Dragon's Lair Fans - Arcade Lifestyle

General Chat => Arcade Lifestyle => Topic started by: Level42 on October 30, 2014, 05:00:47 PM

Title: Game Over for a legend
Post by: Level42 on October 30, 2014, 05:00:47 PM
Well to me it is.

Here it is. The Suzo arcade joystick.


For me, and I guess for a lot of other European arcade enthusiasts, this was the joystick we "grew up" with. Like it or not, it was in a LOT of "general" arcade cabinets, but a small version was also used in f.i. the original Q*bert cab.

It's a micro-switch joystick but it has a short throw and is very precise. I like it. A lot. Even though it's micro-switch.

Seeing the piss-poor quality joysticks that were released by companies for the Atari 2600 system (and other machines with the same joystick connector), Suzo decided to do a pretty rare thing for a company that was completely business to business: they designed and manufactured their own joystick for the home and they figured it should be just as good quality as their arcade sticks. And they delivered. Still got the one I bought around 1982...and I wouldn't want to miss it for the world.

As a side note, Suzo later developed a "contact-less" version, "The Inductive", which has no moving parts at all except for the handle. Although it was a brilliant idea, and it is as smooth as a baby's but to play, it had a special connector and, worst of all, it needed a power supply, something almost no control panel had, so they didn't make a long production run I guess....

Anyway...back to the arcade joystick (often called the "500"):

About a week ago I was contacted by Jason from the BYOAC forum saying that he had heard the production of the Suzo arcade joysticks had stopped and that he was still looking for some. He remembered I bought stuff at Suzo directly some years ago and asked if I could contact them about it.

I first checked out the website and sure enough, all but he "euro-style" (Which is not a real Suzo AFAIK) joystick stock indicators were red....


SO I called them to ask about the situation and I spoke with a kind salesman who was really trying to be helpful but all he could say was that all the product numbers I passed on were out of stock.

That's it.


No more.

It's strange. It's one of those things you take for granted as long as "they're around" and I thought they'd be available "forever".
One of my friend's at electronics school (I'm stil friends with her) was an intern at Suzo when they still had production of the sticks in Rotterdam. Later the company moved to Oud-Beijerland, but  thats still local for me. I was proud that such a great quality joystick was developed and made so local to me. One time I bought some inductive from TNT amusements in the US and it was weird to see "Rotterdam" on them when I received them.

Of course I can see the reasons that the demand has been gone for those sticks, but you still saw the one with top-fire button on kiddy machines regularly.

So. If you need a general stick that you can switch between 4/8 way simply by rotating the bottom, one that is arcade quality and will live "forever", try to get one, somewhere...because they won't be made anymore.

That leaves us with the obvious Japanese sticks from Sanwa etc. but they are IMHO incomparable with the Suzo because they are everything the Suzo is not. They are sloppy, long-travel joysticks. Fine if that is your thing, but it's not what I prefer.

Goodbye old friend.....thanks for all the JOY !  :'( :'( :'( :'(
Title: Re: Game Over for a legend
Post by: Etienne MacGyver on October 30, 2014, 07:10:39 PM
I agree totally, i also grew up with the suzo, and still have mine from bitd.
they are indestructable and awesome quality.

I do have one of your inductives here NIB  ;)
Title: Re: Game Over for a legend
Post by: Level42 on October 30, 2014, 08:30:46 PM
Oh yeah Hah :)

I've got two inductives in my (soon to leave) MAME machine and I think I've got at least one micro-switch version still here that I pulled from that machine....so it should actually be two I guess ;)