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Moga releases new controllers for Android phones, tablets

Perfect for your emulators!
Nov 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Just in time for the holiday is the perfect new controller for all of you Android users that just play Super Nintendo games on your emulators. What? Don't look at me like that. You know it's true. The full-sized Moga Pro Powe...

Japan gets new translucent PS3 controllers

Yep, PS3
Nov 01
// Dale North
Hey, the PS4 is almost out, so how about some new PS3 controllers? Yay? Yes? No? When you consider backwards compatibility and the upcoming PS Vita TV, PS3 controllers are still relevant. Sony says that a new "Crystal" translucent DualShock 3 controller will come to Japan on December 19th, priced at 5,500 yen. This is a limited release product, they say.  

I hope you like these new Xbox One racing wheels...

Because your Xbox 360 ones won't work with Xbox One
Oct 16
// Dale North
There's big talk of "equation language" for new kinds of force feedback in this Xbox One racing accessories video, and that sounds neat and all, but I think Microsoft is going to find that racing fans are going to push back o...

Mad Catz' Killer Instinct TE 2 fightstick is $200

Pre-orders now open
Oct 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Mad Catz Killer Instinct TE 2 fightstick pre-orders are now open. It's going to run you $199.99, and will be available on the Xbox One's launch day, November 22, 2013.  The fight stick features Japanese-style Sanwa j...

Goron Tablet Cushion brings lazy to a whole new level

Most useful/useless TGS find so far
Sep 21
// Dale North
A small booth tucked against the wall on the Tokyo Game Show floor has regular demonstrations for their only product here, named Goron. This "tablet cushion" is essentially a head pillow with an arm mount for tablets or smart...

Review: Razer Ouroboros wired/wireless gaming mouse

Sep 12 // Dale North
Razer Ouroboros Wired/Wireless Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse (PC/MAC)Manufacturer: RazerMSRP: $149.99 The Ouroboros is a USB mouse equipped with a 8200dpi 4G laser sensor. Razer says it gives a 1ms response time with its 32-bit ARM processor innards. Everything about it seems responsive in use, from its tracking to its hair-trigger buttons. Right out of the box it's an impressive device, from its spaceship-like looks to its fit and finish. Hell, even the packaging is nice. But when you start pulling it apart to customize it, the Ouroboros becomes even more impressive. Two different sets of side panels can be switched out easily, as they're attached by strong mini magnets. You can also pull the base of the mouse out to have it fit any length of hand. My favorite is the palm rest, which has a dial that lets you fine tune its height for maximum comfort.  Through Razer's Synapse 2.0 software, the Ouroboros is also customizable on the software size. You can dial in everything from tracking to surface calibration for maximum accuracy. Being able to customize the use of any of the buttons is also nice. Get it exactly as you want it with the mouse's 11 buttons and save it to a profile for easy recall.  What's neat about this mouse is that it's both wired and wireless. Simply plug in the included braided USB cable and you're good to go, with the USB port charging the internal battery. Take that cable and plug it into the included base dual-purpose charge base and hit the sync button and you're wireless.  Despite all its fancy innards and functions, the Ouroboros is very light. It glides wonderfully on a good mousing surface. Both aspects make this mouse perfect for extended play. I put a few hours into leveling my character in Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn without any hand fatigue.  Wired or wireless, it performed beautifully in just about everything I tried, from shooters to MMOs to rounds of online golf. I was perfectly happy with my SteelSeries Sensei mouse, but trying the Ouroboros out showed me that there is better out there.  But better will cost you a hefty $149.99. That hit to the wallet may sting a bit less in knowing that the Ouroboros is probably the most high tech, customizable gaming mouse out there.
Ouroboros review photo
I've been playing PC games with Razer's Ouroboros wired/wireless ambidextrous gaming mouse for a bit now, trying out everything from MMOs to FPS to casual games. This is one really nice mouse, but it had better be for its asking price of $149.99. 

