While both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One both have a fantastic standard controller, for many gamers, that isn’t enough. Custom controllers have been around for a long time, but with the rise of first person shooters last generation, a move toward controllers aimed at the hardest of the hardcore came to fruition. Microsoft themselves has even introduced their own official “Elite” controller while sitting around £100 is a fantastic piece of equipment that makes me rather jealous as someone who primarily games on Sony’s console. Many third party manufacturers have tried their own hand at creating a higher class of controller for the PS4 and one such controller is the Controller People.
The PS4 Pro Controller is available from The Controller People.
(Writer's Note: In the original version of this review, I stated that the price of the controller was £110. This is inaccurate. The price of the unit is $110 and £85. This was an oversight that has been corrected and the review and score have been updated to reflect this.)
The controller is a second generation DualShock 4 that has been modified to add 2 extra paddles at the back of the controller as well as added stoppers to the triggers for a reduced throw. The controller also comes with a series of replaceable analogue sticks of various heights. 3 pairs in the style of the PS4 sticks and 3 in the style of the Xbox One.
The paddles are remappable using the PS4’s console level settings and also in certain games. I primarily tested these paddles by playing Overwatch. By re-mapping certain abilities to these paddles, I alleviated the time I had my right thumb of the right stick, which is certainly an advantage. The paddles are small enough that they do not protrude from the controller awkwardly, but they were still large enough to press reliably. Their positioning on the controller felt very natural, and using them quickly became an essential part of my Overwatch strategy.
The replaceable sticks are a great feature for those of us who prefer concave thumbsticks rather than the standard Dualshock's convex. The three heights provided for each style is a nice touch, however, I primarily used the standard height Xbox One sticks. Unfortunately, there is no way to swap the positioning of the D-Pad and the sticks to recreate the layout of a Xbox One controller, but this is a solid alternative.
I was extremely disappointed with the small stoppers attached to the triggers. As many FPS games will begin shooting well before the trigger is fully depressed, these are designed so as the player only needs to pull them a short distance, reducing the spring back time and therefore increasing the time shooting. While great in theory and a key part of many of these style of controllers, their implementation on the controller leaves a lot to be desired. Firstly they are simply tiny pieces of plastic held to the trigger itself by a magnet. Several times while playing one or both of them detached leaving me to look around between deaths and considering their minuscule size, it’s a wonder I ever found them. A replacement pair included as standard would be a welcome inclusion.
The other issue with these trigger additions is how sharp they are. The edges of the curved pieces are so sharp that they feel like they could break the skin on your fingers if you pulled the trigger at an awkward angle in a moment of hurried shooting. This may be a case by case thing, but the attachments on the controller I received are extremely sharp. They can also be twisted for a shorter or longer throw depending on preference. For games like GTA V where the driving is reliant on a full depression of the trigger to fully accelerate, it’s good that they’ve included this feature.
The body of the controller is a standard black Dualshock 4. The controller features lime green buttons and sticks, which actually works well. However, on one of my sticks, I noticed some discoloration around the edges, with small orange-coloured marks appearing out of nowhere. This was only one of the sticks, however, it’s still a concern if this is a wide issue, especially when a big selling point of these custom controllers is the variety in aesthetics.
The face buttons are unmarked, which I assume is a trademark issue due to Sony owning their “sacred symbols.” However, I actually like the way it looks. It’s rather minimalist and matches the D-Pad which is blank similar to the regular DualShock.
At £85, the Pro Controller is priced around double that of a standard Dualshock 4. Including several sticks is a nice touch but as I mentioned earlier, for £85 I would really expect a replacement set of the trigger limiters, considering their tiny size. However, with the options for high-level controllers on the PS4 fairly limited, it's a solid option for those wishing to spend a larger amount of money on a controller than standard, without reaching the £150 scale of Razor's Raiju.
The PS4 Pro controller from Controller People is a well designed, easy to use and visually appealing controller. While some serious concerns about the sharpness of its trigger attachments continued throughout my time using it, it's paddle system is well integrated and unintrusive. While more expensive than the standard DualShock, the additions certainly push it's quality to higher than that of the base model PS4 controller.
|+ Variety of replaceable analogue sticks.||– Extremely sharp edges on trigger attachments.|
|+ Paddles are discreet but very easy to use.|
|+ Retains the Dualshock 4's excellent chassis.|