We’ve been struggling far too long with an inferior D-pad on the Xbox 360. Microsoft has a solution hitting shelves soon, but the folks at Evil are taking things in a different direction.
I’m one of those who believe that the Xbox 360 controller is one of the greatest ever made for a console. It fits in my hands comfortably, I rarely get fatigue, and the alignment of the analog sticks makes First Person Shooters playable on a console for the first time ever.
I’d be ready to just come out and call it perfect were it not for the fact that it’s got one of the worst directional pads ever made. If you’ve played a game that relies on diagonal D-pad movement, like ‘Street Fighter IV’ or even the way that ‘Fallout 3′ does for weapon selection, you’ve probably experienced this.
The reason goes farther than simply the controller design of the 360. It cuts to the core of controller design. The Xbox 360, like most if not all game controllers, uses an axis directional pad. This design results in mistaken inputs and an inaccurate mode of entry.
Evil’s solution is simple – reduce the D-pad to its most basic form. At the heart of any direction pad are four buttons, and that’s what Evil’s new controller features instead of the traditional D-pad.
It’s incredibly unconventional, but it looks like something that could work very well. Since you’re dealing with buttons instead of a clunky directional pad, there’s no chance of the controller doing something you don’t want it to.
You can order a wired version of the Evil D-Pad controller for $55, while the wireless will run $75. You can also get the Evil D-Pad as an $24 option for any of the other custom gamepads offered by Evil.