I’m writing this just a few days before the launch of the Xbox One and Killer instinct. Sony’s PlayStation 4 just launched and I’ve had my satisfying fill of “next-gen” so far. Granted, there weren’t really any launch titles that resonated with me, but it did bring me to the realization that “it’s finally here.” It really made me think about the future of our dear industry, in particular the new generation of fighting games and arcade sticks. I’ve been very open and vocal online about the release of our latest baby, the Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2.
The TE2 is the true successor, or rather the evolution, of the original Street Fighter IV Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition released in early 2009. It’s apparent to everyone that Capcom’s efforts with Street Fighter IV are what put fighting games back on the map. Personally, I credit a lot of the success of the original Mad Catz fighting game products to Street Fighter. It was a time of uncertainty within the FGC (Fighting Game Community), but one thing was for sure… The great boom of 2009 brought in more new gamers to fighting games than it has in a very long time.
What happened next really made a deep impression on me, both personally and professionally. With more people playing fighting games and a newly revitalized community, we saw what many consider to be turning over a new leaf for Mad Catz. When I attended EVO 2009 and saw that the vast majority of the community had adopted our products, I was beyond thrilled and could hardly contain myself throughout the weekend. I found myself taking tons of pictures and interacting with the community I grew up with, getting their feedback and trying to be more involved. Since then, Mad Catz has made a conscious effort to be more involved with the gaming community by supporting its many events and directly supporting the many individuals and groups within the scene.
Now, almost five years later, I feel like we’re back at the starting line. The competitive landscape for quality arcade sticks is fierce, which is a good thing for gamers. We are seeing more innovation and unique features from not only hardware companies, but the community itself. With the TE2, the goal was to make a product that wasn’t only a finely tuned weapon for battle, but to also give it the flexibility and functionality that would help cater to the existing arcade stick “tech talk” community.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the TE2 has actually been in development since early 2012, just prior to us releasing our second generation of FightStick products alongside Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken. Since then we’ve gone through many prototypes and revisions to get towards where we are now.
This weekend on the Mad Catz Twitch channel, we’ll be streaming and showing off a lot of the details and features that went into the Tournament Edition 2’s design and also the many different ways you can customize the functionality and aesthetics of the product. Be sure you follow us on Twitch so you get notifications on when we go live!
Working with our friends at Microsoft Game Studios and Double Helix Games, our creative team put together some awesome custom artwork templates (and a blank template!) for owners to download. All you have to do is download the files, print to size (you’ll need to print it on a paper sheet that’s larger than 8.5 x 11; so look into 11 x 17 if possible), and cut out the holes, carefully! Once you do so, the artwork swap is a snap, just follow our launch guide to the TE2, which you can download below:
The Killer Instinct Arcade FightStick Tournament Edition 2 is available now on our web store (well, kind of… we are currently back-ordered and will try to fulfill existing orders by early December) and select retailers. Let us know what you think of OUR next-gen entry. We’re confident we made the cut.