Pixel Art Controller photo
Pixel Art Controller

Impressions: Digging into Hyperkin's Pixel Art Controller

Did my palms survive!?
Aug 24
// Tony Ponce
Game accessory manufacturer Hyperkin recently announced the Pixel Art Controller line of PC / Mac gamepads. I took a look at the blocky SNES-inspired design and concluded that handling this hunk of plastic would have the same...
Pixel Art Controller photo
Pixel Art Controller

Hyperkin's Pixel Art Controller looks so uncomfortable

Shredding hands this September
Aug 10
// Tony Ponce
Videogame accessory maker Hyperkin must not like its customers very much. Why else would it design a controller that looks like it could shred the skin on your palms like grated Parmesan? This September, Hyperkin is releasin...

Turtle Beach acquires Parametric Sound Corporation

Sound tech to benefit gaming products
Aug 06
// Dale North
Turtle Beach, makers of fine gaming headsets, has just announced plans to acquire Parametric Sound Corporation in a reverse merger. The transaction is scheduled to close before the end of the year. This small San Diego-bawed ...
Xbox 360 controller photo
Xbox 360 controller

Special edition Xbox 360 gold controller coming in August

Sure, why not?
Jul 01
// Abel Girmay
Coming exclusively to GameStop and Microsoft stores, Microsoft will be releasing a gold-colored chrome controller not unlike the ones seen in the Star Wars Xbox 360 S bundle. Also, like all special edition controllers, this o...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

Xbox One to ship without headsets

But there's always Kinect!
Jun 25
// Tim Sheehy
It's been nearly a week since Microsoft announced its decision to scrap their DRM policy -- a decision met with some mixed, albeit mostly-positive reactions. In light of this, many gamers are now prepared to give the Xbox One a second chance, while others may find the $499 price tag a bit too steep. For that price, you'd feel it safe to assume Microsoft would toss in a headset. You'd be wrong.
GameCube on Wii U photo
GameCube on Wii U

Neat adapter allows GameCube controller use on the Wii U

Bust out your WaveBirds!
Jun 05
// Chris Carter
If you're a fan of the GameCube controller and lament the lack of love on the Wii U, it appears as if this adapter is your answer. It appears as if this unofficial piece of hardware will allow you to utilize compatibility opt...
Poor Rush photo
Poor Rush

Mega Man's robo-dog Rush, now in tissue box form

Little buddy, what have they done to you?
Jun 05
// Tony Ponce
Amidst Capcom's schemes to appease us with Mega Man-themed paraphernalia in the absence of an actual game announcement, I've more or less remained as reserved as could be. When Mega Man Xbox Avatars appeared, I kept my mouth ...
Wii U photo
Wii U

Japan is getting a new Wii U GamePad battery pack

White Wii U Premium bundle is coming soon as well
May 30
// Alasdair Duncan
If you're a Wii U owner that's frustrated with the battery life on your GamePad, then there might be some relief on the horizon. A new Wii U enhanced battery pack will be released in Japan in July, promising between "5-8 hour...
Club Nintendo photo
Club Nintendo

Green Mario accessory box up on Club Nintendo

700-coin reward is only available for a limited time
May 29
// Tony Ponce
I received my Club Nintendo Hanafuda card set in the mail this week. With that acquisition, I've finally obtained all the 800-coin-and-up rewards on Club Nintendo -- the Hanafuda cards, Game & Watch Collection 1 and 2, th...

Turtle Beach headsets in the works for Xbox One

Full reveal and details at E3
May 23
// Abel Girmay
With this generation's meteoric rise of Call of Duty came a similar interest in gaming headsets. It's not surprising to hear then that Turtle Beach is at work on a line of Xbox One headsets. There's not a whole lot of details...

