For many years my gaming has been split between three platforms. Nintendo was my first love, allowing me to take my play on the go. The PC took me to different worlds and gave me a taste for multiplayer and for strategy. Sony pulled me back into gaming in my teens, showing me that shooters could, in fact, work on consoles; with the right controller.
Despite most of my time now being spent on the Switch, I’ve still got a huge soft spot for Sony’s Dualshock design. Two sticks, both at the same height; it just makes sense. However, a big issue I’ve always had with the DS4 is the sheer price of one. Your choice was always simple; either buy something hugely inferior or pony up the Dolla Dolla and get a quality product.
However – as I mentioned in my review of the WX4 – with Gioteck’s release of their new line of controllers we may be seeing a cost-effective yet quality set of products to rival the pretenders. THE VX4 Wireless Controller combines the sleek design of Sony’s flagship DS4 with a somewhat XBOX-esk silhouette and Gioteck’s usual seal of quality to create something truly unique.
Of course – like it’s brother the WX4 – the first thing you notice about the VX4 is the packaging; a sleek, professional look gives this mid-range product a veneer of professionalism. It looks the part and stands out from shelves with an attractive off-cuboid box. Opening it up, you find a charging wire (micro-USB; a little outdated but at least it’s a standardised lead,) and the controller itself. As you often find with gaming controllers, the WX4 has a pitch-black finish to its matt, textured plastic. The overall look combines the layout of a PS controller with the width of the Xbox One controller but also throws some unique twists – extended triggers and dot-printed buttons. Everything fits nicely in the hand and allows the player to find everything without looking.
The controller features a proper d-pad and rubberised analogue sticks which help with fine control. The options and share buttons sit on either side of the large touchpad button; which has been reshaped into a trapezium. The bezel guides the fingers back to the main area. A turbo button has been added beneath the home button which can be incredibly useful for burst shots in shooters. Overall the design is well realised, even if it does feel simultaneously chunkier and less substantial than the original PS4 controller. As I have mentioned before, I expect a certain weight from a controller and yet again the VX4 just doesn’t feel quite heavy enough for what it is.
This is likely to do with some of the material choices of the controller. Whilst the buttons generally feel of high quality, the glossy nubs on the ends of each controller corner feel cheap in comparison to the quite luxurious textured plastic around the rest of the controller. The sticks have a gorgeous feel to them and are just soft enough, yet the lack of texture on the ends of them could make it tricky to navigate accurately. The controller also comes with a silver sticker on the back with part and model info; something which could have been easily designed to be less noticeable and cheap-looking. Like on my WX4, on mine, the sticker wasn’t even aligned properly.
The controller is advertised as being compatible with both PS4 and PC, though I have had some struggles pairing it to my desktop. Whilst I suspect this could just be my PC, it’s worth considering if your primary concern is PC compatibility. It did pair very easily with my PS4 however, and I’m happy to say the range was pretty impressive considering the third-party nature of the controller. In terms of functionality, the VX4 has rumble, an audio jack and turbo functionality, but seems to be missing touch controls and gyro. I hope I’m mistaken, but as these are barely-used features for most PS4 games you could argue it’s on par with the DS4 itself.
Overall, whilst it doesn’t replace my trusty DS4, it’s a solid alternative for those who want an experience closer to an Xbox player or who prefer not to pay stupid money for an extra controller. The sticks and buttons are accurate and solidly built, and whilst I have a few build-quality concerns the design does lend itself well to those who want the benefits of turbo and chunk-friendly triggers. For £25, you won’t find a better controller to sling to your player 2.
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