All the models are presented here http://www.saitek.com/uk/prod/joysticks.htm
Also note that all the models have different designation on the base. 01, 02, 03.
If all of the models work on PC then pick the one you like the most. For example the PC/console version has analog stick on top of the handle while the pure PC version has just 8 way switch. On the other hand PC/console versions seem to have poorer base switches sets. Look it up yourself.
In general there's not many decent joysticks you can buy for less than $90. To be realistic - there's not many decent joysticks you can buy at all even when price is not an issue. The thing is manufacturers usually don't really care about costumers. They don't have to as 90% of them are not able to check the product before they buy it and the competition is limited too.
Here's a few pieces of advices I can give you:
- rule out all of the Logitech joysticks. Poor mechanics and not better sensors.
- in terms of sensors you're rather safe to choose any Saitek joystick. Saitek uses decent sensors (potentiometers) on their cheapest joys and IIRC contacless sensors in case of X-52.
- rule out the latest Saitek Cyborg (Cyborg X). It has been "designed by ladies for ladies" - the only explanation I see.
- if the amount of money you have for js is close to $90 you should really consider buying one of the X-52 versions or look into CH products line. Or Thrustmaster's.
- check for axis play in every joystick you were considering buying at some shop. If they say they can't get it out of box for you then say thank you. To check for axis play watch the gimbal (mechanism) part which is the further down the joistick (the closest to sensors). Now move the handle with just jour fingers and watch - the part I mentioned shoul move as you move the handle. Also check the feel of the handle when you move the joystick past the neutral position. If something clicks during transision or the force on the stick is close to nothing near neutral pos while it abruptly increases as you move past the neutral - that's bad too. Note that axis play can be different for handle moving aft and forward and left to right.
You can skip checking the axis play for Saitek X-52 as it has the smallest axis play I have opportunity to test. You just won't get anything much better. The same is probably in cas of Thrustmaster T.16000 M and most of CH sticks.
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