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Thursday, December 15, 2005

MadCatz GamePad Pro for Xbox 360 Review

MadCatz GamePad Pro for Xbox 360 Review

"Does it compete with the official 360 pad?

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usMadCatz has been one of the major players in the third party hardware scene for quite a while, so when the Xbox 360 launched it was sure to only be a matter of time before MadCatz had 360 accessories on the market. MadCatz's first offerings include a variety of video cables for every conceivable connection to the TV, a headset for Xbox Live, and, as expected, a new controller.

The MadCatz GamePad Pro for the Xbox 360 is a wired offering that takes inspiration from the layout and design of Microsoft's first party 360 controller and expands upon it in some interesting ways. Look-and-feel wise, the 360 GamePad Pro stays pretty true to the Microsoft style, the greatest difference being the rubber ridges on the prongs and the availability of black as well as white for color. While the Microsoft controller has no hard edges whatsoever, the MadCatz pad is flat across the majority of its face, and the transition from body to prongs has a much harder edge than the organic Microsoft model. The plastic that MadCatz uses for the GamePad Pro is shiny and smooth, as opposed to Microsoft's textured matte, and while the Microsoft 360 controller wins the battle in the ergonomics department, the GamePad Pro is not an uncomfortable controller to hold.

MadCatz also made some adjustments to the button layout. The Start and Back buttons are located above the center Xbox logo as opposed to on each side, making them less obtrusive visually but more difficult to reach in manual use. Though not a huge issue, I found myself having to take my hand off the prong to reach the Start button to pause a game, which adds a bit of extra time to the motion and effectively got me killed in Call of Duty 2 when I needed to pick up the phone in the midst of a firefight." [more]

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