Note: This review only covers the PS3 model of the FUS1ON Tournament Controller.
The Xbox 360’s gamepad is arguably much more superior when it comes to shooting games in particular. So with that in mind, I went out on a quest to find a PS3 gamepad that matched the Xbox 360’s layout design. Unfortunately, the ones I found all suffered from major issues like dead zones, as was the case with PowerA’s Batarang for the Batman: Arkham City game. I bought it, tried it, hated it, and somehow “lost” it. How ironic is it, then, that during my search I would eventually buy (albeit reluctantly) another PowerA product, this time the FUS1ON Tournament Controller, but end up lovin’ it?
An Xbox 360 Gamepad for Your PS3 – Designed to sport a similar look and feel of an Xbox 360 controller, the FUS1ON is definitely well-suited for shooters. (Tested with Killzone 3, Medal of Honor)
Lightweight and Ergonomic – The FUS1ON weighs almost the same as the original PS3 controller and feels comfortable even for those with smaller hands, which my sister can attest to.
Perfect Analog Control – The analog sticks are responsive, accurate, and practically devoid of any dead zone. The heads are concaved instead of convex and are slightly wider in diameter.
Sixaxis Support – Believe it or not, Sixaxis is not always supported by third-party controllers, so it’s nice to know that the FUS1ON’s got you covered. (Tested with Motorstorm, Heavenly Sword)
Soft Bumpers – Unfortunately, there are some PS3 shooters out there that force you to use the bumpers for firing weapons (e.g., the Medal of Honor games). The good news is that the bumpers on the FUS1ON are “soft” enough to make the shooting experience much less frustrating.
Custom Illumination – More of a nightlight if anything. They come in five different flavors: Red, green, blue, purple, and cyan. You press a switch behind the gamepad to toggle them on/off.
Interchangeable Grips – The hand grips on the controller can be customized to suit your needs, though casual gamers will probably not mess with this. Note that the grips need to be screwed in place, but PowerA was kind enough to bundle in a mini-screwdriver for this very reason.
Wired to Win – The durable braided cord connects to one of the PS3’s USB ports, which reduces input latency and alleviates the need to recharge batteries or sync with the PS3 console. The cord is also three meters long so it’s appropriate for most gaming setups at home.
Wrap Your Wrist – The cord wrap apparently can be used as a wristband so you don’t lose it. Nifty.
Protection for Your Investment – At a retail price of $79.99 USD, the FUS1ON Tournament Controller needs to be kept safe, hence the protective travel case it comes with.
Wired to Fail – Unfortunately, wires cause clutter, accidents, and are severely limited in range. Considering the premium price you’re paying for the FUS1ON, why no option for wireless capability?
PCs Unsupported – Like with any PS3 controller, the FUS1ON is incompatible with the PC since it lacks native support. You might circumvent this issue by using third-party software/drivers, however.
Halfway Home – The Home button on the FUS1ON lacks the ability to power up the console, which seems to be an issue shared among all third-party PS3 controllers apparently. Damn, oh well.
Sucks for Fighters – The D-pad feels too “precise” for circular motions and the buttons have a resistance not conducive to executing combos in rapid succession. Honestly, you should be using an arcade stick for fighting games anyway. (Tested with Super Street Fighter IV, Dead or Alive 5)
Eyes on MadCatz – The Major League Gaming (MLG) Pro Circuit Controller by MadCatz rivals the FUS1ON in many ways, like how it allows you to relocate the left analog stick and D-pad to achieve a button layout of either a PS3 or an Xbox 360 controller on one gamepad. In addition, the reversible trigger mode solves the problem of those PS3 shooters forcing you to use the bumpers instead of the triggers for firing weapons (e.g., the Medal of Honor games). But the MLG Pro Circuit Controller has its own pitfalls: stiff analog sticks, sensitivity issues, and a higher retail price ($99.99 USD!)
Premium Pricing – The FUS1ON sells for $79.99 USD. That ain’t cheap. Take time to consider if improving your overall gameplay with shooters on the PS3 is worth the price you’re paying for.
Stumbling upon PowerA’s FUS1ON Tournament Controller was like discovering the holy grail. My overall effectiveness with shooters on the PS3 improved dramatically with it, so it was worth the investment in my opinion. How I managed to play shooters without it is beyond me, seriously. If spending more money floats your boat then feel free to go with a more expensive alternative, such as the MLG Pro Circuit Controller by MadCatz. But as for me, my quest is finally done.
I'm all about what makes a geek a "geek" these days, from comics to anime, and from games to the latest tech. I'm a FIU graduate with a major in Information Technology and a minor in Marketing. As a gamer, and one who doesn't believe in fanboyism, I own multiple platforms to support the gaming industry as a whole.