Daija arcade stick review: PS5 gets a high quality button basher for Street Fighter

Arcade game fans can now emulate their favourite coin-operated playing with this high-spec piece of kit.

The Daija for PS5 and Xbox Series X will literally be a game changer for side-scrolling fighter fans.

Hits like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and DC superheroes brawler Injustice were always ideally built for that button-smashing gameplay many a gamer loves to do in the seaside arcade.

And you can now get that feel in your own home thanks to this hefty device.

Nacon’s new machine is weighty and sits on the lap at about roughly the size of a computer console itself.

With a flick of two side buttons the whole box opens up, allowing you to access the inside circuitry and tinker with the controls on a mechanical level, changing what buttons trigger what inputs.

That’s also where the USB connection cable is neatly stored, and, once you’re connected up to the PS5 it’s arcade style gameplay all the way.

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Both Xbox and Playstation have officially licensed their version of the Daija, so you know they’re getting a real seal of approval from the developers.

Working alongside Marie-Laure “Kayane” Norindr, an eSports champion specialising in the fighting game genre, the Nacon team have build a solid bit of gear here.

One that’ll happily take a pounding while looking great and delivering clever use of space within.

The buttons that trigger punches and kicks are ideally placed to leave ample room for the wrists on both sides, giving you breathing room away from the grippy arcade stick on the left of the device for character movement.

They feel incredibly responsive to tap too, and are aching for some button-smashing fun straight out of the box.

The Daija also offers more modern options, with the “options” button, “create” button and “PS button” on the PlayStation version, just like on a normal DualSense controller.

There’s a textured palm rest if you pull you hands back from the game between fights. That’s in a comfortable spot to help avoid any tiredness issues.

And you can even set and store four different profiles for how you play individual games if your style is different across titles.

It’s light at 3.5KG and for size enthusiasts comes in at 435x295x159mm.

Nacon hasn’t cut corners with parts, all its components are from the widely loved Sanwa brand, meaning you’re getting the very best controls here.

That has an impact on price at around £240, but they’ve clearly made a decision to go for quality rather than trying to save money.

For aesthetics, the device comes with three different switchable faceplates, to help you customise your Daija, but equally you could use them as a template to make your own and really go for something unique.

They even throw in a couple of basic screwdriver style tools to help you tweak the arcade stick too, under the hood.

All in, a great bit of gear that’s aimed solely at the niche Versus Fighter gamer.

Folk not interested in those games should avoid, but it’s a top bit of kit and really gives that arcade vibe.

VERDICT 4/5

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