Since the birth of the Nintendo Switch, many peripheral manufacturers have attempted to create a rival to Ninty’s own Pro Controller. The main issue I’ve traditionally found however is simply the general lack of features; where the Pro has HDRumble, most others stick to the classic “dumb” rumble. Whilst both the Joy-cons (Eww, that name…) have motion/gyro sensors inbuilt, most non-Ninty products forgo it for a lower price. This isn’t to mention build quality, weightiness, battery life, wireless etc.
However, with Gioteck’s release of their new line of controllers, we may be seeing a cost-effective yet quality product to rival the pretenders. The Wireless Controller combines classic design principles with Gioteck’s quality parts and comes together to make a somewhat unique controller.
Of course, the first thing you notice about the Gioteck WX4 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 (if strange) 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 Opening it up, you find a charging wire (micro-USB; a little outdated but at least it’s a standardised lead,) and the controller itself.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 is more reminiscent of Xbox One controllers than the pro due to the jutting trigger edges and the colouration of the X, Y, A and B buttons, but it’s certainly a unique design despite its standard button layout.
Like the Pro, it includes a proper D-Pad and tall, textured analogue sticks which help with navigation during long sessions. The plus and minus buttons sit below the shiny, indented Gioteck Logo centrally on the pad, with a wide home button below. A notable difference from the Pro Controller is the missing screenshot button, which has been replaced with the turbo button between the right stick and the D-Pad. Other changes to the design include extended R2 and L2 triggers which jut out of the controller quite prominently and really help my chunky fingers to control them accurately. Overall the design as a whole is a delight which looks as good as any first-party controller and fits nicely in the hand. In terms of ergonomics I have very few quibbles – it fits well in my grip – though it does sometimes feel a little too light for comfort. I’ve gotten used to a certain weight and for some reason, it just doesn’t feel as substantial is it should do; and unfortunately, this isn’t the only little niggle I have.
Whilst the buttons generally feel of high quality, at times other parts of the device seem a little “budget.” The controllers end in a pair of glossy nubs, but these feel somewhat cheap in comparison to the rest of the plastic. The sticks also feel a little too hard – despite the rubberising finish – leading to a lower-quality texture. Finally, the controller 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. On mine, the sticker wasn’t even aligned properly.
I can also report some issues with the D-PAD itself, and whilst I’m unsure if this was just the unit I was sent or a wider issue there was some noticeable inaccuracy with the limits of the part; especially when pushing “down.” There seems to be some inconsistency with the manufacturing process at present as far as I can tell, so it’s something that’s worth bearing in mind.
In terms of functionality then, the Gioteck WX4 has most of the features you’d hope for; motion, rumble. It even has basic turbo functionality mapped to a button also used to screenshot. Granted, these aren’t a match for the superior HD rumble and gyro, but for a controller of this price to include them is quite a shock. In addition, the WX4 functions entirely wirelessly and has excellent battery life. The pairing of the device was a breeze – and that’s a rare thing to be able to say!
Whilst I still prefer my Pro controller overall, the WX4 is a valid alternative for those on a budget. It doesn’t have the same bells and whistles, but for literally half the price here is a (somewhat basic) controller with the benefit of turbo functionality and chunk-friendly triggers. Whilst I do have some concerns about the overall build quality, it’s still above and beyond the third-party offering of yesteryear and well worth the gamble for the Switch owner on a budget. For £25, you’re unlikely to find a better option.
If you are interested in this controller head here.
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