I’ve yet to use a dodgy PDP product. In fact, if you were to push me, then I’d probably go and grab one of their products over a higher priced, better known ‘brand’. That said, one of their latest controllers doesn’t really seem to be aimed at me and my gaming sessions.
The PDP Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One does a few things that I wouldn’t normally bother with. Firstly, it lights up. Secondly, it’s customisable. Thirdly, it’s wired.
God help me!
Anyone who knows me will know that the least amount of wires that can present in my life, the better. Wired controllers are, in my opinion, a bit of a pain. The kids get tangled up in the wires, the dog chews on them and at some point in time someone will yank it hard enough that the entire console which it is connected to will become dislodged, fall on the dog and make me subjected to some stupidly priced vets bill. Give me a wireless controller any day of the week and as long as I’ve got a charging dock nearby, then I will quite happily game for hours on end.
Similarly, customising isn’t something that is needed in my life. Granted, the Xbox One Elite controller is a thing of pure beauty (albeit a heavy unbalanced piece of beauty), but it’s not something I need. I want to use muscle memory to remember exactly which button to hit at what time and moving buttons around, giving them different actions for the sake of it isn’t something I need.
And then we get on to the bright lights. Admittedly, spending time in the dark with a set of cans on oblivious to the outside world may seem like a strange way to pass the time, but hey, it’s what I enjoy and it’s my way of getting away from it all. Do I want to be glowing up like a beacon whilst I do so? No, I want to be sitting in a dark corner. Wearing black. Unseen to those who pass.
Anyways, I digress. The PDP Afterglow Prismatic controller. That’s what I’m here for and that’s what I’m meant to be chatting about. Have I told you how good it is? Well, it damn well is.
Smoother to the touch than a standard controller, there is none of the new fangled textured grip on the back which seem to be a bit of a big deal in Xbox One circles at the moment. Instead, the polycarbonate casing is smooth and crystal clear, allowing you to see each and every one of the many moving parts that are housed inside. These include the dual rumble motors and impulse triggers and it’s initially a bit of a delight to watch them whir into action with every explosions, tire screech or beat of your characters heart. In fact, you may just find yourself sitting around looking for those opportune moments just so you can watch them spin wildly. Not that I ever have done. Honest.
The triggers and bumpers are all solidly placed and feel great to use, as do the premium analog sticks that your thumbs will be firmly attached too. Both the bumpers and triggers are very slightly different to those which you’ll find on a standard controller with less angle and much more of a flow to the sweeping lines. Whilst the triggers feel exactly the same to use, the bumpers require less force than usual and although clicking louder than you would expect, are preferable to any others that have passed through my hands.
Thumbstick wise and there is a slight change to the norm with those as well with a secondary internal rim bringing about the grip. Unfortunately the textured outer feel of the official sticks is missing and this does at times mean that during the very intense moments, you may sometimes feel less confident with use. They are certainly not bad, but I’d have preferred to have a bit more grip included.
The large Xbox button which dominates the centre of the controller is also raised higher than standard and whilst this doesn’t do the cosmetics any favours, is actually a more preferably way of running, with a greater feel of control whenever you’re fumbling around in the dark for the big hitter.
Although if I’m honest, fumbling around should be something you never need to do as the Afterglow Prismatic controller can, if required, brighten up even the darkest of rooms. A quick press of a newly placed button on the rear allows you to choose virtually any colour you desire for your controller. With an LED strip covering the internal perimeter of the controller, a move with the left and right sticks gives you the chance to light these LEDs up to your liking, having them as bright, or as dull as you should wish with every colour under the sun seemingly being available for selection. It’s a stunning party trick and something that everyone will want to play around with at least a few times.
A couple of presses of the new rear mounted button brings about the customiable features of the Prismatic controller. Two multi functional wheels on the rear gives you the chance to set up to six different actions. Whether you fancy throwing the LB button onto an up movememt of the left dial, or place the menu action on the down stroke of the right, the choice is yours and is easily enabled. Personally, as I miserably stated near the beginning of this piece, I’d prefer to keep my buttons and configuration simple and no matter how many times I mapped an action to these new wheels, I either forgot to use them, or just found it easier to use the standard buttons. I can however fully see the draw of these for those who need to be able to mod their controller and the wheels are easily accessible and quick to act. Sometimes a little too quick to act as I frequently found out to my cost as I would hit them accidentally at the most inopportune of moments. Perhaps I’ve got big hands, or perhaps I’m clumsy, but I’d personally like to see the dials moved up and inwards slightly in order to cut down on the issues.
A third press of the new magical PDP button allows for even more customisation. Admittedly this will probably be your least used changes but the option to turn the rumble and impulse LEDs on and off is a nice touch. I’m not really sure why anyone would want less feedback though.
Overall then and the PDP Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One is a more than capable alternative to your boring standard controller. The 10ft long USB cable which is included ensures that you don’t need to sit too close to your Xbox for it to work, but it does mean that those pesky kids and pets will just have to be locked away somewhere safe. The standard 3.5mm audio jack also means that you can connect any standard headset to it without fear of needing adapters or the like.
If you need something to show off to your friends, the PDP Afterglow Prismatic controller should be one of the first things you pick up, but if you’re a bit of a loner who is just in need of a controller in order to participate in your latest session, then I still think something wireless would be the better call. Unfortunatley in this case, I’m firmly sat in the latter camp and although I’ll continue to drag out the Prismatic every now and then, I can’t see it ever ruling the roost over my wireless offerings.
A wireless Afterglow Prismatic controller? Now that would be the star on top of the ever bright tree.
Related: Unboxing the PDP Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One