Getting a third-party controller over the standard hardware is always a gamble but the Mad Catz Major League Gaming Pro Circuit Controller doesn’t get much wrong. It is solid, customizable and arguably one of the best put together controllers out there.
It’s the small things in life that count and this is where this controller excels. If you have a specific preference regarding the traditional PS3 or 360 controllers chances are that you can custom fit them to the MLG Pro Circuit Controller.
A drawback of the controller would be that the traditional battery pack has been replaced. That’s right, the MLG Pro Circuit Controller isn’t wireless. Is this necessarily a bad thing? Not really. Competitive gamers generally don’t like wireless controllers because pairing these controllers becomes a burden in competition venues which have numerous consoles. The battery pack has been replaced with a well-constructed weight compartment, which can hold two 35 gram weights. The weights add comfort to the controller and really improves your overall experience. If you prefer a bulkier controller that is. If not, simply remove them and voilà – back to the normal weight. The braided cable connects into your console’s USB port and with a 3 meter long length you quickly forget that you are even plugged in at all.
The controller’s analogue and direction pads can be moved and replaced to suit your preferences. This is probably the stand-out feature, there is nothing quite like mixing and matching PS3-style pads with 360 pads and positioning them however you like.
The downside is the hefty price tag. While one can understand why the price is an extravagant R1299 it is generally too much for the average gamer to fork out for what many will claim to be an unnecessary upgrade. The package includes the 3 meter USB cable, custom weights, two 360 style and two PS3-style analogue stick modules, two d-pad modules (one PS3 and one 360), and two sets of custom faceplates, one gloss and one matte finish. All of these add-ons fit snugly in a padded carrying case. The only other issue is that if you buy the 360 version you will also need to purchase a PS3 version if you are a multi-platform gamer as they are not cross-platform compatible.
Overall Mad Catz have developed an extraordinary piece of hardware. The design is standard enough to feel like a traditional controller but customizable enough to meet any gamer’s needs. Had the controller been only R300 more expensive than the regular controllers it would be an absolute must-have. Unfortunately the price tag as it is will leave a ghastly void in the pockets of gamers.