Review: Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo (PS3/PC)

Review: Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo (PS3/PC)

You know, for the most part, I’m a modifier kind of guy. When I had my 5th Gen Honda Prelude, I upgraded the intake, the springs, the ECU, the sound system, and more. When I got my first iPhone, it was jailbroken post haste, and each iteration has been ever since (going on four years, now). When I buy a computer, it comes in individual pieces that I put together to my heart’s content. I generally don’t go for the out-of-the-box experience, and recently that’s started being the case for consoles as well. Our 250GB hard drive for the Xbox 360S in the other room is third party, and was a third of the price, and I’ve had my eye on a few other third-party peripherals and accessories for quite some time. One thing that came to my attention recently was the Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo for PS3 and PC.

The controller functions as a controller should function. The buttons work, the joysticks work, the directional pad work, the trigger works, etc. The basic purpose of the controller is to function as…a controller. It does this successfully.

While it is successful in its functionality, it is less successful in its design.

The first thing I noticed when I took out the Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo was that it seemed like someone had scratched up the buttons and the grip. It was after looking at the picture on the packaging that I realized the design was intentional. The symbols on the four action buttons are identical to the Playstation controller’s symbols, except they seem like they’ve been scratched at with a razorblade until parts have come off. I assume this is because the Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo is not an officially licensed Playstation product, so the exact symbols in the exact locations couldn’t be used without some sort of modification. I understand the reason for it, but it just looks kind of junky. Unique symbols would have served the design much better, in my opinion, though again I can also understand how having similar symbols as reference points is beneficial.

When holding the controller, the slightly thicker and elongated wings feel better in my hands than the standard PS3 controller, and feels more akin to the Xbox 360 controller, which is my controller (and console) of choice. This makes the Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo a good option for those who prefer the 360 controller to the PS3 controller, or would like something with a bit of a larger grip. The problem with the physical dimensions of the controller, however, become evident in the triggers. If you’re gripping without resting your fingers on the triggers, you’re going to end up bumping your knuckles into the overextended frame of the controller. In this day and age, it should be very rare that your index or middle fingers aren’t resting on the triggers at all times, but some people find the grip comfortable, and will not like the design of this hardware.

The controller comes fully uncharged, and requires four hours of charging before it can be used. Well, that shouldn’t be a problem…just plug it into the supplied charging cable and…wait, what was that? Oh, it doesn’t come with a charging cable or replaceable batteries (with replaceable batteries being less of a negative, due to PS3 controllers having the same lack of option)? Well then, I hope you don’t have to use the PS3’s included charging cable for anything else at the same time. A charging cable should have been provided with the controller so that at all times there is a charging cable for each rechargeable device.

Last, but not least, is the lack of native connectivity to the PS3. The Subsonic Pro Controller Fluo comes with a fairly bulky USB dongle that is required to connect to either the PS3 or PC. Similarly to the lack of a recharging cable, you better hope that you won’t have to use multiple USB devices simultaneously with this controller, because it will become very tight and inconvenient.

The design is somewhat more comfortable than a standard PS3 controller, but still has flaws. The symbols look damaged, but are meant to be reference points for PS3 players. The controller comes uncharged and fails to provide a charging cable. You’re unable to connect the controller to your console or PC without use of a (thankfully provided) USB dongle. However, once you get past the annoyances, both minor and major, caused by this controller, it has one major purpose: to function as a controller. In this, it is successful. Is it worth $39.99? If you like your PS3, but prefer a bit of a thicker controller for your grip, then maybe. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to a second PS3 controller, spend the extra and get a PS3 controller.

Review

ProsCons
It functions like a controller should function
Decent grip
No recharge cable
Requires USB dongle to connect
Occasionally uncomfortable triggers
Rating
65 out of 100
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