Controllers suffer from wear and tear. Gaming long with one will definitely damage the grips and wear down the controller entirely. My Playstation 3 (PS3) Dualshock3 (DS3) controller of around 3 years had recently decided to go senile. Using the analog sticks will randomly trigger the D-Pad, causing me to rage a lot. It is time to get another controller. I looked up my local store price lists and bam, $50 for a brand new DS3 controller. I was feeling cheap and did not want to spend that kind of money. Heaven then sent me a message, a store had recently brought in (or at least I just noticed them bringing in) a third-party manufacturer controller that was half the price of an original PS3 controller. The controller is called the VX-1 by a company called Gioteck.
The Gioteck VX-1 has two variants: wired and wireless. I’ve bought the wired one because it is, well, cheaper. The only difference in feature between the wired and wireless VX-1 is the wire. The design, grips, buttons etc are all similar. The controller came in a very small box. The exterior of the box looks pretty cool. It has the product nicely showcased with all the different “features” displayed in nice looking fonts and icons. My first impression of the controller (looking at the box) is rather good.
Within the box there is another plain blue box. Within the plain cheap looking blue box there is a manual and the controller itself. The manual shows the functionality of the buttons and how to connect it to your PS3. Other than that, the controller is wrapped in plastic with the USB cable tied up neatly.
With the unboxing described, let us now talk about the controller itself. The controller, being wired, requires the PS3 to be turned on manually before the controller can be activated. Once activated, the controller buttons work exactly the same as per a DS3 controller. The overall feel of the controller is alright. The VX-1 is slightly bigger than the DS3 but it still gives an okay grip for me. Analog sticks are not as smooth but it works as it should. The grips on the sticks are acceptable as well. D-Pad feels alright, buttons feel ok.
The triggers (R1/R2, L1/L2) are something different from the DS3. The R1/L1 triggers have this tactile feedback which is kind of neat. The R2/L2 triggers do also have this tactile feedback and it takes much lesser force to reach the maximum point of depression. It seems that the R2/L2 triggers of the VX-1 lack the analog capability of the DS3 triggers (e.g control the amount of acceleration in a racing game etc). Otherwise the overall feel of the grip, button and trigger pressing, and the analog sticks is definitely acceptable for the price range.
There is one huge problem though. The build quality of the controller is pretty bad. Squeezing the controller slightly gives a creaking sound and some parts of the controller’s body seem to move ever so slightly. The analog stick (the right one at least) did not seem to respond at times. Also the buttons lack sensitivity and sometimes require you to depress it fully in order for it to be used.
While the controller is compatible with the PC, I suggest you not frustrate yourself with the controller and get one that is more supported by Windows (Logitech Rumblepad or the Microsoft Xbox360 controller. Heck even the DS3 with the custom driver would work better). The VX-1 isn’t recognized as a common controller by games. What this means is that you will have to set the controls in-game manually. This is extremely troublesome and while it works, it takes a lot of effort and time to get it working.
Overall the VX-1 is not too bad a controller for its price. It works and that’s about it. I did see a generic non-branded controller (with vibration and wireless as well) that looks exactly like the VX-1. It is priced slightly cheaper (yes cheaper) and I’m guessing that the VX-1 is just a rebranded version of it. Perhaps I’ll get it someday to review it. If you are into serious gaming I suggest you get the official DS3. If you are just into casual games and perhaps into single player non-critical button/analog stick/trigger games (RPGs, Action Adventure etc), this controller will do just fine if you are on a strict budget.