It’s no secret that Mad Catz had a limited manufacturing run of their Street Fighter IV Fight Sticks and Gamepads. The small numbers are indicative of a company that isn’t used to its name being associated with quality. It’s a perception (and perhaps a corporate culture) that Mad Catz wants to change. As Ars’ Ben Kuchera pointed months ago, Mad Catz is hot for gamer redemption and the SFIV controllers are the first step.
Unfortunately, there's a problem with this new beginning. The limited run of the controllers isn’t going to simply hurt the people looking to buy on impulse. It’s also going to smack those core consumers who want it the most and were willing to give Mad Catz products another shot -- the people pre-ordering.
Last night we received a Game Crazy memo from an anonymous source. According to the memo, the retailer is expecting pre-order shortages due to a “channel wide issue.” It goes on to explain that pads will “trickle in over the next 6 weeks to fill all preorders.” Those who don’t get their stuff on the first day will get a lovely parting gift: a SFIV wall scroll which Mad Catz has already packed in the initial shipments.
We verified the delays with several stores nationwide, but weren’t able to ascertain how “wicked cool” the wall scrolls are. Most of the Game Crazys we called have their initial shipment of controllers in, but they won’t be able to sell them before launch.
The controllers that will be experiencing the nastiest delays are the Xbox 360 Akuma Gamepad and the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Tournament Edition Fight Sticks. Additional shipments of the products will go out on February 23, however the final shipments won’t go out until March 30. If you're a Zangief fan, that's a long time to wait.