Review: Sumo Emperor

May 08 // Chris Carter
Sumo Emperor Bean Bag Manufacturer: SumoReleased: May 1, 2013MSRP: $399.00 Upon shipment, the Emperor was stuffed into a giant cardboard box -- and when you open it, it explodes into a giant fluffy cloud of comfort. You'll definitely want to move the box to your desired room before you unpack it, but it's not so large that you won't be able to transport it To be clear, this is less of a bean bag and more of a small couch. At 55" x 25", it's not something that would suit most one-bedroom apartments, as it took up a great deal of my decently-sized basement. I tested moving it up and down stairs for people who live in taller houses, and it's easy to roll, even if there isn't a really solid area to grab. So while it does take up a lot of space, it's easy to transport. The "Fiery Red" color isn't too busy, and manages to stand out without looking too tacky. The cover also zips off easily for cleaning. So what's the first thing you do when you get a bean bag chair? Jump into it of course! I noticed immediately that it conformed to my body, but didn't get too low to the ground, which is great. I also liked the distinct lack of the annoying crunching sound, which normally gets on my nerves, and is the main reason why I hate most bean bag chairs. It doesn't really absorb moisture, which is fun for long play sessions, since it won't get sweaty. It should fit two smaller people pretty comfortably, but I'll say outright, it's not comfortable at all if any party is on the larger side. While the Emperor is great for general sitting, of course, gaming is the real test. For the purposes of this review, I tried using it with a laptop, portable systems, and general console gaming. My results ranged from "moderately comfortable" to "perfect." First things first, portables are the best use of the Emperor, as it has lots of arm and head support. I tried laying on it with my 3DS, Vita, and iPhone, and found the comfort level to be near perfect. There was plenty of real estate to rest my head and arms, which makes for some great long Vita sessions. Just to be sure, I tried out a three-hour long Persona 4 Golden session on my Vita in it, and didn't have any issues at all. Tablet use is also extremely comfortable in the Emperor, as is general book reading. Sitting up with a laptop is a different story. Although it's comfortable for the most part, you don't really have a place to rest your head, since the Emperor doesn't get low enough to the ground. Instead, you're left laying back into the bag a bit more than usual, which doesn't make for a great time when you have something in your lap. My time with console testing was basically somewhere in the middle of my experience with portables and the laptop. You can rest your head and have your legs roll off the bean bag a little bit, but as a general rule it's not large enough to fully support your neck unless you lay a bit sideways. For more casual console games this isn't really an issue, but if you're playing something twitch-based or something that requires more precision, it'll be an issue. You can move more towards the front of the Emperor to rest your head, but your legs are basically falling off the bean bag. As a general rule I didn't have many issues with it, and still use it as an option when playing games of all types. The Sumo Emperor is definitely a luxury item. But if you look at the market for larger bean bags, it falls somewhere comfortably in the middle in terms of price ranges -- and really, that's about where it sits.
Sumo Emperor photo
It's a royal price point, that's for sure
Furniture can get pretty expensive. Sometimes, you'll go into a store ready to buy a replacement chair, and before you know it, you and your wife are picking out a five-piece sofa set. Comfort, price, and aesthetics all come ...


How about a dedicated sports controller for PS3

May 08
// Dale North
Do you play a lot of sports games? If so, have you ever wished for a dedicated sports game controller? Gioteck's SC-1 PS3 controller is exactly that. This controller features four levels of sensitivity to let sports games pla...
Mega Man 3DS Case photo
Mega Man 3DS Case

Mega Man 3DS cases celebrate Virtual Console release

Will be available by San Diego Comic-Con
May 01
// Keith Swiader
Capcom will release special edition Mega Man 25th anniversary 3DS and 3DS XL cases to commemorate the series' release on the 3DS eShop, community manager Brett Elston announced on Capcom-Unity.  The two-piece case featur...
PS3 controller photo
PS3 controller

PS3 gets limited edition Metallic Grey controller

Coming this June
Apr 24
// Dale North
Sony seems to release a new controller color every time my current ones are looking a bit rough. Judging from a Twitter post that popped up earlier but has since disappeared, the newest offering in their DualShock 3 controlle...
Scent of a woman photo
Scent of a woman

Senran Kagura cell phone charms smell like breasts

Because of course
Apr 23
// Tony Ponce
The marketing of booby ninja school girl brawler series Senran Kagura is simply outrageous. Branded tissue boxes? Facepalm worthy. Themed desserts? Fairly creative. Cell phone charms? Well, that doesn't sound so bad... ... oh...
Circle Pad Pro mods photo
Circle Pad Pro mods

Check these 3DS Circle Pad Pro mods from Japan

Because monster hunting is serious gosh darn business
Apr 22
// Tony Ponce
Anybody test out the 3DS XL Circle Pad Pro yet? Is it the cat's knees and the bee's pajamas? How does it stack up to the original Circle Pad Pro? For a certain set of Japanese gamers, the stock devices are hella weaksauce. Mo...

