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About the product
- The Xbox 360 Elite or MadCatz 8202 PlayStation 2 RetroCon Controller has the ability to utilize Microsoft Kinect technology, the Xbox 360 classic and can not endure it. The 360 elite comes with a special USB port that easily connects users with the Kinect to offer them more options of participate in. As the classic 360 is one of the first gaming systems next generation has a increased variety of games available (though most of the titles are generally old, and therefore, the technique does not support the most recent games due to system requirements).
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Top Customer Reviews
I got lucky and caught this on sale for $23, I wouldn't recommend buying it for more than that. At the moment it's going for $73 and considering the d-pad issue, I strongly suggest looking elsewhere.
I was a little leery at first due to the complaints here about the analog sticks going bad after a really short duration. Well, I still am, but I waited a few days before commenting and so far I'm ok. Mind you, I'm almost exclusively using the digital pad, so it may well be that it will take longer for it to mess up. However, other than this, I must say that the RetroCon is a wonderful controller. I find its design to be absolutely wonderful in every way except that one question of quality. For starters, despite what the person who reviewed without actually trying one believed, this controller is actually very well designed. It's not much thicker than the bottom part of a DS Lite (probably close to the original DS, but I don't have one to compare,) but has a better shape and design, making it very comfortable to use. Especially it's nice for someone such as myself with relatively small hands instead of the exceptionally large hands that most designers are marketing to these days (do these people really make up the majority, or do they just assume they do?) I do think that people with normal sized hands will be ok too though. I'm not sure about the people with the giant paws that controllers such as the Xbox controllers were designed for though, it may be possible, but it may be a bit uncomfortable. I do want to set the record straight here, this is NOT a NES controller. It may resemble one in appearance, but the buttons are well designed, it has comfortable rubber grips on the back, and so on. You will not get Nintendoitis from this controller unless your hands are already in pretty bad shape (in which case any controller is at risk for causing this.)
On the buttons. Firstly, the d-pad as I consider this the most important thing since manufacturers seem to not care about them anymore. I won't lie and say that it is perfect, but the only more accurate d-pad I've used on a modern device was on my DS Lite. It's weird though as it has the softest press I've ever felt. The moment I first got it out of the box and touched the d-pad I thought I would be sending it back the next day until I plugged it up and actually tried it... I don't know how it manages to be accurate with such a soft touch to it. I can rarely get down+right when I just want right or that sort of thing, but I get this about ten times less often than I do on every single other of the many PSX/PS2 controllers I've tried over the years. EDIT: I've been playing with this controller a bit more and I'd like to revise this a bit. So far I'm not getting any inaccuracy at all in fact. I think maybe it might not be best for fighting games, but it's still the best I've used in a very very long time outside of the DS. Just to be clear though, these are definitely among the more accurate d-pads of all the PS2 controllers -- especially those in this sort of pricerange (I think to find anything better you'd have to look for more expensive controllers specifically designed for fighters or something.) They truly don't make them like they used to because they think that only analog matters these days. I was especially leery about the d-pad after reading a review where the reviewer had troubles, but I'd say that overall I'm not having any trouble whatsoever with the d-pad (and really the only problems I have are my mistakes, not its.) To this day I still dream hopelessly of the day a manufacturer thinks to invent a d-pad with independent cardinals instead of one big round block. In the meantime, despite its surprisingly soft press this one will definitely hold me for a while. I play a lot of 2D games including quite a bit of emulation of some of the best games I've owned over the years, so this was a big concern. Let me tell you that NES games can be quite unforgiving to mistakes, so most controllers have been a lot of trouble for me. This one has been great though. It is my hope that if the analog sticks do mess up I can open this thing up and bypass them with fixed resistors or something so I can permanently use this as a emulation gamepad. In fact, despite my worries over the sticks possibly going bad, I went ahead and ordered another of these...
Well, for what it's worth, this does have good analog sticks. They are actually pretty well placed and have good tips that your fingers won't slip off of and I feel like they won't tear off like what I get on all normal PS2 controllers since I still use my PS2 far more than they assume. Also, they have a good amount of resistance that lets me get about as much accuracy as I'm probably ever going to get from a little analog thumb-stick. I especially think it's a nice touch the way they angle them like that (the picture isn't very clear, but basically they are the full round area you see there angling up towards that central area that in the picture may appear to be the full tip.) Little indentations on the cardinals also makes it easier to maintain a grip and get a good feel for them while using them. I played a few games using these sticks and felt extremely satisfied with the results. As much as I love the d-pad, I will admit that the sticks are nothing to sneeze at either. I just hope that they will hold up over time... (I'm definitely past three days though...)
Oh, and I think that the shoulder buttons are nothing to be concerned over. I can't speak for everyone, but honestly I'm having very little troubles getting used to them. Really the main problem I'm having is just getting used to not having to shift my hand to hit a button in a different location for certain tasks. I think anyone can get used to the buttons like this given a little time and I think it should actually be an advantage for most people as this actually lets you easily press either button at any time without significantly moving your finger. Oh, and the L1/R1 buttons have a bit sticking up so you can feel without looking which button you are pressing. This way you won't stumble around and bump the wrong one or something. I don't recommend this for a racing game that requires you to hold L2 or R2 constantly, but for everything else it should be great.
