MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to joysticks and wheels

Matthew Jarvis
MARGIN MAKERS: Guide to joysticks and wheels

Steering wheels, fight and flight sticks are potentially a good investment for retailers, with a slew of new releases supporting them. MCV looks at the best products on the market

Peripherals continue to be a fantastic opportunity for retailers, with gaming accessories being worth £424m in 2013 – up one per cent from 2012 – according to MCV’s annual valuation of the games market.

Flight sticks, fight sticks and steering wheels are among the most popular products for enthusiast gamers, on both PC and console.

Iain Gillogaley, gaming, peripherals and audio channel manager at distributor Entatech, noted that the recent resurgence in sci-fi sim games had also catalysed consumer interest in flight stick controllers.

“There’s been a surge in popularity for these following the betas of Elite Dangerous and Star Citizen,” he said.

Gillogaley added that controllers designed for fighting games have continued to offer a solid retail opportunity. This has partially been driven by the presence of fighting games in eSports competitions, with events such as the Evo Championship Series attracting thousands of attendees and online viewers, many of whom will search for the controllers used by popular competitors.

“Fight sticks have always had a big following and these products will continue to sell well alongside great beat ‘em up titles,” he explained.

While the young age of the PS4 and Xbox One has led to a relative dearth of controller accessories to date, Gillogaley said he expects consumer demand for console peripherals to swell as the busy winter games schedule heats up. With racing titles such as Forza Horzion 2, The Crew, Project CARS and DriveClub due, it’s an ideal time for steering wheels.

“The latest Xbox One racing wheel is also proving vastly popular since its release, which is expected to continue as we approach the Christmas season,” Gillogaley stated.


Thrustmaster HOTAS Warthog

Modelled on the Hands On Throttle and Stick (HOTAS) controls of the US Air Force A-10C Warthog, this replica set includes 55 fully-programmable buttons and the HallEffect AccuRate Technology (HEART) magnetic sensor system for accuracy. PC flight simulator enthusiasts will be sky-high with joy.

SRP: £369.99

Distributor: Entatech

Contact: 0333 101 1000


Razer Atrox for Xbox One

This console fightstick includes a fully interchangeable eight-way joystick, 10 buttons and top panel design, featuring genuine Sanwa Denshi hardware and an authentic arcade layout. The peripheral also includes space to store the included detachable screw-lock cable, a bat top joystick, screwdriver and two extra buttons. An Xbox 360 edition is also available.

SRP: £179.99

Distributor: VIP Computers

Contact: 0871 622 7500


Hori Real Arcade Pro V4

This tournament-grade stick is compatible with PS3 and PS4. It features an original Hayabusa joystick and Kuro pushbuttons.

SRP: TBC

Distributor: Hori

Contact: infoeu@hori.jp


 

Thrustmaster Ferrari F430

Ferrari fans can gear up with this officially licensed wheel and pedal set for PC and PlayStation 3.

SRP: £109.99

Distributor: Lime

Contact: 01622 845 160


Saitek Pro Flight X-55 Rhino HOTAS

The X-55 is modelled on fighter plane controls for increased responsiveness.

SRP: £169.99

Distributor: Mad Catz

Contact: 0845 050 8418


Thrustmaster T80 DriveClub Edition

The T80 works with all PS4 racing titles supporting a wheel, starting with DriveClub.

SRP: £89.99

Distributor: Entatech

Contact: 0333 101 1000


PowerA Mario Kart 8 Racing Wheel

Mario Kart fans can use this official attachment for a more authentic racing experience.

SRP: £9.99

Distributor: ILT Distribution

Contact: 0845 519 7053


Saitek Pro Flight Simulator Cockpit

Serious enthusiasts can use this ultra-realistic control system for a complete experience.

SRP: £4499.99

Distributor: Mad Catz

Contact: 0845 050 8418

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Tags: accessories , peripherals , steering , controllers , fight , flight , joysticks , sticks , Margin Makers , wheels

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