Review: On-Lap 2501M Portable LCD Gaming Monitor

Apr 22 // Dale North
Product: GeChic On-Lap 2501M portable LCD monitorManufacturer: GeChicInput: HDMI, VGA, MHLMSRP: $249.99 The GeChic On-Lap 2501M portable LCD monitor is exactly that. It's a 15.6" LCD that weighs just over 2.5 lbs, with an internal battery that lets you charge it up and take it with you. As far as connectivity goes, you'll find HDMI, VGA, and MHL video ports on its slim side, as well as power and headphone jacks. It even comes with a screen cover that doubles as a stand. It's a really unique solution that traveling gamers should check out. The various slimline ports on the right edge of the unit let you plug in just about anything you can game on, including consoles (via HDMI), computers (HDMI or VGA), or tablets and phones (MHL port). To truly test out how the monitor would make for a portable gaming solution, I threw it and the new slim PS3 into a bag and went elsewhere. The combo fit in a standard backpack with no issues, and the combined weight of the two was so light it felt like I was missing something I'd need. At my destination only one power plug was needed for the PS3. The included cable connected the HDMI port of the PS3 to a micro HDMI input on the monitor's side. It couldn't be easier. The On-Lap display does 720p no problem, as it runs at 1366 x 768. The screen itself is matte, making it easy on the reflections, though it's a TFT panel, so viewing angles won't serve more than two players sitting dead on. The colors or contrast ration (400:1) won't blow anyone away, but the images I saw in testing were sufficient and pleasantly clean. I also liked that glare was never an issue. What it lacks in color depth it makes up for in response time. Testing it with puzzle and fighting games I found that the monitor holds its own against the best in my arsenal, the Asus VH236H, one of the fastest and most recommended gaming monitors available. GeChic claims 8ms typical and 16ms max. I have no tools to test display lag other than my gamer instincts, but I will say that I don't think it hits those numbers. It's definitely not as fast as my Asus, but it's better than any television I own. Trying out some highly sensitive games, like PS1 rhythm game classic UmJammer Lammy, I was impressed with how much better I was faring on the monitor than I could on the HDTV in my office. I managed to reach rockin' "cool" status in no time flat. The internal battery must be huge because it lasts for a very long time. I originally planned to time it, but eventually lost track of time. You know a device has good battery life when you forget you were timing its battery! I'd say expecting a full day of play is reasonable. Another plus is that, switched off, this monitor holds a charge for a very long time. And if the extra long battery does run out, the small and light 5V power brick allows for direct powering. It's also chargeable via USB, meaning you could plug it directly into your Xbox 360 or PS3 for charging. The 2501M does have internal speakers that put out sound from two rear grilles, but they're small, so there's no low end response. They're plenty loud, though, and will do the trick in a pinch. You'd do better to bring along some earbuds and use the device's headphone port.  This monitor is useful beyond console gaming applications, too. You could flip it out on your desk and use it as a small second monitor with its VGA port. If you own Android devices, the 2501M will accept connection over the included MHL video cable for gaming or video viewing. There's even an included smartphone holder that lets you clip your device to the screen. Before I started testing the On-Lap 2501M I found myself questioning the need for such a device. I honestly don't see your computing road warrior or typical tablet/mobile user needing one. But now that I've put one through its paces, I can easily see the monitor fitting into a traveling console gamer's life. Its light and highly portable form factor, great battery life, and wealth of connectivity make for a unique display solution, and in the right context it could be worth the $249 asking price. If you've ever felt the need to take a display with you for gaming, definitely check this one out.
Portable gaming monitor photo
Grab and go
Are you an on-the-go console gamer? If so, taking your gaming rig with you usually requires a television to be waiting at your destination, which is not ideal. While bringing a smaller television or monitor with you...

