Friday, July 27, 2012

Xbox D-Pad Controller Review

Pros:
D-Pad
Sticks have rims, not 4 nubs. Better control.
Comes with a play n charge kit and chargeable battery pack

Cons:
$5 more than the regular wireless controller
No wired version

One of the great things about Xbox, is they listen to customer complaints. For years we have complained about the D-Pad. It's too sensitive. It's not sensitive enough. You tap the left side and you pull out the right side weapon. For Gears of War this is especially frustrating. You want the Gnasher, but you pull out a smoke. That one or two second mistake can cost you your life. However, the third party controller solutions are horrible. Sure, they give you a cross-hair D-Pad, but that eliminates the games with Omnidirectional functions. Do you want to swap controllers for every different game?

That's the great thing about the D-Pad controller. With a flick, the 8-Direction D-Pad turns into a cross-hair and with another flick, you're back to the old school setting. Perfect to change an RPG setup into a Shooter.The rims around the joystick ends are fantastic. They eliminate problems with sweaty thumbs slipping off the controller, especially at key moments. The sticks are also more functional. They respond faster than the original wireless controllers, making up the speed gap between wired and wireless.

The chargeable battery pack and the play n charge kit are definitely welcome. For $5 more, you get $20 worth of hardware added to the controller. The cord is a nice length, so players can easily play while using it. The gray color scheme, while seemingly bland, is actually a very nice change, and the matte of the controller body itself makes it much more appealing to both the eye and the hands.

I've been using this controller for over 18 months. It's a fantastic change from the original.

Overall rating: 9.5/10

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