If you aren't familiar with the Japanese company known as Hori, then you must not be a hardcore fighting game fan. Hori is typically known for their Japanese arcade sticks which are usually imported for those gamers out there whose console controller doesn't quite work for them. Though Hori's main market is Japan they have released some of their arcade sticks, like the Arcade Pro 3 SA for the PS3 and the Real Arcade Pro EX for the 360, in the United States.
The latest stick to come out of Hori is the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA for the PS3. The problem is that it is only available in the US through export. The V3-SA has an attractive styling about it meant to compliment the design of the PlayStation 3. It has a matte black casing with all white buttons and some gray and red added in for additional coloring.
All the buttons as well as the four way joystick are Sanwa brand parts. This just means that they are arcade quality and come standard in Hori's high end products. The entire thing feels pretty solid due to a metal housing with hard plastic skirt. The V3-SA feels comfortable on a lap and, thanks to the rubber feet, it can be easily used on a table as well.
The V3-SA features a full PS3 layout including a PS button. In addition to that, there are independent turbo switches that have two speed settings for each buttons, a switch that allows you to switch between analog and d-pad control and a 9.8 foot built-in USB cable with storage department. The only controls that the S3-VA does not support is the L3 and R3 analog clicks as well as simultaneous use of both analog sticks or d-pad and analog stick.
The V3-SA is very responsive and the joystick features a clicking mechanism that you can feel and hear in all 8 directions which makes fighting combos a lot easier to pull off. Turbo switches work as you would expect allowing you to hold down a single button to perform repeated strikes.
Overall, the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA is a solid controller. It manages to include all the features you would expect from an actual arcade stick as well as attractive styling and solid construction. The controller is versatile across a wide variety of games and when compared to the Real Pro 3 SA model that is available in the US, the V3-SA is clearly better. Granted the average PS3 owner will have no use for a controller like this, but the ones that do will be very happy with this product.
You can order the Real Arcade Pro V3-SA from Hori's website for a price tag of around $150.
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