Controllers can be an unfortunate but necessary expense for hardcore gamers. Take the PlayStation's DualShock 3: fresh out of the box - the analog sticks are sticky and responsive. But over time, these sticks are the first to go. At a retail price of $54.99, a new DualShock 3 can be a killer on your wallet. But there's a new controller in town - one that only costs $20 bucks - Nyko's Core controller for the PlayStation 3.
First things first - there are drawbacks to the Nyko Core. It's hard wired like the old PS2 controllers of yesterday. The Nyko has a nine-foot long cord - which sounds like a lot, until you hook it up. Unfortunately, my couch is 11 feet from my 52-inch Samsung LCD - so gamers with large, shiny TVs may need to find other temporary seats that are closer to their big screens. The closer setting took some getting used to. It's kind of like being late to a movie and being forced to sit in the front row.
Another requirement for the corded controller is a an empty USB slot. Sure, it doesn't sound like a big deal, but some gamers only have two USB ports on the front of their newer generation PS3s (like the recent PS3 Slim). Chances are, one of those USBs is already being used by an external backup hard drive, controller charger, or USB dongle for things like a DJ Hero controller. So gamers may need to shuffle some items in the front of their PS3s before using the Nyko Core.
Of course, there's a plus to being corded. You never need to charge the Nyko, which makes it a more than suitable emergency replacement, when your DualShock 3 needs recharging. That is, if you still have an empty USB port to begin the recharging process.
The final drawback - is the lack of Sixaxis support. There's no Sixaxis inside the Nyko. That means games like Heavy Rain or Uncharted 2 can't be played to their full potential. Not a big deal by any means - but again most PS3 owners have these Sony exclusives.
Fortunately, there's plenty to like about the Nyko Core besides the $19.99 price point. The Core is slightly bigger than the DualShock 3 which will be welcome to gamers with larger hands like yours truly.
Also a wonderful touch - the L2 and R2 buttons. They're trigger insets which feel much more comfortable the DualShock 3. For gamers looking for triggers like the Xbox 360 controller, you'll want to try the Nyko Core. This was a huge difference on racers like Split/Second. Accelerating and braking during drifts and turns felt smooth with the Nyko Core and the deeper L2/R2 triggers.
Next up - was the Medal of Honor beta. The Nyko's analog sticks felt a little wider spaced than the DualShock 3. And the clicks of the analog sticks took getting used to, during sprints and knife attacks. But after a while, my kill-to-death ratio was right back to its typical (embarrassingly low) level.
So is the Nyko Core worth a purchase? It depends on what you're looking for. For an emergency controller in the heat of the moment - it works great. It's also perfect for having around the house for the extra friends who come over for NHL 10 multi-player.
Nyko's feel might even be preferred to those who like the Xbox 360 controller's deeper triggers. For $19.99, you can also pick up a pair of Nyko's for the price of one DualShock 3. Just do yourself a favor and count the number of USB ports on the front of your PS3 and measure the distance from your console to the couch.
Final Game Guys Grade: B+
-Kevin Durawa email@example.com