Ace Attorney 5 photo
Ace Attorney 5

Ace Attorney 5 bundles include finger-pointing statue

Also included is a nifty pouch themed after Wright's pimpin' suit
Apr 18
// Tony Ponce
For Phoenix Wright's grand return to the courtroom in Japan this summer, Capcom has put together a number of limited edition bundles to sell on the e-Capcom store. For ¥9990 (~$102), you get a copy of the game, three alte...

Review: V-Moda Crossfade M-100

Mar 03 // Daniel Starkey
Now, obviously that claim doesn’t go without qualification, and what I really mean to say is that this set is practical compared to what else is on the market at that price level, but these things are pretty incredible for their cost.  At $300, you’re mostly getting into reference-class headphones. That tier consists headphones that are very, very well made with a bunch of cool things like gold contacts, large, well-calibrated diaphragms for accurate sound reproduction, and all that other fancy goodness. V-Moda has all of those nifty features here too, but they've also brought a pragmatic mindset.  For example, most of those sets can often have a resistance of 300 or 600 ohms. The M-100, though, only have a resistance of 32 ohms. For the average consumer, all this really means is that you can use these guys on a portable media player or a laptop without having to go out and buy a separate (and often very expensive) headphone amplifier to boost the signal. That portable philosophy is really what is so impressive about these. They can be used almost anywhere, with almost any set of equipment. The Crossfade M-100 isn’t quite like anything else. Portable, light, and relatively small with interchangeable cords and a built-in microphone by default, it's very unusual but totally amazing. All of these features are the result of its crowd-sourced design. Headfi, a forum for headphone aficionados like myself was tapped by V-Moda to figure out what people really wanted in their next set. The result is something of a cyberpunk version of Frankenstein’s monster.  The cable for the M-100 is, thankfully, replaceable. This means that damage to the plug and the cord, which are typically the first parts to fail, doesn’t necessitate that you replace the whole set. Beyond that, the cords themselves are reinforced with Kevlar. The stuff they use to make bulletproof vests. And you get two of them. Taking it a step further, either ear cup -- the left or the right -- can be used to plug in the cable. So if one of those fails, you still have another option. V-Moda also includes a few caps to keep the unused plug from getting dirt or grime inside. Of the two cords that come with the headphones, one has a TRRS connector (which really just means that it has a built in microphone and pause button), perfect for a standard cellphone. The other is something that the company calls a “SharePlay” cable which really just means a super-awesome version of a splitter so that your friends can listen too. The entire frame is made of steel, which is a welcome change from most other headphones which tend to take the cheap route with plastic. This means that the headphones don’t creak at all with pressure. There was no give when I applied force, and I even dropped them on the ground a few times without noticing any scratches or damage. The steel does add a little weight overall, but this set is still quite a bit smaller than other $300 sets, so the difference isn’t too noticeable. Ear pads are another place where most companies tend to go pretty cheap, but again we see a dedication to quality throughout -- in this case, the cups are made of memory foam and well-designed for almost any sized ear. I can also say as someone with pierced ears, that the memory foam works splendidly -- it didn't place any additional, unnecessary pressure on my ring-ed lobes. I found that I could wear the set for 5-8 hours straight with no discernible discomfort whatsoever. Your mileage will vary of course, but I can’t imagine anyone wanting to tear off their ears in horrific, unbearable