Also, since someone brought up concerns over the designs of NES controllers, I will point out that the buttons are made of a relatively soft plastic with smoothed edges and while there is a decent resistance when pressing, it's definitely not enough to give anyone sore hands. In fact, even the edges of the controller itself are rounded out so you don't get those edges digging into your hands. Then too, the bottom has that rubber grip I mentioned earlier. It's a little bit hard, so if you sweat excessively your hands may slip, but at the same time this type of rubber makes your hands sweat less (I always find it ironic that most of those grips promising no slip with sweaty hands reflect so much heat back that they make sure anyone will sweat...) Overall I'm very impressed and I think MadCatz spared no efforts in the design of this controller as even the d-pad is different from the norm in some very positive ways. I think the only reason I like the buttons on the DS Lite better is because they are smaller really.
It does have a few minor cons I suppose. For one, the backlight can actually be kind of annoying if you aren't the sort who's head is turned by shiny objects. I know things like this are thought to be necessary since so many are, but I think this controller is marketed towards a different sort and it was unnecessary. Also, it IS a PS2 (not PSX) controller. This means that it uses the newer standard where the analog sticks actually control the d-pad and the four main buttons when dual shock mode is turned off. If those analog sticks go bad this could be a problem (ironically, this is a plus normally since it lets you use the left stick in 2D games that don't work with analog, though I still think it was a bad idea to have the right stick control those buttons.) They couldn't find room or just wanted to maintain the design aspects of the controller, so there is no mode button. To switch between dual shock and digital modes you must hold the start+select buttons at the same time. Then again, this isn't a con on a PS2 (and I would presume it works on a PSX) since games supporting dual shock will switch it on automatically in all cases but the very oldest PSX games. Oh, and this is a personal opinion, but I feel like it's a con that it has the motors in it. I wish manufacturers would stop using these. Next to no games have any valid use for it as it only serves to remind the gamer that they are playing a game, not immerse them further, the vibration itself is annoying usually (I haven't tried it on this controller -- I would imagine it uses smaller than usual motors so probably is less annoying) and the motors add extra unnecessary weight (try taking your motors out. You'll be surprised. This can reduce the weight of a smaller controller to 2/3 its original weight or sometimes even closer probably to 1/2. This brings me to my final con (and again a personal preference.) I can't for the life of me figure out how to open this thing without tearing it up... I wanted to remove the motors and LEDs even if I did nothing else, but can't do that. Also if the sticks go bad I'm going to HAVE to rip it open to try to bypass them... I THINK that maybe it may be that the trick is to pry off the top rather than the bottom as I tried to do before. I'll give it another shot later, but for now I can't really say I've had any luck opening it.
BTW, mine came with a silver front to it and blue for the metal on the sides. It is my hope that perhaps this could be a newer different model that perhaps is better designed regarding the analog sticks. I have my fingers crossed anyway. Admitedly it is probably more likely that they just made different colors. It looks like they just use different metals on some and the color of the front looks to be something simple like a peice of cardboard under a thin clear plastic. If this is true it may be the same controller in every way. Only time will tell.
EDIT: Correction. It appears that they are assorted and no differentiation is made on this product page unfortunately. I just received one with a black front and silver sides. I wish they would sell them seperately so you could pick your favorites as I rather like the black better but many may like the blue better (and there may even be others...)
EDIT2: After use for a couple of weeks, one of the two I now own decided to start having troubles with the analog. I opened it up (I've since discovered that you open them via the front, not the back by simply but carefully prying off the plastic stuck to the top) and took a look. I originally planned to find the center position of the stick and place a resistor in its place so the controller thinks it is always centered, but, at the time I was in a hurry. I removed the entire analog stick components from the board except for the casing (lol, basically I just broke it out, but I did so carefully so as not to damage anything else.) Now that controller is smaller because it has no sticks sticking out and it has no problems whatsoever. Apparently in the absense of a physical analog stick providing the expected resistance values, it simply drops back to the assumption that the stick must be centered and now I no longer get any analog drift from that controller. However, the other controller is still going strong without analog problems at this time (though ironically I still don't use the analog sticks in anything...)
Gone are the rectangular corners, these are nicely rounded and textured, and feel good in your hand. The back of the controller is nicely contoured unlike the flat original, your fingers rest naturally in it. All the buttons are easy to reach, though they take a bit of getting used to, and the shoulder buttons are especially challenging to get the hang of.
If you get a PS2-to-USB adapter, it's an absolute joy for emulating the NES or other games. It's also nice and compact enough that you can throw it in a laptop bag and use it for gaming on the road.
The major drawback is the analog sticks. They just aren't built very well, and they're notorious for losing their calibration, going out of alignment, and worse - the left one on mine ended up just hanging down loosely one day, and never worked again. It was still good for stuff that didn't require the sticks, so I kept using it on the PC until I gave it away.
I would LOVE an updated version of this for modern consoles or PC, so long as they do something about the junky analog sticks.