Razer unveils arcade fightstick prototype at TGS, looks to gaming community to hammer out the details

It seems like the folks at Razer are taking the company's "for gamers, by gamers" motto to heart, today unveiling a new customizable PC / Xbox 360 arcade stick at Tokyo Game Show that won't even hit production until the fightstick community disassembles, mods, and judges the heck out of it. The yet-to-be-named arcade controller will first make its way to select applicants of a closed beta program, putting the rig in the hands of some 200-plus gamers who, after having their way with it, will provide the outfit with tips on how to fine-tune the final product.

Razer's TGS staff gave us a brief overview of the unit, and let us swap around wires, pop out buttons, and fiddle with the rig's faceplate. The prototype unit is built with Sanwa Denshi components, but Razer tells us that mod-minded gamers are free replace, modify, or otherwise tinker with any of the controller's major parts without fear of voiding its warranty -- only the stick's control board is off limits. Beta registration is already open, and the first test units should ship out sometime next month. Check out the gallery below for an eyeful, or point your peepers up top for a demo straight from the TGS show floor. Want more text? Hit the break for an official press release.

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Tokyo Game Show, Japan – September 15th, 2011 – Razer™, the world leader in high performance gaming hardware, just announced a program to co-develop the ultimate arcade stick for the Xbox 360® together with the arcade stick community. The arcade stick, developed with pro-gamer feedback, is currently at the prototype stage. For the finishing touches, up to 200+ specially selected top-seed Street Fighter™ IV pro-gamers, influential modders, and members of the arcade enthusiast community will each be given a Razer arcade stick to test and provide feedback to further improve it to perfection, whereupon the final design will then proceed to production.

Since the company's beginnings in '98, Razer has continually taken pro-gamer feedback and validation during the product development phase to ensure that the design for every gaming product shipped is the absolute best for the competitive edge in tournament-grade play. But in an unprecedented move in the gaming hardware space, Razer is now reaching out to the entire arcade stick community to help make this yet-to-be-named product the best arcade stick in the world. Their feedback will be a huge influencing factor in the design of the final product.

"Razer is for gamers, by gamers. We've been taking feedback from our professional players on products for years and now we want to open it up to the community. That's why we want every arcade enthusiast and modder's input in the development of this special arcade stick," said Robert "RazerGuy" Krakoff, President, Razer USA. "In this way, it's not just our arcade stick; it's the community's arcade stick. Together, we will create a weapon that delivers the best fighting performance for every gamer and allows modding to the individual's exact specifications. We're not just asking people for input on the paint job, we're after serious hardware feedback."

Members of the arcade community worldwide interested in participating in this beta program are encouraged to contribute ideas at, along with a short description as to why they should be selected for prototype testing. Registrants can also nominate other people to the program. Up to 200+ successful applicants worldwide will receive an arcade stick prototype delivered directly to their homes.

Razer will be launching this non-retail arcade stick closed beta community program at Tokyo Game Show, the heart of the professional console fighting scene. Select pro-gamers and key modders will also be approached very soon to begin beta testing the prototype.