If you grew up gaming in the 90’s, you are more than aware of Mad Catz accessories. I personally have memories of playing Mario Kart 64 and Goldeneye with friends, unfortunately leaving the 3rd party Mad Catz controller for whoever showed up late. Mad Catz had a notoriously wonky reputation while growing up, but they have recognized that and have provided more than enough reasons to reconsider Mad Catz as your new number one source for a great controller.
During PAX 2011 Mad Catz had a strong presence on the show floor with a variety of new fighting sticks, and console controllers that were designed to cater to the first person shooter fan. During my playtime at their booth, I actually purchased one of the controllers that was set up on the Gears of War 3 horde station. I immediately fell in love with the tension on the joysticks, and more or less was just happy to see that Mad Catz finally had a controller worth swapping my first party controller for. After purchasing a few at an incredible deal, I was informed that in the upcoming months (now) Mad Catz was releasing an MLG edition controller that would be compatible with both PS3 and 360.
Not only was this controller going to be compatible with both consoles, it would actually allow you to customize the layout of the joysticks and directional pads to suite your preference. Immediately I could see the potential of such a great idea. Finally I could have the joystick layout of my 360 controllers while still enjoying my PS3 games. I personally have never been a fan of the weight and joystick layout on the PS3, so there are plenty of titles I have not given enough attention to, due to discomfort. This controller seems to be bridging the gap between brands, and is more or less just trying to provide the gamer with comfort, quality, and variety.
This MLG edition Mad Catz controller seems to have it all. After being rigorously tested and altered by the MLG community (both pro players and community members) this controller has finally been released online. It can be found right now at Amazon.com, or head over to the Mad Catz website and order right from there (link at the bottom.)
At this point I have not laid hands on this beauty, as I am waiting for my order. This has not stopped me from dissecting all of the wonderful features this controller has in store. This controller screams “Customize Me!” from changeable face plates depending on whether you prefer a gloss or matte finish, interchangeable joysticks (both convex and concave), and alternate D-Pads, because we all know the PS3 has a better D-Pad. This controller even has a weight pack that can be clipped on the back to ensure your controller has the appropriate balance in your hand. This is a great feature for those who like the weight of a battery pack in their hands when they are gaming. Keep in mind this is a wired controller, so they naturally are a bit lighter. The cable, although is detachable, is quite short. This controller was built with competition in mind so a long cable is not necessary. Generally a pro gamer will be sitting only a few meters from their screen so this shouldn’t be an issue. This contoller comes with a carrying case and all components ready to swap right out of the package.
This may seem like a lot for a console controller, but it is time that someone took the time to cater to all of the little nuances that only a serious gamer would point out. I am glad to see the Mad Catz has the core gamer in mind, and was prepared to make some radical changes from how they conducted business in the past. No longer are they the cheap alternative; they are actually now higher end. The MLG edition controller comes in at a whopping $99, but considering the quality and customization I think their rate is more than fair.
Posted below is an unboxing video that MLG staff did at their Head Quarters. They seem totally pumped with their final product, and I cannot wait to try it myself. Hopefully you have enjoyed this preview; I figured it was time to give Mad Catz the respect they deserve.