Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller Review: From The Perspective Of A PS3 Gamer

The Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller is, as far as I know, the first of its kind. A controller completely customizable and wired for professional gaming and tournament play is seemingly the ultimate console hardware accessory, but does the Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller live up to the hype for a PS3 gamer that’s gaming on the Xbox 360?

Let me start off by saying that I’m predominantly a PS3 gamer. Due to unfortunate circumstances (YLOD), I’ve been forced to do the majority of my gaming on the Xbox 360 as of late. This generally isn’t an issue as I don’t mind the 360 controller for most FPS or RPGs, but I’m a big fighting game fan and the standard 360 controller just doesn’t cut it. There is a clear consensus that the D-Pad is vastly inferior and the trigger buttons don’t do much to help with move execution.

That being said, I figured the Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller would be the answer to all of my problems. I didn’t feel like spending the $300 to purchase a whole new PS3 console because there aren’t any exclusive games I want in the near future, so a controller that can emulate the PS3 on the Xbox 360 would be the perfect alternative. The controller is $100 but still less expensive than buying a new console so I figured I’d give it a chance.



Presentation

As soon as I received the controller the first thing I praised was the box itself. It’s very sturdy and stylish and comes with a decorative sleeve. The box splits open in the middle similar to a book. On one end there is the controller assembled to resemble the Xbox 360 set up, and on the other end there are the additional analog sticks and the alternative d-pad.

Under the controller there is a travel bag with two Velcro dividers (even the bag is customizable :)) and the USB cord that connects the controller to the console. There is also some plug that I’m assuming has something to do with a headset but unfortunately I didn’t use it so I have no idea what this is for.

Hardware & Customization

(i know this is the ps3 version sorry :()

First off, the controller feels very similar in shape to the Xbox 360, although the material is definitely of a higher quality. The back of the controller is made of a soft plastic that has a very nice feel. Since this is a wired controller in the area where the battery would normally go there is a weighted cartridge with two 35 gram blocks. The controller with both blocks in is very heavy but feels strong, even with both blocks removed the controller is about the weight of a standard 360 controller.

The front is magnetic which makes changing face plates very painless and yet surprisingly it keeps them very secure. You get two D-Pad modules and 4 analog stick modules which can be placed in any way you desire. All of these feel very durable and are easily installed. To install you simply match up an icon on the module to the icon on the controller and then turn clockwise until you hear it click into place. To take them out you turn counterclockwise and lift up, simple.

Functionality

The first thing I did was set the controller to the exact specifications of a PS3 controller. During the unboxing I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to plug the controller in and play some Super Street Fighter IV, unfortunately as soon as I did I was met with a few issues. When I first started playing I noticed that sometimes my character would move in a direction other than what I had pressed. For example, if i moved forward my character would jump forward without me ever pressing up on the D-pad. This would happen in just about every direction occasionally. After some reading I discovered that this error exists within a large amount of the Xbox 360 versions of the controller and specifically the PS3 version of the D-Pad (the only reason i wanted the controller in the first place). Mad Catz will replace the D-Pad for free if you’re under warranty but judging from the MLG forums they have horrible response times and generally bad customer service.

I figured I’d give it a go with COD just to see how it felt and the first thing I noticed was the analog sticks were extremely sensitive, you go from zero to full speed almost immediately. Mad Catz claims this is because the firmware they use is different than the firmware in the actual Microsoft Xbox 360 controllers. There are no plans to fix this. There are a few other connectivity issues I’ve read about but I personally have not experienced any of these but to be fair I haven’t used the controller long enough.


Conclusion

Should you buy this controller? Maybe. If you are an Xbox 360 fan looking for another Xbox 360 controller then I would say yes, this is a very good controller. Worth the $100? I’m not sure. The quality is very high but at $100 I just couldn’t recommend it, a better price point would be $75.

Should you buy this controller if you’re a PS3 fan stranded on the Xbox 360 and looking for salvation? Absolutely Not. All that glitters is not Gold and this controller is proof of that. From a distance this controller is perfect, allowing you to please everybody no matter what their preference, but that just wasn’t the case for me. You want to know what this controller did do for me though? It teased me with the promise of acting like a PS3 controller and didn’t deliver. So much so that I’m returning this controller and putting the money towards a PS3 as soon as possible.

So ultimately… Thank you, Mad Catz. This controller was the push that I needed. Yes, it’s late in the console generation and yes, I already have an Xbox 360 and a year of xbox live, but none of that matters. My gaming needs are not being met. Sony, I’m coming home.

tl;dr i didnt like the controller

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2 Responses to Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Controller Review: From The Perspective Of A PS3 Gamer

  1. Karl Weller says:

    If I were you, I would save for a PS3 as quickly as possible. Perhaps enlist the aid of charitable donations. I’m sure Sony must have somekind of support for people ensnarled by the dark side.

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