This is the gamepad that comes bundled for free with GeForce 7800 GTX from XFX, which we have already reviewed. Its layout is similar to Playstation 2 controllers, with two analog sticks, one digital pad, eight buttons, vibrating mode, macro mode, turbo mode and three shortcut buttons (select, start and clear). It uses USB connection and it comes with a very long 10-feet (3 meters) cable.
When you install it on an USB port of your computer, it starts to glow in a green light.
As you can see on the pictures above, four buttons are on the top of the gamepad, and four buttons are on its back, for a total of eight buttons. You will also find six extra buttons:
- Mode: Turns the vibrating mode on or off.
- Macro: Turns the macro mode on or off. With this function you can create a shortcut on one of the gamepad’s button to repeat up to 15 commands. Excellent for those games with strange key sequences to awesome moves (this remembers me my Mortal Kombat days).
- Turbo: Turn on the turbo mode, which allows the controller to repeat fire commands by itself.
- Clear: Clears the programming.
- Select: Used in some games.
- Start: Used in some games.
The configuration software that comes with this gamepad is very interesting. Let’s talk about it.
[nextpage title=”Configuration Software”]
After physically installing the gamepad to your PC, you should install the software that comes with it. It will be minimized on your system tray, double click on it and you see the screen shown in Figure 5. You will find five tabs, let’s talk about each one.
Here you can enable the vibrating function by enabling the “Dual Shock Enable” box. Notice that in order to use this function, you have to press the “Mode” button on the gamepad and make sure this button is lit.
At this tab you can also calibrate your gamepad and make other configurations as you can see in Figure 5.
At this tab you can configure each one of the gamepad’s button to behave like a keyboard command. This is very useful specially in old games that don’t recognize all buttons of your gamepad: you can program the buttons of the gamepad to behave like your preferred keyboard commands.
Direction Pad, Analog Stick Tab
Same idea as the previous tab, but for the controllers.
Show all programmed macros.
That’s a really neat feature. Here you can save the configuration you’ve made into a file, so you can load it again next time you want to play that particular game that requires all the configurations you’ve made.
[nextpage title=”Main Specifications”]
- Playstation 2-like layout.
- Eight buttons, four on the top of the gamepad, four on its back.
- Select and start buttons.
- One digital directional pad.
- Two analog directional controllers.
- Dual-vibration feature, enabled by pressing the “Mode” button.
- 15-step macro function.
- Turbo mode for automatic fire repetition.
- 10-feet (3 meters) cable.
- USB connection.
- More Information: https://www.xfxforce.com/web/product/listConfigurationDetails.jspa?productConfigurationId=1069
- Price: It comes for free if you buy XFX’s GeForce 7800 GTX, but its suggested retail price is of USD 39.99.
The rubber that covers this controller is very good, making this gamepad very comfortable to hold. To test its vibrating function, we played Need for Speed: High Stakes and every time we reached the grass or passed over subtle bumps on the road the gamepad vibrated according. It was very comfortable and a lot of fun playing with this gamepad.
Since its fully programmable, you can play any game you like, since you can program its buttons to behave as keyboard keys.
As we said, this game controller comes for free with XFX GeForce 7800 GTX. A piece of advice: we’ve seen some stores not mentioning this free gamepad. Maybe they (or their distributor) are taking the gamepad off from the bundle and trying to sell it separately. According to XFX, they don’t sell this video card to the distributors without the free gamepad, so we think it is your right to get it from free from the store you are buying your XFX GeForce 7800 GTX. ZipZoomFly, TigerDirect and New Egg are three online stores we know that are correctly offering this bundle.
But you can buy this gamepad on the retail market as well, for USD 40, which we think it is a fair price for this product. We think this is a great product and you please even the most hardcore gamer.