pain. Speaking of which the M-100s also comes with a really, really tough carrying case that can definitely take a good hit. I took a few solid swings at it with a hammer and did no permanent damage to either the case or the headphones inside. It also has little harnesses for all of the cords and small accessories included. With any luck this set will last you a good long while. Now, the set that I reviewed also came with a dedicated add-on mic for gaming and eSports and Skype and stuff. This too comes reinforced with Kevlar, because why the fuck not, guys?! Other than that, though, it’s a pretty standard, flexible boom microphone. It’s not quite as cool as the one on the A50s that are muted automatically when you flip it away from your face, but it definitely holds to the same ridiculous level of quality seen everywhere else in this set. Its only notable downside is that the connectors provided pretty much make it impossible to use with a console. With only a TRRS connector and an adapter for PC users, you would be hard-pressed to jury-rig the thing to get it to work on the Xbox 360 or PS3. Thanks to that adapter it is theoretically possible, but it would be a huge pain in the ass. I do have a few tiny nitpicks that don't neatly fit into any category I’ve discuss thus far. On either ear cup, for example, a small cord runs up into the headband. While aesthetically that cord looks totally badass, I’ve managed to get it caught on a couple of things. It is Kevlar reinforced like the other cables, but these things aren’t user-replaceable, so I freaked out a bit. Obviously, this is a very expensive set and causing damage is no bueno. I can’t tell you just how much I love these things from a purely “Holy shit, why doesn’t everyone make life easy for like this” way. But they do sound damned awesome. Allegedly they have a dual-diaphragm design with 50mm drivers in each cup. What does this mean for the non-aurally fixated? Well, balancing high tones and low tones in a set of headphones or in any set of speakers that don’t have separate tweeters and woofers, is really hard. The kinds of stuff you need to produce good bass and good highs are very different. Most reference-class headphones go for the mid-tones instead. As a result, those of us that like heavy bass for ... I dunno rap, or techno, or gunshots in Half-Life 2 miss out on what we tend to prefer. Now, a lot of people don’t like the heavier bass of DJ-class headphones, but that sound profile can mostly be fixed with a decent equalizer. Having that deep, rich bass capability as well as the range to really make the highs sing is a rarity though. In all of my tests, I noticed no tinny sounds, nor any bottoming out on the low end. Everything performed perfectly. To cause failure I had to connect them to amp and run a dangerous amount of power through them. The M-100s will keep up with whatever crazy stuff you like to listen to at any volume that could ever be called “safe” or “reasonable.” If you want to go deaf, then they might start sounding like crap, but you won’t know anyway. Because you'll be deaf. Okay, I think I’m done raving. Wait ... steel construction. Gold connectors. Kevlar cords. Interchangeable parts. Great case. Incredible sound. Excellent comfort. Super-portable. Versatile. Now I’m done. I’m amazed by what crowd-sourcing people’s preferences in headphones can do, and now I’ve started thinking that every other headphone company just hates its customers or is too self-absorbed to consider what features customers actually want in a high-end set. Granted, they are by no means cheap. I get that, but if you can swing that amount of cash and don’t need to use them on an Xbox 360 or PS3, then you cannot go wrong with the M-100s.
Crossfade M-100 review photo
The first crowd-sourced headphones
I realize that the percentage of our readers that are legitimately in the market for a $300 set of headphones is fairly small, and honestly if you don’t think dropping that much cheddar is ever worth it, then I probably...

