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Old 02-19-2019, 07:00 AM   #1
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Nacon Daija Arcade Stick Review

Title: Nacon Daija Arcade Stick
Platform: PS4
Platform Reviewed: PS4
Manufacturer: Nacon
MSRP: $290
Writer: Aaron Birch

Nacon Daija Arcade Stick Review

For the hardcore fist-fighters

Daija, according to the Internets, is either - a location in India, a girls name that means origin and popularity or, according to the Urban Dictionary, an outstanding girl who is everyone's BFF. According to Nacon, however, it means large serpent, and it's the name of this beast of an arcade stick controller.



Designed in collaboration with Marie-Laure 'Kayane' Norindr, French eSports player, this arcade stick is an instantly impressive piece of kit, and one that packs in some great features. Built with professional grade components, from the outset it's clear this is no standard controller for the armchair player. This stick has been designed for the serious contender. This is no surprise, as arcade sticks are very niche, not being suitable for the majority of games in your collection other than fighting titles, but if this is your bag, and you're after a controller that really will bring the most out of your favourite genre, this is a very solid option, if one that commands a high price.



The Diaja is a definite unit, that's for sure. Almost as large as most consoles, this is designed to either sit on a desk, or on your lap, and it features an excellent quality analogue arcade stick, with eight large face buttons and a large palm rest. These buttons deal with the usual square, triangle, circle and X face buttons, as well as L1, L2, R1, and R2. On the side of the unit you'll find the Share, Options, L3, R3, touchpad, and PS button, as well as the controller's mode settings and platform switch. The rear of the unit has a concealed section where the USB cable is contained, and there's a headphone jack on the front. The mode setting turns the stick into either left or right sticks, as well as the Dpad, and the platform switch enables use of the controller on PS4, PS3, and also PC.



Press the two red buttons on either side of the unit and you can open up the hood to reveal the innards, were you can actually play around with the inner workings of the unit and customise the controls to your own preference. You'll also find the included alternate stick type, screwdriver and other kit that lets you alter the controller, and remove the faceplate so you can customise the actual look of the unit with your own artwork. There's a supplied template to let you do just that.



In action, I found the Diaja to be a rock solid performer. The components provided by Sanwa are top notch, and the input is both tactile and responsive. It brings back the heady days of arcade cabinets and those sugar-fuelled bouts of Street Fighter II, and it suits the genre so much better than any standard controller.

The arcade stick itself is sturdy, as are the face buttons, that'll no doubt take a lot of punishment over the years for those who indulge in fighters on a regular basis. It's easy to see this controller sitting in perfectly in competitions, and the overall design that allows for tidy cable management and containment of components means it's easily portable if you're on the go.

I tested the Daija out on a fair few titles, including 3D fighters like Soulcalibur and modern Mortal Kombats, and older, more traditional fighters like Dragon Ball FighterZ, Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Street Fighters of various forms, and a bunch of SNK titles, and it performed well in all respects. Whether executing complex special moves, or strings of combos, I always felt the Daija was up to the job, and much better at this than a game pad. True, I am no professional gamer, and certainly not a fighting game champion, but I did feel I had a bit of an edge here nonetheless, so those who have much more skill than I will likely benefit a great deal.



As a controller that specialises in a single genre, the Daija obviously has downsides. It's very expensive for such a specialised controller, and casual gamers really won't get their money's worth out of it. It's also very big and bulky, and with no wireless option, needs to be connected at all times. Sure, this isn't a controller that you'd expect to be wireless, and in a competition environment, this isn't an issue, but for home players with a desire for such a controller, it may be a little niggle to contend with.

With its superb build and high quality components, and the range of customisation, not to mention three-way platform support, the Daija is definitely one of the best arcade sticks on the market. It's also one of the most expensive, but that price does get you an excellent arcade stick, and one that you'll easily be able to take into battle, even if you happen to delve into eSports yourself. It's also worth considering if you're into retro gaming, and if you're looking to build your own arcade cabinet.

Score: 4.0 out of 5



The Good
  • High quality components
  • Responsive
  • Customisable
The Bad
  • No wireless
The Ugly
  • Very expensive
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:53 AM   #2
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Holy cow this thing looks awesome. I remember spending $70 on the Capcom fighter stick for the SNES and feeling pretty guilty about it. But I was a Street Fighter addict and I wanted that arcade feeling. Sadly I thought that stick sucked and I went back to the D pad. This thing however, looks like it fits the bill. I love how it opens up. I wonder if 18 year old me would have found a way to justify the cost.
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:12 PM   #3
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It looks like it's made from the shell of an original Xbox One and costs as much as one.
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Old 02-19-2019, 02:26 PM   #4
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My primary question about accessories like this relates to durability. Will it last? These things take a huge amount of abuse. Is it solid?
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Old 02-19-2019, 04:14 PM   #5
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Well my SFIV TE Stick is still going as strong as ever. But if it ever gives out then...
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:37 AM   #6
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This might be a silly question, but: Is it possible to use this stick (or others) on different platforms? I know it says "PS4" in the review, but seriously: All of these devices connect to the hardware (PC, PS4, XB1 and I assume the Switch as well) via standard USB ports. Shouldn't it be easy to add driver support for all current and maybe even future platforms?
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Old 02-20-2019, 11:00 AM   #7
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My TE one does work for both Xbox and PC, however those are both Microsoft machines, can't imagine it would work on a PS or switch.

Not sure about this one of course, but I'd imagine a similar thing. Would work on PS and PC, but not Xbox or Switch.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scherge View Post
This might be a silly question, but: Is it possible to use this stick (or others) on different platforms?
From the review:

Quote:
Originally Posted by the review
The mode setting turns the stick into either left or right sticks, as well as the Dpad, and the platform switch enables use of the controller on PS4, PS3, and also PC.
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Old 02-21-2019, 02:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by the review
The mode setting turns the stick into either left or right sticks, as well as the Dpad, and the platform switch enables use of the controller on PS4, PS3, and also PC.
So, that would be a "no" then?

I do admit that I totally glanced over this bit, because that specific paragraph tried to educate me on the amazing variety of DualShock buttons. Since you can use the DS4 on PS4, PS3 and PC, I kinda expected this stick to work on the same platforms. Thanks for confirming it, though.

Still, why is it so difficult to build one of these things and have its drivers adapt to the hardware it's connected to?
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