UK company Shika Arcades has produced what is shaping up to be the very best arcade stick option for SNES players - and it's made from bamboo.
We're no strangers to gaming hardware fashioned from wood here at Nintendo Life, but this example looks like it could take things to the next level.
Featuring Sanwa parts and constructed from architectural-grade bamboo, the SOZU.S1 has been produced with gaming connoisseurs in mind. It's packed with features and functions - such switches which allow you to remap the six face buttons and controllable auto-fire settings - and has a price tag which matches its premium status. At £450 it's hardly an impulse purchase, but beauty always comes at a cost.
Here's Shika founder Ed Taylor explaining how the stick came to be:
Whilst playing Pocky & Rocky one day I became increasingly frustrated with the controller experience. I wanted the control accuracy and responsiveness as when playing the arcade version KiKi KaiKai on my 90's arcade cabinet. With a huge array of titles being conceived, first for the arcades before being released on SNES, I began my mission to create an unparalleled arcade controller for the SNES purist. Providing a unique 90s Japanese arcade experience at home and then some...
My aim was a highly tactile, beautiful controller, incomparable in form, function and quality from what predated it. With months of design, research and revision, SOZU has been born, a controller that could be of the period and definitely one for the connoisseur.
SOZU.S1 is the most uncompromising controller ever created for SNES & SFC consoles. Made from the finest materials, custom-made components such as the 'piston head' aluminium turbo control, superior Sanwa parts from Japan and vintage high quality switchgear. Each unit is produced by me, so you can be sure my eye for detail and care is carried through from design, manufacture to dispatch.
Taylor points out that the time consuming production process means that the SOZU.S1 will be manufactured in batches of 20 until the first 100 "limited edition" units are completed. If you want to keep abreast of updates then you can head over to the official Shika Arcades site and register your interest.