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Mad Catz MLG Pro Circuit Xbox 360 Controller

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A professional-grade gamepad like this separates the wheat from the chaff, but I find myself firmly entrenched amongst the latter. The buttons feel great, being suitably responsive and giving a nice, audible clack when they’re pressed. Swapping the controller’s inputs around is nice, albeit a bit gimmicky -- I swapped the positions of the left analog and directional pad, but I don’t see much use in ever moving them around much. Ditto for the multitude of controller input options; I stuck with the standard Xbox 360 offerings, but new options released later on could be neat, if only for their cosmetic value.

Lots to like. But I kept finding my attention drawn back to that cable, arguably the controller’s raison d’être. I get it: a wired connection to the console will all but eliminate perceived latency, and that’s oh-so important for serious gamers. And while I’d never dream of depending on a wireless connection to get my PC or console connected to the internet, when it comes to console controls I just don’t care. While camped out on the couch I tend to flop about in all manner of un-ergonomic poses, and that wired connection added a bit of extra weight in just the wrong place. It’s a distraction -- my insect-brain wants to focus on maintaining that perfect line in Pac-Man CE DX, but I’m thinking about keeping the controller upright, to cut down on the cable’s drag. It’s a fine controller, but give me wireless any day -- we’ll just blame my horrific Gears of War kill-to-death ratio on controller latency.

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