Players: | Release Date: 05/12/17 | Genre: Accessory
For quite some time now Accessory makers have been striving to make a wireless controller that looked, played, and felt as nice as the original First Party controller that ships with your console. Up until Nintendo released the Wavebird, all have failed to deliver in all of these areas. In fact, I would go as far to say that Third Party controllers look, feel, and play so much worse than that First Party ones that you can't justify the savings in cost. That is until Logitech decided to try their luck at their own wireless controller.
First off, my review may require some comparisons to the Wavebird. I understand that the Wavebird is an official First Party controller and Logitech's Cordless Action PS2 controller is only a licensed Third Party controller on the PS2, however, Nintendo has done what nobody has ever succeeded in doing... that is, make a wireless controller as good as the original. I also understand that by making such comparisons we will be talking about a controller that is available on the PS2 versus a controller that is on the GameCube.
I must also point out that the Logitech Cordless Action PS2 Controller is not the first time Logitech has tried to create a wireless controller for the PlayStation 2. Their first attempt resulted in a unit that was very large, required double the amount of batteries, had questionable reliability, felt cheap, and ended up breaking quite often. Since the product paled heavily in comparison with Nintendo's Wavebird, the company went back to the drawing board, decreased the number of batteries to two, improved the size and shape, made sure the unit was durable, and released it for nearly half of what their first one cost. The results are astounding.
One thing Nintendo claimed about their Wavebird is how far away you could be and still use the controller no matter how many objects were in your way. We put this to the test in our review and found that the distance they gave was very conservative. I could get so far away from the TV and still control the action perfectly. While Logitech hasn't stressed this like Nintendo did, I have had no connectivity problems whatsoever with my Cordless Action Controller. In fact, getting a signal is as simple as plugging in the receiver in the controller port and then hitting a button on the controller. There are no on off switches like on the Wavebird. This is both a good and bad thing. On the Wavebird, I constantly worry about people leaving on the controller for an extended period of time and wearing down the batteries because they forgot to switch it off. With the Cordless Action PS2 controller, if someone doesn't use the controller for five minutes, it will shut off. To turn it back on, you simply must hit the connect button on the controller once again.
Okay so the connection is great but how does it feel in your hands? Surprisingly the controller feels as good as or better than the normal PS2 Dual Shock controller. Yes, you read that right. And trust me when I say that I have never felt a Third Party controller that felt this good in my hands. Now I must say that I overall like the feel of the Wavebird better. Part of that is probably due to the fact that the Wavebird is from Nintendo. However, I must admit that personal preference has more to do with it. Either way, the Logtiech Cordless Action PS2 controller is as comfortable of a controller as you will find on the console.
Another area where Third Party controllers usually fall short is on the D-Pad and Analog Thumb Sticks. Again, this is personal preference but I prefer the D-Pad and Analog sticks on my Dual Shock 2 PS2 controller over the Logitech one. That said, the D-Pad and Analog sticks are the best I have seen on a non Sony PS2 controller. I found that the D-Pad seems very loose and just doesn't have the feel that I am accustomed to. This could be something that just takes more time for me to get used to though. The D-Pad responds very well and since I can bypass any cords, I am willing to overlook this. The Analog Thumb Sticks are something hard to look past since most games utilize them so much. The Logitech ones are just a little bit loose for my liking. Some gamers may find this to be more beneficial since it does allow for players to move characters on screen with more precise slow movements than the Sony branded controllers. Despite my nagging comments on both the D-Pad and Analog Thumb Sticks, I have been able to use them with no problems. Does this mean I will start liking looser Thumb Sticks in the future more than stiffer ones? Probably not but this will end up being a personal preference issue.
The buttons on the Logtiech Cordless Action PS2 Controller appear to respond better and are raised up more than on my Sony Dual Shock 2. I found that using the buttons was a much more enjoyable experience on the Logitech controller. Things just seem to respond better on screen. All buttons are the same size as the Sony's Dual Shock 2 with the exception of the L1 and R1 buttons which are much larger.
For the record, since the Wavebird is First party, all buttons and Analog Sticks feel and behave just like the original controller.
Battery life is one of the Wavebird's strongest selling points. However, it lacks a rumble feature. This is a shame and I feel Nintendo should revisit their Wavebird to add a rumble option in there. Logitech offers great battery life with or without a rumble feature. Players can expect to receive 50 hours of gameplay on two double A batteries and around 100 hours of battery life when playing without the rumble feature on. This puts the controller on the same level as the Wavebird in terms of battery life. Logitech has really succeeded with this aspect of the controller.
Overall, for $39.99 and coming to retail with an Official Sony branded License on the box, the Logitech Cordless Action PS2 Controller is a must buy. In fact, if you play a lot of multiplayer games on your PS2, I would highly recommend picking up two of these things. For the price and performance you get, you won't find a better PS2 controller unless Sony decides to make their own. But when the Logitech Cordless Action PS2 Controller is this good, why would they want to even try?