Saitek Cyborg Evo
The death of the joystick has been drawn out and unnoticed. Gone are the good old days, when you could walk into your local electronics retailer and pick up a Microsoft Sidewinder. No longer are games designed to spontaneously combust if you don't have a joystick (like X-Wing Alliance used to do) - joysticks are a dying breed, replaced by the newer, more functional joypad. A sad thing for both flight games and nostalgic gamers.
So I was pleased to get my hands on Saitek's Cyborg Evo. Okay, it's got a silly name, sure it looks a bit too
futuristic but it's a joystick - a sign that they haven't been all been purged in a joystick holocaust.
The question of its capabilities, however, is now far more difficult to answer. For starters there isn't a huge amount of competition on the market - no longer are shelves lined with competing models. On top of that, many of the games that are released now don't require a joystick. Even Flight Simulator X jolts along happily without one, and has been designed on the assumption that the gamer won't have a joystick.
I soldiered on, though. The joystick is a little over the top in its design, aiming to look as futuristic and imposing as is possible. Importantly though it feels comfortable in your hand, with a rest that can be adjusted depending on your own hand size which makes twisting the stick that bit more comfortable and easy.
The three buttons on the base of the stick either side can be difficult to get to but apart from that, the button placement is generally good with everything within thumb jabbing distance. One area that I was slightly concerned about was the lack of grip from the base of the joystick to the table - at times it felt slightly unstable.
The joystick is over three years old, and the fact that it is still on sale now is a testament to how little this kind of peripheral has been developed over the years. Can you imagine buying a GeForce FX5200 now? Despite this, the joystick is still on general sale quite cheap and can be picked up for £26.99