Usually, when it comes to playing games on the PlayStation 4, most players rely on Sony’s own DualShock 4 pads. There’s something that just feels right about them – especially after the flawed design of the DualShock 3 and its inexcusably flimsy trigger buttons.
But that isn’t stopping third parties from trying their luck with controller designs for the system, and the team at Nacon has come up with a solution that’s likely to be practical for serious esports fanatics, in the form of the Revolution Pro Controller. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, and the fact that it’s wired may take away some slight freedom from the way you play, but there’s no question this is a finely built controller, and one that should be appreciated by those that can afford it.
The Nacon Revolution Pro Controller is a fully customizable pad, not unlike SCUF Gaming’s models. The general base comes with the controller, along with a cord that actually plugs and then screws into the unit, as well as a variety of tweakable options, for those looking to get more performance out of the controller. (Oh, and it's set up like an Xbox One pad, with a thumbstick over the D-pad instead of underneath. Sorry, PS4 players, you may need to adjust. Works well, tho.)
Plugging in the cable to the controller is a cinch, since you can easily align the cable to the ports and then screw it in for more traction. It goes a step above the usual connection that controllers have, with the USB cable, and actually makes a slight difference in performance as well. For instance, with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, we noticed a very slight twitch reaction with movement via the controller, compared to a normal DualShock 4. It’s a sort of “blink and you’ll miss it” sort of thing that only more devoted players will spot. But it’s definitely there. Obviously, with more casual games like Disney Afternoon Collection, it’s not entirely a world of difference, but it plays with a great deal of value.
How's It Handle?
The controller build in itself is quite sturdy, with a good base design that’s not too weighty, but feels good when it comes to gripping – that should prove useful for long-term sessions with the controller. The D-pad is a bit plasticky compared to the DualShock 4 model, but still performs quite well, especially with precision stuff, like the platform jumping in Darkwing Duck in the aforementioned Disney Afternoon Collection.
Triggers take some getting used to, mainly because they’re a bit awkward compared to the traditional trigger design. But they still perform as needed, especially with first-person shooters like Destiny and Battlefield 1. The shoulder buttons feel really great as well, and there are some buttons aligned on the bottom part of the rear of the controller, which you can modify to perform how you please as well. Never hurts to have some extra functionality.
I mentioned that the controller was wired earlier, and that could throw off those looking for a more “free” experience without cables getting in the way. But it’s worth noting that the cable that comes with the Revolution Pro Controller is rather lengthy, about three meters or so, so you don’t have to worry about limitation there.
Finally, the analog sticks are a bit lengthy compared to usual controller design, but this allows for better movement in certain games. We tested out playing around with Skyrim between this and the traditional DualShock 4 pad, and found it to perform beautifully, especially when it came to aim.
The controller features two different modes to play around with, signified by a light-up halo that circles the right analog stick. Pro Control mode is the general sort of play, and one you’ll probably be using the most often.
Is It Worth The Price?
However, Advanced Mode enables you to set up and switch between four different pre-loaded custom profiles, depending on what game you’re playing. You’ll need to download the PC companion app (which is free) in order to modify these, but you can create shortcuts and adjust sensitivity however you need, so that you can play your way. This is probably the most fundamental feature about the controller, and I found it quite easy to use when it came to setting things up. You can also change out the right analog stick if you prefer a more custom look, though that’s only really recommended if you know how to modify controllers. No sense messing up something that already works.
The controller’s packaging is pretty spiffy as well, with a case that holds it in place very well, as well as a number of screws to modify your controller (again, only really recommended if you want to mess with it), as well as a storage pouch.
And that leads us into the controller’s price. The Revolution Pro Controller sells anywhere between $115 and $150, depending on the retailer you get it from. Some folks may balk at that price, especially when it comes to a wired controller set-up. But, like most good custom controllers on the market, you get your true value on it depending on how serious you are with certain games. Esports devotees won’t have a problem diving all over this, but more casual players may want to read more on it before making the jump.
Heightened cost and connectivity limitation aside, the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller is quite a third-party peripheral. It’s fun to use with both of its modes, its feel is very good (save for some slight adjustment with the triggers), and its customization options are through the roof for players looking to adjust to a certain style of play. The more you’re into games, the more it has to offer – but if that’s your thing, this is definitely a Revolution worth celebrating.
RATING: Four out of five stars.
Disclaimer: A review unit was provided by the publisher.