While a battle has been raging between the Smash Box and the B0XX to be the true next evolution in controllers for competitive Smash, a third controller has quietly slipped into view. Choosing to eschew the HitBox-esque buttons for controlling a character’s movement, this new controller uses a traditional arcade-stick to move characters about in a way more players understand at a glance.
Aptly named the Smash Stick, this prototype controller looks more like a traditional fight stick, with a joystick and five button ‘homerow’ to move your character around. Unlike the Smash Box or the B0XX, the joystick is completely analog, with buttons for X, Z and the C-Stick being placed outside of the homerow. There is a toggle on the back of the stick to switch the C-Stick buttons to the D-Pad and vice versa.
While the stick may not offer the surgical precision that the Smash Box or the B0XX provide, it is an ergonomic design with a button layout which requires minimal flexion or extension of the fingers while playing. From first glance, it seems to sidestep many of the problems that has plagued both the Smash Box and B0XX in terms of giving players a distant advantage in game, while also being a suitable ergonomic alternative to the traditional GameCube controller.
The Smash Stick is still in active development so expect aspects of its button layout and overall design to change as more people test this extra control alternative.