For many years third party console controllers have been seen as the poor relation in the gaming world. It is hard to argue against the fact that they have deserved this stigma. Nine times out of ten you’d find that the third party controller that you friend handed you as he fired up the latest version of Pro Evo, wasn’t going to be as responsive as the official pad he clutched in his other hand.
Striving for excellence
However, in the last few years we have seen a brave few independent manufacturers looking to produce controllers and other peripherals that could rival the official gear provided by the likes of Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft. Gioteck is of course one of these few companies and their aim is to not only produce items that perform as well as official accessories, but that actually go beyond and offer gamers a more complete gaming experience. With this in mind they have recently unveiled their new and soon to be released PS3 controller range.
One of the key areas that Gioteck are eager to achieve is user comfort during gaming. Their pads tend to be a little larger than Sony’s official offerings, which are geared more towards the Asian market, where hand size is a little smaller. The basic VX-1 model, which is available wired or unwired, was designed with ergonomics in mind. Although the pad layout is similar to the official controller, there are a couple of subtle differences.
Firstly the PS button is located above the Select and Start buttons, rather than below. This serves to prevent the user from accidently pressing the button in the middle of some frantic action and finding themself in the Play Station menu. In addition, the controller has rubberized handles that offer enhanced gripping without the need to grasp the pad too hard. With an RRP of £19.99, the VX-1 offers a cheaper alternative to the official Sony pad - and Gioteck would argue with improved performance.
Satisfying customer demand
A common subject of conversation for many regular PS3 gamers is that they prefer the layout of the Xbox 360 pad. The main difference between Sony and Microsoft’s pads being that the left analogue stick and d-pad are reversed. Gioteck has catered to this demand with their midrange GC-1, which is similar to the Xbox 360 layout.
With an RRP of £29.99, this pad is particularly aimed at fans of First Person Shooters (FPS) where the alternative layout offers a more natural control stance. Both analogue sticks are also ‘notched’ at 90° for more accurate aim and movement.
Another innovation which may benefit some FPS fans is the ability to switch the L1/L2 and R1/R2 buttons via a flip switch. This will suit those that believe the R2 button is the more natural choice to use as the trigger. Functionality is the key concern with the GC-1 and as a result the pad is relatively plain looking. However, with anti-slip rubber thumbsticks which have adjustable sensitivity, it certainly promises to deliver in the performance stakes. The controller is also updatable via Windows OS, making it future proof.
For the hardcore
The third and final of Gioteck’s new PS3 controller range is the HC-1, with an RRP of £39.99. The pad offers all of the benefits of the GC-1 and then a few more. Gioteck has certainly put more effort into making the pad look more attractive, with a patterned finish adding to the aesthetics.
However, the biggest draw for hardcore gamers could well be the ability to programme the action buttons to their personal preferences. Finally, the shoulder buttons have been designed with a lighter pressure point, meaning that users will be able to fire off shots just that little bit quicker.
With Gioteck’s new PS3 controller range due for release autumn 2012, you shouldn’t have too long to wait before you can get your hands on them.