Good news, space-sim fans: developer Cloud Imperium Games and controller manufacturer Mad Catz are collaborating to bring a range of official Star Citizen flightsticks. The flightsticks will fall under Mad Catz’s Saitek label; a brand that will be familiar to many simulator junkies. News of the partnership was made public at Gamescom.
Star Citizen and Saitek already have a history of working together. The original X52 HOTAS setup was used in many of the earlier backer videos for the game, and it was also used as a reference when CIG artists were working on designing the cockpit for the Anvil Hornet spaceship (pictured in the header).
“We are delighted to partner with Mad Catz to help us deliver the full immersive experience in Star Citizen,” CIG’s co-founder Chris Roberts said in a statement. “Star Citizen already has a history with Saitek… The experts at Mad Catz have a brilliant track record for creating hardware that brings the space sim experience to reality. I couldn’t be more pleased and we are looking forward to seeing the new Star Citizen product line.”
There are no images or concepts for the Star Citizen controllers as yet, but the “range of hardware” should be shipping in 2016. Mad Catz has set up a mailing list for those who want to be alerted the moment these flightsticks are put up for pre-order. You can find a sign-up page over here.
The original X52 was released in 2004, with a follow-up version, the X52 Pro, being released three years later. Recently, Saitek released the X55 Rhino HOTAS system, which has not been received all that well. To date, the X52 Pro remains the Saitek controller of choice for many. That’s hardware from eight years ago, so it’s going to be neat to see what Saitek and Cloud Imperium create in this new hardware line-up.