My wife and I are children of the 80's and have fond memories of the classic arcades, particularly the games with 4-way sticks like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. Over the past couple of decades I've dabbled in MAME and bought classic Pac-Man and Donkey Kong on a couple different consoles, but never played them much because the controls just weren't accurate enough. I didn't understand anything about 2/4/8-way or gates or restrictors, I just knew it didn't work. Our son got a Switch for Christmas this year, and Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are available on it, so I've been researching joysticks this week. There's a lot of information out there and it's overwhelming for someone who doesn't know anything about it. The biggest challenge is that most people are looking for an 8-way "fight stick" and that's what seems to be available off the shelf. Most of the 4-way stick discussion involves people with the knowledge and skill to buy components and build their own. However, between work, parenting, caring for elderly parents, and existing hobbies, my preference was to buy something that works out of the box rather than trying to become an expert myself. The officially branded Hori stick for the Switch is twice as much as this one and 8-way. I thought this one was also a bit expensive, but figured with the Sanwa components and 4-way adjustability that I wouldn't have to spend more time and money upgrading, so decided to give it a try.
With the hardware buttons on the stick set per the instructions, this stick connects to the Switch immediately with no problems. It also has a USB-A to USB-C adapter included in the box so you can connect it to the Switch undocked, which also works flawlessly. I had a rough spot at first where I found the joystick to be just as unusable for Pac-Man as the Joy Con stick, so I disassembled it and looked for the 4-way setting. I didn't see how to achieve that, put it back together, and planned to return it. This morning I decided to give it one more try, and found a youtube video on changing the restrictor gate from 8-way square to 4-way diamond. It wasn't real obvious looking at the plastic part that it is actually two pieces with the inner part able to rotate, I'd have never figured it out on my own. Now that I've done that, it's an amazing difference. The games have gone from unusable to enjoyable. We can finally play Pac-Man and Donkey Kong without missing turns and getting stuck on ladders. I'm sure if I took the time to find a dedicated 4-way only stick and swap it out, it would be even better, but I'm not seeing anything like that with the 5-pin connector that this stick has, so I'm happy to leave it as-is.
I haven't had it long enough to comment on durability, but it seems pretty stout and has the Sanwa components. They're all easily replaceable if they do fail. The fact that it works on other consoles and PCs makes it flexible, and I may give MAME on PC another try.
I'd suggest to Mayflash to emphasize in the product description that it's both 8-way and 4-way capable, and include instructions in the box for how to change it to 4-way. If it hadn't been for having the week off work, I may not have spent the extra time to figure this out myself and just sent it back instead.
Limited Edition F300 Fight Stick