Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 controller interview with Mark Julio

Article last updated on
February 2, 2009 at 5:09 p.m. PST


Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 controller interview with Mark Julio

Related article: Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 joystick FAQ

EventHubs.com: What is your name and role at Mad Catz?

Hi, I’m Mark “MarkMan” Julio and I’m associate product manager here at Mad Catz. I’m in the product development department and my first project I helped out with was the Street Fighter IV line of controllers.

EventHubs.com: Capcom has stated that the Mad Catz Street Fighter 4 controllers and joysticks will be the best available on the market, can you give us some details why?

Mark: With good reason, the Street Fighter IV project really is a labor of love. Tons of research and attention to detail has gone into the development process. My team has worked very hard to make sure we provide the best available product. We referenced the best sticks and controllers on the market and used our own knowledge to cater to both hardcore and aspiring new players to make sure we deliver something that is both high quality and high performance.

EventHubs.com: Can you talk a bit about the process that went into making these joysticks with Capcom's help? How hands on was Seth Killian through this all?

Mark: Capcom has been a great help throughout the entire design process. Yoshinori Ono himself was very influential during the approval procedure and Seth Killian has been going back and forth with us during the design stages to make sure we were both comfortable with how the product was progressing.

EventHubs.com: Have you consulted with other Street Fighter players for feedback on the sticks and pads?

Mark: No one specific was brought in from the community, but personally I did ask for feedback and information from some very important people. TheRealNeoGeo from akihabarashop (http://akihabarashop.jp), Paik4Life, akuma001, ShinJN, and others have been very influential throughout the entire design process. I thank them for helping with a lot of the little details that most people won’t see or know about.

EventHubs.com: What differences are there between the FightStick and the Tournament Edition sticks?

Mark: Visually, the main difference is the size and shape of both sticks. The size of the standard FightStick is a mix between both the Namco Arcade Stick and the Dreamcast Agetec Arcade Stick. The Tournament Edition FightStick was inspired by the shape and look of the Vewlix control panel. The TE stick is equipped with full Sanwa parts, the same parts you’ll find in the official SF4 arcade machine. The standard stick pretty much has all the features of the TE stick except for the cable storage compartment and some other ‘neat’ hidden features such as mounting holes.

EventHubs.com: Capcom Vice President, Christian Svensson, was quoted as saying, "there's nothing else like them on the market," in regards to the Street Fighter pads. Can you provide more details on that statement?

Mark: For the FightPads, we went back and forth for awhile regarding the design. At first we were trying to do something similar to the Neo Geo Pocket controller, and then eventually we decided to go with the more traditional floating dpad style. We know that the Sega Saturn (Japanese/Model II) controller is held in high regards as THE fighting game pad… So our goal was to go with that style, but not only to match it, but improve upon the design. We feel that we are offering something completely new for fighting game fans. We have an enlarged dpad that rolls and responds much better compared to other dpads currently on the market and we also have enlarged contact buttons arranged in the 6 button layout from other popular controllers. Smooth rubber grips on the side also give you a better hold of the controller. We also have a unique 3 way switch that lets you have the dpad emulate left analog stick, right analog stick, and dpad.

EventHubs.com: It's been said that the Tournament Edition sticks will be made in limited quantities and time frame. Do you know approximately how many will be made and for how long they'll be available?

Mark: Can’t comment on this sorry… But yes, they are limited.

EventHubs.com: What countries outside of the U.S.A. will your Street Fighter controllers be released in?

Mark: The Mad Catz Street Fighter IV products will be available in North America and Europe in select countries (sorry I don’t have a full list).

EventHubs.com: What's been the most challenging part of making these products?

Mark: Personally, I think the most challenging aspect of producing these controllers was that no matter what… I knew we couldn’t please everyone. There are too many preferences/styles when it comes to arcade styled controllers and gamepads. What we tried to do was figure out what works and what will appeal to fans of the Street Fighter series. I think our team here at Mad Catz did a great job of researching and applying our knowledge to create what we feel are great products.

EventHubs.com: If you had to do it all over again, would you have done anything differently?

Mark: Nothing off the top of my head… I would definitely like to look into making an American styled arcade stick though.

EventHubs.com: We've heard that the joysticks will be customizable, in that it's easy to swap out the faceplates and buttons, is this true?

Mark: Before we get into any customization or modification talk I just want to point out that opening or altering the FightSticks in any way will void your warranty! We do not recommend doing this at all. If you know exactly what you’re doing and how to do it however, feel free to have fun with it. That being said, yes both the FightStick and TE FightStick are the friendliest sticks out on the retail market when it comes to modding it to your tastes.

EventHubs.com: And finally, if I'm undecided about buying one of your Street Fighter controllers, what would be the biggest selling point in your mind for the consumer?

Mark: Bottom line is… these controllers bring you the best possible experience for Street Fighter right out of the box. They have been tested and approved by both Capcom and hardcore fighting game nuts alike. You’re in for a real treat no matter which option you choose. FightPad, FightStick or Tournament Edition FightStick… Go with what you want and enjoy Street Fighter IV.

EventHubs.com: Thanks for your time.

Mark: Thank you! I’d like to give a shout out to SDTEKKEN, SRK, CAG Fighter Thread, NeoGAF, and everyone else out there that loves fighting games!


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