Japanese developer SNK recently introduced a new hardware product targeted at those looking for a bit of practicality with their dose of NEOGEO nostalgia.
— SNK GLOBAL @SAMURAI SHODOWN – Available Now! (@SNKPofficial) September 10, 2019
This isn’t SNK’s first dive into the retro hardware market, however. With the documented success of companies releasing old IP on miniature consoles with plug-and-play compatibility (*cough* minus Sony *cough*), SNK released their NEOGEO mini console a little more than a year ago with 40 of their classic games in a form-factor that resembled a mini arcade cabinet (screen included). Although this device received mixed reviews, SNK re-grouped and recently introduced the NEOGEO Arcade Stick Pro. SNK describes it as “A fighting stick with 20 classic SNK fighters pre-installed!” Ditching a purely retro focus and including modern fight stick functionality is a welcome change in this section of the industry and it helps to prevent the product from becoming just another desktop decoration.
Now, whether or not the stick will compete with brands like Hori and Razer is yet to be seen, but in “Joystick Mode,” the arcade stick can be either used with the NEOGEO mini or a PC. Once you’re done grinding through some Samurai Shodown, you can flip the arcade stick into console mode and play some classic SNK titles. The stick is even compatible with the NEOGEO mini PAD controllers for some couch co-op action. Although the game list, release date, and retail price are all still up in the air, this is a product I’ll be keeping my eyes on.
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