Qanba Q4 Review
|Product Name:||Qanba Q4-RAF|
|Platform:||PS3, Xbox 360, PC|
|Features:||Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC compatible out of the box. Sanwa JLF joystick & 8 Sanwa OBSF-30 buttons. Xbox 360 headphone jack, headphones. Retractable carrying handle. USB cord compartment. Black felt bottom and 4 rubber feet for non-slip competitive play|
Picking up on my previous post on 4 of the most reliable arcade sticks on the market, I’ve decided to wrap up that collection with a Qanba Q4 review. There’s a lot that can be said for the brand that innovated multi-console arcade sticks, so let’s have a look at this great product, shall we?
Product Overview – Qanba’s Unique Selling Point!
Qanba has made a name for itself for being the go-to arcade stick for gamers with multiple consoles. What makes this a big deal, though? Well, there are some countries where console gets more support and exposure due to its availability and price point, so these countries will end up using non-tournament standard consoles.
This can come as an inconvenience for, let’s say, a PS3 player, who ends up either borrowing another person’s stick (risking lack of familiarity with that person’s stick) or lugging 2 sticks to a weekly tournament or a major where an Xbox 360 is the standard.
Having a multi-console PCB as a stock part in an arcade stick makes it convenient for gamers as they will really only need one stick, whether games are played on PS3, Xbox 360 or PC, a Qanba stick is all you need. Another advantage of this is that your warranty is not at risk – most sticks will void warranties if the stick is opened and parts are switched out; not a big deal if you have experience in modding, but for a new guy tinkering around, seeing your warranty and money go down the drain for modding mistakes is definitely a hard pill to swallow.
With a multi-console PCB, it’s less of a headache!
Q for Quality? Yes indeed!
The Qanba Q4-RAF comes with high quality SANWA pushbuttons and stick, which, as I’ve mentioned previously, happens to be the best brand when it comes to arcade parts. You know you’ve got quality arcade parts if these are used by popular arcade cabinets in Japan (especially in the ones that the top Japanese players go to).
Not only that, should these parts fail or break, you will definitely know where to get replacement parts.
The arcade stick comes with a square restrictor plate by default, which can be switched out for a round or octagonal one depending on preference. There are 4 smaller buttons at the upper left part of the stick’s top surface – home (which brings up the console’s home menu interface), turbo (for rapid fire presses), select (for other context-sensitive menus of the console) and mode (which changes the stick’s mapping between the left analog stick or the directional pad – handy if you wish to use your stick for other games!).
A switch is also available at the top to shift between use for the PS3 and Xbox 360. There is also a very nifty cord compartment at the side of the stick, which allows you to safely hide your cord away nicely without worry of stretching or breakage from tying it around your stick. Always a great feature to have in arcade sticks as the USB cord is the part that is first to break.
Qanba.. Eightarc.. what’s in the name?
A similar product to the Q4-RAF that is also out in the market is the Eightarc Fusion, which boasts of the same stick frame, quality Sanwa parts and multi-console PCB. What’s interesting about this is that both products are under the same umbrella, which is a partnership that Qanba and Eightarc had formed a couple of years ago. This partnership allows both quality products to reach the mass market and cater to different gamer needs.
But how can 2 products under the same partnership cater differently if for the most part, they look and act the same?
The answer lies in a couple of design differences. First main difference is the placement of the Start button – The Qanba Q4 has a smaller, convex-like button to the right 8 main buttons, while the Eightarc Fusion has it aligned and similarly sized to the home, select and turbo buttons on the top portion of the stick.
Now while this may not be a big deal if your hand placement on the stick will guarantee avoidance of touching the Start button, for other players with a wider palm base, they prefer not accidentally pressing it and causing an automatic DQ in tournament play (which is and advantage from Eightarc).
The other difference is that the Qanba Q4 has a retractable handle on the far end side of the stick – not quite the groundbreaking innovation, but make it easier to lug around without straining your bicep and elbow. A very subtle feature that makes carrying it an absolute convenience.
Q4’s subtle changes make us yearn for more!
I find that there’s a lot of subtle things about the Q4-RAF that do not necessarily get as much exposure as what we all care about. You will likely here how great the Sanwa parts and the dual-modded PCB from me as you would from the next fighting game aficionado, but it’s often those little things that make the Q4-RAF stand out.
For instance, there’s a great deal of comfort that you receive from the stick’s base. The effect of having rubber pegs on four corners under the stick ensures that you get maximum grip when the stick is propped on a table.
The felt under that takes up all of the bottom portion ensures that your stick will not go anywhere when you place it on your lap, but at the same time makes it very comfortable to prop it onto. Add to that a good amount of weight from the stick base, and you’re guaranteed that it will not slip off and cost you and lost motion during a game.
I am very happy about the handle as well! As someone who often carries the stick in a clutch under an armpit, that kind of weight over long periods of time will wear on you, not to mention make it more challenging to travel with. Having a handle makes it easier to lug this stick around, and figuratively puts the weight off your shoulders completely, saving your arm muscles for what playing your games, having fun, and winning.
Qanba Q4-RAF, it’s already great now, but what’s next?
There’s no question that the Qanba Q4-RAF still has some mileage on it thanks largely to the PCB in it. In fact, some of the fighting games on the PS4 have legacy driver support, which allows the stick to be played on the new console. And while this may not be an ideal solution over time (aside from switching out to a more recent PCB like the PS360+, a very popular choice), we can be assured that Qanba will definitely have something under their sleeve to bring the same multi-console quality and performance they’ve been known for.
Until then, the Qanba Q4-RAF is a great product that shouldn’t be passed up. And with a very reasonable price point, you can get it over at Amazon for great shipping deals, too.
Did you enjoy this review, or had any suggestions? Let me know in the comments section!Get the Qanba Q4 While They're Still In Stock!