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Xbox’s First Wireless Arcade Stick Arrives Just in Time For Street Fighter 6



They say a bad carpenter always blames their tools, but you can’t build a table with a knife and spoon. A lot of times, a good tool can enhance a user’s skills. That’s definitely the case with gaming, so 8BitDo has created an updated version of its Arcade Stick with a facelift and support for recent Xbox models.

8BitDo’s original Arcade Stick debuted back in the Summer of 2020, bringing with it the same type of controls typically found on an arcade machine, with over-sized action buttons and a stubby, ball-capped eight-way joystick in lieu of a four-way directional pad or an analog thumbstick.

Although arcade machines are few and far between now, their legacy endures, with many gamers preferring their controls over gamepads and modern controllers, particularly when playing fighting games. That’s because their digital-only joysticks make performing certain moves much easier than on an analog stick (though most players will be fine sticking with a d-pad instead—that’s a whole debate we’re not going to get into here). It’s clearly no coincidence that the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox’s arrival coincides with today’s launch of Street Fighter 6 on Microsoft’s console.

Aside from new black or white monochromatic colorways, the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox looks nearly identical to 8BitDo’s original Arcade Stick, although instead of supporting the Nintendo Switch and PCs, the Xbox version is specifically designed to support the Xbox Series X|S, the Xbox One, and Windows-based PCs.

The black version of the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox flipped over and the rear panel removed revealing the swappable components inside.

Under the hood, the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox also carries over the easily upgradeable design of its predecessor, allowing the buttons to be replaced with third-party alternatives, while the mounting plate for the joystick “supports virtually every arcade stick ever made: Sanwa JLF / Sanwa JLW Seimitsu / L3 33, 55, 56, 58.” But dig a little deeper and you’ll find that the original 8BitDo Arcade Stick’s Bluetooth support is gone. The new version wirelessly connects to a PC or Xbox console using an included 2.4Ghz dongle stored in the controller for minimal lag. Alternately, you can use a wired USB-C connection.

The 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox carries over the same 1,000 mAh rechargeable battery as the previous version, promising up to 30 hours of playtime on a single charge. But the Xbox version of the Arcade Stick gains a headphone jack for voice chatting during online gameplay sessions, at the cost of about 10 hours of battery life when using the audio functions.

An overhead shot of the black version of the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox.

The new Arcade Stick can also be customized on the software side using the 8BitDo Ultimate Software, allowing for easy remapping. But without built-in support for Bluetooth, you’ll need to use a cable to connect the stick to a device with the Ultimate Software app installed in order to make changes. The 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox also has a slightly different arrangement of function buttons in its upper left corner, including a dedicated Xbox ‘Home’ button, a dial for muting connected gaming headphones or just their microphone, and a switch for gamepad or joystick modes.

Despite a lack of Bluetooth, the 8BitDo Wireless Arcade Stick for Xbox actually arrives with a slightly higher price tag than the original Arcade Stick. When officially released and available starting on June 30 (you can pre-order either the white or black version through Amazon starting today), it will sell for $120 instead of $90, which is how much the Switch version of the stick costs.

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Source: Gizmodo

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