Tested on: PS4
Nacon Revolution Pro Controller – Hardware Review
Third party controllers have been gaining popularity over the years as there’s a clear rise in quality compared to third party devices a decade ago. No longer are many of said controllers ‘player 2’ material, clearly made out of cheap plastic, with horrible looking decals and of course, flimsy buttons. Nonetheless, these peripherals are often still cheaper than the official counterparts, but in many cases the original device still feels better, even if it’s only barely noticeable. This time we reach for the stars, and try out Nacon’s Revolution Pro Controller, which finds itself in a higher price range, which made us wonder how ‘pro’ this controller would go.
Nacon’s controller looks a bit like a hybrid of the Xbox One controller and the official PlayStation 4 controller. This is pretty much due to the placement of the two sticks, which is reminiscent of Microsoft’s device, while other features are more reminiscent of Sony’s controller, such as the usage of the PlayStation logo, the symbols on the buttons, the touchpad. The triggers however are an original touch by Nacon, albeit still a bit akin to the X1 controller. Perhaps one of the device’s less notable features, but still worth mentioning: the Revolution’s D-Pad looks a bit like a four leaved clover, and this is truly a fun, original touch to a device such as this, instead of going for the same old D-Pad over and over again.
The controller also has a few spiffy features, such as LED lighting all around the right stick, which creates a certain asymmetrical appearance we can’t help but love. By opting to light only one of the sticks, the developers gave it a rather original touch, especially seeing it’s the one with the logo on it. Other than that, the controller has a slightly rounded shape, with a matte finish, which gives the device a slight rubbery appearance.
As expected from a higher priced controller, comfort seems to be no issue for this device. Thanks to the rounder shape, the fairly lengthy handles and the button placement, the controller fits perfectly in your hands, be them large or small hands. Perhaps only the bumpers and triggers will take some time getting used to, but they are perfectly placed nonetheless. Even the extra buttons have ideal locations in easy to reach places, such as the back of the handles, which grants you very easy access. You’ll also notice that the left stick is hollowed out, while the right stick has a ‘bulging’ shape, thus you’ll have two sticks that feel completely different. This will take some time getting used to, but eventually it becomes rather natural.
For gamers who would rather have something substantial in their hands, or are used to heavier gear, the Revolution allows for weighing the device down. In each of the grips there’s a removable compartment, which you can fill with the weights that come with the device. You’ll be able to place two weights on each side, which will add a lot of difference to your gaming experience. While for many the device will already be heavy enough without the added weight(s), it’s still nice to customize the device and find your ideal setup.
Only one minor issue in the comfort department is the soft coating around the plastic. Don’t get us wrong, this feels rather pleasant, but it gets dirty so easily and is rather hard to keep clean. It’s rather annoying when your controller constantly has dirty fingerprints on it, without being able to properly wipe them off. Nonetheless, some upkeep can do a lot, it’s just a small tedious task if you wish to keep this device clean.
- Many customization options (button mapping, deadzones for triggers and sticks, …)
- 8 Way D-Pad
- Detachable and braided cable
- 4 Macro buttons
- Option to weigh down your controller
After a bit of assembly (the cable) you’ll pretty much be good to go the moment you plug in your controller in your PlayStation 4, at least if you don’t need any of the extra functionalities (which we’ll discuss later). From the get-go you’ll have a great controller at your disposal that has all the standard functionalities of the official controller, with the most important one being the touchpad. The latter is never incorporated on third party models, as they often aren’t properly licensed, try to press down the production costs or simply don’t care about it. For us this was a sign that Nacon is doing all it can to ensure that potential buyers will immediately have the same features their original controller would give them, and then add in some more functions.
Even though the device itself feels very solid and sturdy, it’s noticeable that the sticks have a very low resistance to them. While for many they may feel a bit flimsy compared to Sony’s controller, they never lose track of in-game precision, thus it’s simply a matter of getting used to this format. Nonetheless, this is probably simply a matter of personal taste.
With the help of the app, which you’ll have to install on your PC, you can adjust your button setup, or more importantly adjust reaction times for triggers and the right stick. With the software, you’ll be able to properly adjust ‘deadzones’, thus create the perfect profile. If you’re a fan of multiple genres, and you’re often bothered by the lack of controller options for said genres, you can also store up to four profiles on the Revolution Pro, thus edit them all to your taste, and switch when needed. Even LED settings are a possibility, but we can’t imagine someone wanting to turn off the rather cool LED light around your right stick. Macros are also an option for those who want to mess with more experienced settings, but it’s easier to mess around with the basic settings first, and expand your knowledge as you go.
Nacon’s Revolution Pro Controller can deservedly call itself a pro controller as it offers all the practicalities and functionalities of Sony’s original product, and a hefty amount more. While it will take you some time to properly set up some of the extra buttons, the extra functions they unlock, the overall comfort factor of the device and its sturdiness are certainly something to keep in mind when you’re looking for an upgrade or a new controller.