Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 Review – Not Quite Unlimited
Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 329th October, 2019
Last year I reviewed two controllers by Nacon, then the hardware division of Bigben Interactive, now the name of the company as a whole. First I reviewed the aptly named Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro, giving ita lofty recommendation. Later, I reviewed the trimmed-down Nacon Asymmetric Wireless Controller, another controller I certainly liked. I'm left in a bit of a jam now because reviewing the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3, I can't help but question how they thought this controller was a good idea when they already had something better.
Let me explain why, because it's not like this is a bad controller. It isn't in any shape or form. The problem comes more with the impossible task of looking at this without thinking and comparing it to the superior, albeit more expensive, Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro. The Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 doesn't stand up well with this comparison if only for one key element and a few minor ones. I need to reiterate myself though, this isn't a bad controller at all and we'll get to that.
First things first, the simple fact is that the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 still comes in at quite a high price. You're going to be paying £90 or $100 for the controller. It's cheaper than the aforementioned Revolution Unlimited Pro, but it's lacking one key feature that helped to make the Pro the outstanding controller it is, as well as a few other aspects that further detract from it. What is this key feature? Wireless.#
Unlike the stock Playstation or Xbox controller or the Revolution Unlimited Pro, this is a purely wired controller. I don't personally mind being using wired controllers, but the feature can certainly prove extremely useful if sitting at a distance or if you're wanting to swap between the PS4 and the PC. When it comes to distance, the cable is 3 metres long so that shouldn't be a real concern at all. It's also a lovely, reasonably thick braided cable so I wouldn't worry about any damage or it getting caught up.
Fortunately, the controller is mostly built to the same level of quality. It's strong and sturdy, I'll give it that, it also features a good level of customisation where you can take off the grips and put weights into the controller to give it that extra bit of weight and oomph, something I still think should now be in every controller. I genuinely love controller with a good weight in my hands, it gives it a presence that the usual light bits of plastic simply don't have.
Speaking of light, I'll talk about lights and other little perks. The LED around the right joystick is both nice to look at as well as being informative, letting you know which setting you have the controller on. There is a distinct lack of features still missing from Nacon's officially licensed controllers though, those being the light bar and controller audio. It does show you which player you are though, a feature Sony dropped from the DualShock 4.
So yes, you get the extra weights as you do with the unlimited, though the accessories and controller aren't exactly made to the same standard. There's no nice plastic carrying case for the weights, you get a cardboard box. Also, there are no further accessories like convex caps for your joysticks. Still, what you do get is a very sturdy case for the package as a whole, which fits in the cardboard box of weights, the controller and the cable.
With the controller, the build is very much what you would expect from a premium outing. It feels strong, with a solid and thick plastic shell that feels like it could take a beating. When it comes to the buttons, they're large and very prominent throughout, being raised reasonably from the shell of the controller. From the face buttons to the shoulder buttons and triggers, you're not going to mistake what you need to press. Well, mostly. It's a problem I didn't bring up with the unlimited but the rear four buttons are actually a little too easy to push.
It all depends on how you grip the controller. What I've found this time around, likely just because of the games I've been playing while using the controller, is that two of the four buttons essentially act as replacements for pressing in the analogue sticks. If you're using it on the PC and assign the buttons to something else though, there's a good chance you'll find yourself lobbing a grenade when not expecting it.
Still, I can't help but really praise the customisation options with the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3. From the weights that help to add a real feel to the controller and then the Nacon software that lets you customise whatever you want across up to four profiles, letting you personalise and perfect each profile to the sort of game you're going to be playing. Even if you don't want to get into it yourself, Nacon has pre-loaded profiles for different use.
I'm writing this review while catching up on the audience-less episodes of Smackdown & Raw. Why do I mention this? I can't help but think that the eerie silence in response to the matches and promos is representative of my feelings towards the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3. This is performing well and extolling its features every time I use it. The problem is that it's getting is a hollow silence back and that silence is deafening.
The reason is simple: I've had better. Better from the same company and better from alternatives. If you pay a little more, you can get the Unlimited Pro. If you pay less, the Asymmetric Wireless. That or you can pay less and get a standard controller by Microsoft of Sony and a wireless or Bluetooth adapter.
So, ultimately, what do you do? Do you pay more for the excellent and still recommended Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro or do you pay less and get what are simply regular controllers or a cheaper alternative by Nacon? Despite the positives that come with the Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3, either of those is recommended unless you can get this on offer at £70 or less.
Sample provided by Nacon for review purposes.
The Nacon Revolution Pro Controller 3 is, without any shadow of a doubt, a good controller when taken away from the context of its price and comparison towards the superior 'unlimited' variety from Nacon. It's durable, comfortable, weighty, customisable and mostly a great controller to use. However, with a high price point for a controller tied into wired use is a huge detractor for general use, particularly when controllers from all sides simply offer more.
- Looks and feels great and mostly easy to use
- Comfortable to use, with good button and trigger placement
- Great customisation options with multiple profiles
- Responsive and accurate as standard, can be improved via customisation
- No wireless functionality
- No lightbar or controller audio
- The price, when considering the features and alternatives