Back in 2012 we reviewed Hori’s Fighting Edge for the PlayStation 3, a mighty beast of an arcade fighting controller with a fancy programmable touch panel. The PS4 version of the Fighting Edge is still a beast, but it trades the gimmicky touchscreen for brushed aluminum. It looks good. It feels even better.
Being only a casually-competitive fighting game player, the feel of an arcade stick is just as important to me as how well it plays. I am a large man, and I am used to arcade fighting controllers of a certain size. That size is “not large enough to be comfortable resting in my lap.” At nearly 19 inches wide, the Fighting Edge covers my lap with room to spare. It also weighs nearly eight pounds, so once it’s on my lap, it’s staying there.
I would have gotten a Fighting Edge back during the PlayStation 3 age—god knows I have enough 2D fighters sitting on my PS3 hard drive—but I was turned off by that touchscreen. When Richard Eisenbeis reviewed it for us in 2012, he mentioned resting his hand near the touch-sensitive controls and accidentally switching on “Tournament Mode,” a special setting that keeps players from accidentally hitting home, start or select functions. With my huge hands, mis-touches were inevitable, so I passed.
While a more playful part of me wouldn’t have minded the bright LED lines down the sides, overall I am much happier with the PS4 Fighting Edge’s streamlined design. The brushed aluminum panel makes the controller look elegant and slightly industrial, and when I rest my hands, they’re resting on cool metal. The only downside to the panel is that the bolts securing it are half-threaded (to prevent damage through over-tightening), which leaves it room to slide about slightly while playing. I’ll be looking into some rubber washers to fix the issue.
The touchscreen is gone, but the controls live on in a panel cleverly hidden under the right edge of the unit. Tournament mode, digital/analog switching and the assign function share the panel with the L3, R3 and share button. There’s a PS4 touch pad on the back, next to the covered cable slot, and a headphone jack on the bottom front edge.
Thanks to the controller’s design, all you can see while playing is the Hayabusa arcade stick, nine Hayabusa buttons (including the options button) and the PlayStation home button. It’s so lovely and clean.
Personally I like the Hayabusa stick and convex buttons. I’ve always preferred ball to bat, and my lazy fingers appreciate the slightly lower travel distance of the buttons. If I didn’t like them, I might still pick up the Fighting Edge, open up the bottom and swap them out. I really love the design. There a lot of personal preference that goes into choosing and judging a fight stick. I’m choosing this one.
The Fighting Edge for PlayStation 4 (and PC) is now available for $200 at Hori’s website.