Nacon deliver the first must have third-party PS4 controller.
PlayStation 4 fans around the world went green with envy when Microsoft unveiled their Pro Controller for the Xbox One. Billed as the ultimate gaming peripheral for pro-gamers, it sported high build quality, additional paddles, textured grip and customisable face buttons. It was a massive step up from the standard Xbox One controller, and PlayStation owners were soon begging Sony to release one of their very own.
Rather than building an official pro controller, Sony instead licensed Nacon and Razer to come up with their own versions, the Revolution Pro Controller and the Raiju Controller. With Razer’s Raiju sporting a rather hefty £149.99 price tag in comparison to Nacon’s more reasonable £89.99, I opted for the Revolution Pro (and between you and me, the Raiju just doesn’t look quite as nice as the Revolution Pro).
Right off the bat, it’s clear from the packaging that Nacon did a wonderful job with this controller – it’s housed in a classy magnetically sealed box and includes a carrying pouch, a 3m length cable, stickers and additional weights for the controller (Weights? Yeah, more on that later). The controller itself screams quality – it has a smooth, rubberised texture and feels incredibly sturdy. Sony did a great job redesigning the DualShock controller for the PS4, but in comparison to the Revolution Pro, it feels somewhat cheap – where the plastic on the DualShock creaks under pressure, the Revolution Pro is rock solid.
The most obvious change to the design of the Revolution Pro is in the placement of the analogue sticks – much like the Xbox controllers, they are now staggered with the left stick placed higher than the right, replacing the original position of the d-pad on the DualShock 4. This feels like a more natural, comfortable position, and will be perfectly suited for gamers thinking of jumping ship from the Xbox to the PS4.
The left analogue stick is concave with a fine, textured finish whilst the right is convex, sporting Nacon’s company logo. Don’t worry, this doesn’t look as tacky as you might think, and the convex nature of the right stick allows for finer movement in fast paced, twitchy gameplay. Both sticks are also raised slightly higher than the DualShock 4, allowing for a greater range of motion at 46 degrees.
The d-pad has had a similar make over for the Revolution Pro – unlike the DualShock 4’s standard four-way d-pad, this sports a circular eight-way d-pad, which should come in handy if you’re into fighting games such as Street Fighter V. My only complaint is the high glossy nature of the d-pad in comparison with the rest of the controller – fingerprints show up quite easily and it sticks out like a sour thumb, but the actual visual design of it is decent.
Moving to the back of the controller, Nacon have included additional rocker buttons for added customisation. Each rocker includes two buttons, and all four can be remapped to whatever you wish. If you’re an avid FPS fan but don’t like moving your trigger finger to R1 for melee combat, you can map the R1 button to the rocker.
You’ll also find two more buttons above the rockers – the ‘Mode’ and ‘Profile’ buttons. The Revolution Pro comes in two modes – the ‘Pro Control’ mode and ‘Advanced’ mode – Pro Control essentially disables access to the rocker buttons on the back and maps the rest of the controller to its standard setting, as Sony intended. Advanced lets you mess around with the settings, allowing you to remap buttons, set dead zones, macro combinations and much more. This is all done with the Revolution Pro Controller Companion App (that’s a mouthful), which comes available with the controller as standard. You can easily tell which mode you’re in thanks to a pretty neat light circling the right analogue stick. Blue is the Pro Control mode, and red is the Advanced mode.
After setting your desired button configurations, the profile button allows you to switch between four stored custom settings in the controller – if you have buttons mapped specifically for FPS games, you can store it as a profile, and so on for other genres such as beat-em-ups or driving games.
Lifting the controller out of its box for the first time, you’ll notice immediately how surprisingly light it is. Well, this is where the weights come in. The controller has small compartments in either side of the handgrips. These are easily removable in order to add or remove weights as necessary. One of the best aspects of the Xbox One Pro Controller was its hefty weight – it felt like a quality product, so if you prefer your controllers to feel a bit heavier, you can easily add weight (they come in 10g, 14g and 17g variants) to the Revolution Pro so it’s at the optimum comfort level for you.
Whilst adding some brilliant features to the Revolution Pro, Nacon has also had to make some concessions. Whether this is a bad thing or not depends on your gaming habits. Firstly, the light bar found on the top of the DualShock is gone – this may be a great change for a lot of people who found the light bar to be distracting, but don’t expect to be able to use the Revolution Pro with VR games. Instead, you’ll find a smaller, LED light below the Home Button, which changes colour in relation to which player you are, or events during gameplay, much like the original light bar. Similarly, the built-in speaker is also gone – this is a shame, since some games make really great use of the speaker – GTA V’s police radio and Rise of the Tomb Raider’s gunfire come to mind – but it’s certainly not a deal breaker.
Lastly, those hoping for a wireless controller will be disappointed. The Revolution Pro was built with pro-gamers in mind, and as such is strictly wired to allow for greater responsiveness. It comes with a 3m braided cable which feels of similar high quality to the controller itself. Additionally, the cable comes with a small screw on the end which allows you to really secure the controller onto the cable to avoid accidentally snagging it during gameplay.
The Revolution Pro Controller is a wonderful peripheral for the PS4. Priced at £89.99, it’s only £40 more than the RRP for a standard DualShock 4, but for that extra cash, you’re getting an incredibly sturdy, customisable controller perfect for competitive play or long gaming sessions. The loss of the light bar and built-in speaker may be disappointing for some people, but it’s nothing in comparison to the high quality, amazingly comfortable experience you’ll get with this controller.