Most competitive arcade sticks for the PC and PS3 cost hundreds of dollars which makes it difficult for gamers who want the arcade feel at home. For $41.99, the Genius F-1000 one of the most affordable and widely available in the market for PC or PS3. The closest would be the Hori Fighting Stick Mini 3 and Mayflash arcade stick available for $39.99 but moddability and component swapping options are limited with that small form factor compared to the F-1000. That is really where the F-1000 shines despite the concessions made with the components to keep the price low. Users can upgrade the parts when needed and build when the budget becomes available. It also feels much sturdier out of the box than the Mayflash (I don’t own one, I have only used the Mayflash stick at a friend’s house) and the F-1000 has a much more preferable SEGA Astro City style 8-button layout.
The Genius F-1000’s build quality is reasonable for the price with a very sturdy and heavy metal base that completes the arcade-like experience. I also liked the fact that the rubber feet used are the kind with metal washers built in so it does not wear out easily. Genius also did not place a warranty is void sticker on one of the screws which is very considerate since maintenance requires plate removal and warranty stays intact even after opening it. While it is not going to be able to compete with much more expensive units that have Japanese parts, the platform is serviceable for most arcade gamers, especially those not strictly playing fighting games competitively but play arcade games often enough on emulators. If you are on a limited budget and are a competitive Street Fighter player, you have two options. Either to save until you can afford a much more expensive model or buy the F-1000 and upgrade it later piece by piece to equal Japanese quality parts which will end up costing about the same. The big difference however is that the option to upgrade is there on the F-1000 and that is worth pointing out because these kinds of economical and incremental upgrade options are rare for any device.
A minor caveat for budget buyers however, any arcade stick under $50 varies wildly in terms of price from store to store and fluctuates constantly so be on the look out for better deals. On Amazon.com, the price ranges from $41.99 to $70 at the time of this review so obviously, sticking to the price range closer to $40* makes more sense as there are much better sticks to buy closer to the $70 price range. All in all, for a budget arcade gaming stick, the Genius F-1000 offers decent performance and flexible upgradeability, earning it a Modders-Inc recommendation.
*note: The Genius F-1000 might also be found in some stores under the KYE F-1000 name since KYE Systems is the OEM for this stick (they are identical however).[sc:recommended_hardware_award]