that will allow you to play on the PS3. There are several PCBs out there, but dual modding comes at its own risk since you could run into issues of buttons going out or being pressed when they shouldn’t or a few other problem. In any case, this leads me to the other issue which is probably the first thing you notice…the price. The stick is up for sale for $199 which is in line with a few other arcade sticks like the Hori Edge, but the real sweet spot is the $100 – $150 range which is where you could get any number of Mad Catz TE sticks (the tournament standard really). Sure you’ll get a lot of features for that extra $50, but I can’t really say definitively that it’s worth it. If it came dual modded standard (works on both PS3 and Xbox) than this would be a deal that no one should pass up. Eightarc and Qanba make great arcade sticks that come dual modded standard that sell for no more than $180, so the Atrox loses in the price category.
One other concern that people might face is that since Razor is late to the game on this market, they will also face a transitional period between console generations. The next generation of Xbox and Playstation will be upon us this holiday season and we have no idea if today’s arcade sticks will be compatible with the new consoles. I brought this concern up with other FGC members and they seemed to not really be too concerned. Since it is unlikely to have launch releases of tournament ready fighting game, we can expect to still use our Xbox/PS3 for the tournament games for quite some time. That has been true for the history of the FGC, but you can never really know what the future will hold.
Other than those two main concerns, the stick looks amazing and I would love to give it a try. Be sure to check out the Razor Atrox from their website in the source below.