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« Review: Hori Hayabusa buttons »

Hori Hayabusa buttons installed on a Hori Fighting Edge arcade stickAfter a small period of depending on arcade stick parts from Sanwa Denshi and Seimitsu, Hori reentered the proprietary parts market with the Hayabusa lever and Kuro pushbuttons in 2012. The buttons, when packaged with the Fighting Edge arcade stick, seemed to feel pretty good and sort of comparable to the popular Sanwa OBSF-30 series to this reviewer but the rest of the world didn't agree. It became apparent, however, when Hori began to sell the Kuro buttons separately that something about them felt off. They didn't feel the same as the Kuro set in the Fighting Edge. While they still perform decently, the Kuro buttons later became something I wouldn't recommend.


Hori listened to that lukewarm reception and began developing new proprietary pushbuttons. Introduced in the current line of Real Arcade Pro sticks, Hori's Hayabusa button was made to alleviate the problems found in the Kuro model. Even if it seems odd that the Hayabusa name now encompasses both the lever and the buttons, it looks like Hori is letting players know both are of arcade-level quality. Despite some quirks, the Hayabusa button so far improves on its predecessor.

If the Kuro was supposed to emulate a Sanwa OBSF-30, the Hayabusa button mirrors the Seimitsu PS-15, a noticeably smaller button. First, it sports a matte texture unlike the glossy style of the Kuro. While it might take some time for the matte finish to wear off, the look of it is nice. During a session of Killer Instinct and Street Fighter V, a noticeable aspect I previously ignored was the plunger's smoothness. All versions of the Kuro buttons had sharp plunger edges so if you slid your hands or even mashed, you might have felt some discomfort. The Hayabusa's rounder edges, combined with the matte finish, make sliding and mashing much easier; it even feels better than doing it on an OBSF-30.

Still 30mm in diameter, the size difference is from the adjusted height, where a decent amount of the button rim is gone. If you have a stick that is not tall, the Hayabusa should be considered. The decreased height allows the switches to sit closer inside for a shorter throw distance between the plunger top and the switch. Compared to the Kuro and the Sanwa OBSF-30, the Hayabusa bottoms out much sooner when fully pressed. Triggering an input with the Hayabusa might be negligible, especially when pressing hard, but the short throw distance is a good indicator. Out of curiosity, I replaced the Hayabusa switches with that of the Kuro and found no noticable differences in feel. When using a switch from an OBSF-30, there was a small yet noticeable amount of added tension. There is a variation of the Hayabusa with noise-reduced pads found in the Japanese-exclusive Real Arcade Pro V Hayabusa Silent model. While I did try it at a local tournament, I wasn't able to analyze how the pad can affect the action of the button nor how loud it is.

Height comparison between the Hori Hayabusa and Kuro buttons.In terms of build quality, the Hayabusa buttons look a bit more durable and developed than their predecessors. The major flaw I noticed in the Kuro buttons, specifically the later builds, was that the rim and plunger would intertwine with each other in weird ways. This problem causes the button to snag and slow down during a button press; dirt and debris would exacerbate the problem. The design of the Hayabusa button looks like it's trying to keep that problem to a minimum. However, from certain angles when looking at one button, snagging can still be prone to happen. Being new buttons, finding out when the issue will happen is unknown but it does paint a pessimistic scenario.

If you got the buttons because you bought one of Hori's newer arcade sticks including a revised version of the Hori Real Arcade Pro 4 Kai or the Real Arcade Pro V Premium Hayabusa VLX, it's not a bad idea to keep using them. After getting a full eight-button set secondhand, I inserted them into my Hori Fighting Edge arcade stick. Playing with them feels like a step up from the Kuro buttons and the look fits the FE's black theme nicely. If you are a dedicated Sanwa or Seimitsu button user, you probably will stick to what's best and skip these. Players who are more open will find worth in trying the Hayabusa buttons. For those looking to get them in an arcade parts store, you are currently out of luck. Arcade Shock had a limited quantity of the Hayabusa buttons and sold out within the day of their availability. The Hayabusa will likely be available separately in the near future like the Kuro buttons, but hopefully it doesn't suffer from the issues its predecessor had.

When in practice, the Hayabusa buttons so far do feel like they are of arcade quality and could be a worthy alternative to Sanwa or Seimitsu if you are looking for something else. If you are not as open to using different buttons then the Hayabusa probably won't change your mind. Hori was able to solve some of the problems the Kuro buttons suffered from but we won't find out if they still stand up down the line. With the newer line of Hori arcade sticks being the test, we will just have to continue using them to see if problems arise.

Hori Hayabusa buttons can be found on a Real Arcade Pro. 4 Kai and Real Arcade Pro. V Premium Hayabusa VLX arcade sticks.

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