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.
Where can I find info on the new xbox controller you mention? Also – thanks for the heads up about the weapon change in fallout. I had no idea!
You can check out the Evil website for info and pricing and such. I seem to be unable to add the website in the comments, but there are links at the end of the story. We’re also hoping to have a review up in not too long – I can’t wait to try this out!
You know, as most games now make use of the analogue sticks, and the d-pad is only used, as you said, for stuff like weapon selection, they ought to just reduce it to a NES style D-pad.
I like the XBox 360 controller mainly because I can use it on my PC as well. But I think I prefer the PS3 controller – maybe just because I am so used to the PSX and PS2 controllers. It makes for a slightly different type of gameplay, but with games such as Katamari and the Dragonball games, I prefer the PS3. For RPGs, like Fable, Tales of Vesperia and Eternal Senatra, I prefer the XBox controller. It just seems that the PS3 is better for percission stuff, whereas the XBox is more ergonomic and works better for games that you spend hours at a time at.
Patrick A Crone
Microsoft already has a first party solution for their crummy D-pad. The newest version of the 360 controller has a “transforming” D-pad that you twist to go from the standard D-pad to a 4 point directional pad. It retails for $64.99 w/plug and charge kit. Here’s the Gamestop link: http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=84175
Did you really just post a gamestop link for Dick to look at? 😉
This looks tempting, but $65 for a controller seems high to me. I desperately need a new one – my battery pack has been on the brink pretty much since I bought the thing, but I will definately wait for it to come down in price, or a third party solution that is under $40
Patrick A Crone
It’s still cheaper than the Evil wireless controller and you do get the Play and Charge kit with it. As for waiting for it to go down in price, good luck. Microsoft has kept their prices pretty much the same since launch.
Naah, Msoft is pretty good about controller pricing, it’s just that retail stores don’t pass on the savings. You can find em new for $36 on Amazon and a few months ago they were as low as $27. PS3 controllers on the other hand…
I’ve seen it but I haven’t had a chance to go hands on yet. Once pay day rolls around I’ll have to pick up that and the Razer option and do a comparison between the three new D-pads.
Seems like a cool controller, but what about on games like Fallout and Oblivion where you can assign “hotkey” functions to the additional 4 diagonal directions? Seems like Msoft’s controller is a better compromise since you have both and can just set it which mode you need.