Xbox 360 photo
Xbox 360

New Xbox 360 320GB HD will include three full games

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Pinball FX, and Ms. Splosion Man
Feb 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's going to be a new Xbox 360 320GB hard drive on sale this March for $129.99, and it's going to include three full games with it. The included titles are Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit, Ms. Splosion Man, and Pinball FX2 wi...
DualShock 4 photo
DualShock 4

Sony reveals DualShock 4

It's pretty much what we showed you last week
Feb 20
// Conrad Zimmerman
Sony has just officially revealed the DualShock 4 controller, which is pretty close to the photo we published last week. Mark Cerny, PS4 Lead System Architect, showed the controller during today's live stream event ...
Dead Space 3 photo
Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3's Kinect command cheat sheet

The game's 40+ verbal instructions on one easy page
Feb 05
// Conrad Zimmerman
Say what you will about Kinect's general usefulness as a gaming peripheral, but I genuinely like to issue voice commands to my games and that's the thing it seems to work best for. Fact is, I'm already yelling at the screen h...

Logitech to stop making console gaming peripherals

Jan 24
// Dale North
PC and mobile accessories company Logitech is not doing so hot these days. Financials show that they lost some $180 million last quarter, and that sales are down 14 percent. They've got to tighten up somewhere, so they've dec...

Review: Razer Sabertooth

Jan 21 // Dale North
Product: Razer Sabertooth controller (Xbox 360)Manufacturer: RazerMSRP: $79.99 I was impressed from the moment pulled the Sabertooth controller out of the included carrying case. Throwing my thumb and fingers around the controller and mashing all of the buttons at once had the Sabertooth emitting sharp and fast little clicking noises -- even unplugged I could tell that the buttons would be very responsive.  My favorite of the vast button selection on the Sabertooth are the A, B, X, and Y face buttons. They have very little travel distance and weight, and they click quickly when pressed with their microswitches. They are a million miles away from the slow, mushy standard Xbox 360 controller face buttons in both feeling and use. I tried them in everything from heavy action games (DmC: Devil May Cry) to fighters to puzzle titles (Lumines, Super Puzzle Fighter) and they never failed to impress. In short, they move fast and that makes you feel fast, so you end up playing a bit better. Their shorter travel distance may throw some off at first, though. Once I got used to this, I really liked it, and found that using the standard Xbox 360 felt sluggish in comparison.  My second favorite set of buttons are the bumpers and triggers. The right and left bumpers have more travel distance than the face buttons, but they're almost as fast and clicky, and feel amazing when, say, pulling off fighting moves, or throwing grenades. Again, a quick side-by-side comparison with a standard controller, even unplugged, says volumes. When it comes to responsiveness, the Sabertooth is in a completely different league. I'm nowhere even close to a competitive gamer, but I can clearly see how using this controller would give players a marked advantage.  The d-pad isn't a nasty floating disc, and for that I'm grateful. Sticking your finger in an electrical socket is better than the standard Xbox 360 d-pad, so merely saying that the Sabertooth's version is better isn't doing it justice. Four separate press-able buttons that have no connection to each other let you hurl out quarter-circle forwards like nobody's business, making it great for fighting games. My go-to Xbox 360 d-pad testing games, Dig Dug and Lumines Live!, were more enjoyable than ever with this PS3-style alternative.  Speaking of advantages, the Sabertooth has several assignable buttons and functions for full customization. On the top edge of the controller, placed just between the bumpers and triggers, are left and right assignable mulit-function buttons. These buttons can be assigned to anything you wish using any of the controller's other buttons or sticks. On the rear of the controller, you'll find two crescent-shaped rockers that Razer calls multifunction triggers. Both the left and right triggers rock up or down to give you four more assignable controls. In use, they're extremely responsive, though they're easy to accidentally nudge if you're not actively using them as they fall directly where your middle fingertip would rest. An included screwdriver lets you remove these triggers if you don't intend to use them.  The braided USB cable is also removable. And it looks really nice. An OLED display along the bottom edge of the controller lets you quickly load one of two user profiles to game with by pressing a little button to the left of it and then pressing up or down on the d-pad to select one.  Another button on the right side of the display lets you customize any of the above-listed assignable buttons to your desired function. It's easy: simply select the assign function, hit an assignable button or trigger, and then press the standard button you'd like it to function as. I used simple assignments at first, like pulling down on the trigger buttons to drop blocks in puzzle games, but broke into more creative uses later on. Doing a sort of reach-around finger wiggle in the place of button mashing for QTEs was a revelation.  In action games, the triggers are great as they let you copy the functions of the face buttons, allowing you to keep your thumbs on the sticks.  The customizability of this controller and the fantastic performance of its buttons and sticks would definitely appeal to professional and competitive gamers, but I fear that the $79.99 MSRP will prevent some from jumping in. That would be a shame as the d-pad and face buttons alone were enough to win me over. I'd love to see a version of this controller that drops the customization and OLED screen for a lower price point.  Still, the Sabertooth is a first-class controller. If you've got the cash to spare and don't mind playing with a corded controller (bonus: PC compatibility) you won't be disappointed.
Razer Sabertooth review photo
A third-party controller worth checking out
I've tested many third-party game controllers in my day, and while I've liked quite a few of them, I always end up going back to the stock console controller. At the end of the day there's never enough there in these third-pa...

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