Geek Revolt

PowerA FUS1ON Tournament Controller Review

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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?

PROS:

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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CONS:

  • 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.

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CONCLUSION:

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.
  • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

    Nice review Edgar! I rarely use third party controllers, but this looks cool. The wires are a deal-breaker, though. Such a strange decision. I wonder why they did that. Are wired controllers more responsive than wireless ones?

    • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

      “Are wired controllers more responsive than wireless ones?”

      Pretty much. With wireless, there’s always the risk of syncing out and running low on battery charges, which could be detrimental in competitive gameplay and e-Sport tournaments. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are actual rules and regulations set for peripherals nowadays. And PowerA was probably trying to ensure their controller was “valid” just for these events lol.

      As for the controller itself, tournament or not, it’s pretty damn good especially considering it’s a third-party device, and most especially the simple fact that PowerA’s cheaper models are, well, cheap for more reasons than one lol. Sometimes you get what you pay for, you know? But personally, I don’t see myself coughing up the extra $20 for the MLG Pro Circuit Controller by MadCatz, at least not anymore.

      • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

        I figured as much. And yeah, I would never pay $99.99 for that MadCatz controller. I saw one on Amazon (I needed a new PS3 controller), but I went with a red Dualshock 3 that included the God of War Saga. It was only $60.

        I really do like the layout of this one, though. The analog stick placement is better. Hopefully Sony goes with a layout like this for the PS4 (basically rip-off the Xbox 360 controller ha-ha).

        • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

          Oh wow, a controller plus the God of War saga for only $60? You got a really good deal there!

          Definitely agree with you on the PS4 comment, but I’m also pretty sure there will be arguments between fanboys/girls if it does happen lol.

          • http://www.geekrevolt.com/ DeShaun Zollicoffer

            The Dualshock design is iconic, but it’s starting to feel dated. So let the fanboys cry :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steven-Lamens-Mari/100003356665563 Steven Lamens-Mari

    Great review Edgar!!! I always wanted to know about this controller. I dont play many shooters on my PS3 anymore but i was still curious to see someones thoughts on it. thanks man

    • http://geekrevolt.com/author/fallguysoldier/ Edgar Ocampo

      Heh, no problem. I’m glad I could help! Yeah, if you don’t mind the Xbox 360 layout then this is a really good controller especially for shooters. =]

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