Review: PDP Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One

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In this current day and age of technology, customization is king. PDP knows this and has for quite some time, as their Afterglow line has been around since Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 days. New for the Xbox One, is the Afterglow Prismatic Controller. Just by looking at the box itself, you can see that the main feature of this controller is the ability to have whatever color you want glowing as you game. But this controller is like a Transformer, as it’s more than meets the eye.

Design

Out of the box, it appears to be your basic Xbox One controller. While holding it, you can feel other additions on there that isn’t on a standard controller. There’s a main button on the back, along with a couple of multi-functioning wheels. The controller also has a 3.5mm audio jack, as well as built-in controls. The thumbsticks are very high quality, using ALPS premium sticks. So now we put it to the test, does it actually work?

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Features, Functionality, and Use

The dual wheels on the back are very similar in utilization to the Xbox Elite Controller and its paddles on the underside of the controller. The wheels add quicker response time to in-game actions, without having your thumbs ever leave the thumbsticks. Remapping the switches is very easy and takes literally about a minute max to change. I’m a big FPS player, and I found this feature to be one of my favorites. With a slight motion with my fingers on the underside of the controller, I can reload, crouch/go prone, switch weapons and jump with a quickness. Each wheel can map up to 3 different buttons, which translates to 3 different movements on the wheel itself: up, down and press in (similar to how you click the thumbsticks in for L3 and R3).

One great feature I adore is the 3.5mm audio jack complete with audio controls built into the controller. I currently use the Turtle Beach XO Four Stealth Headset, which has a control adapter that connects to the controller. The Afterglow doesn’t need it. I can plug my headset directly into it, and still have the sound running through my headset, as well as control the audio. This is achieved using the small button to the lower right of the right thumbstick. Once you press that in and hold it, you use the D-pad left and right to select either party or game chat, and then the D-pad up and down to set the volume. I think from a design standpoint, this was ingenious and something that all controllers should come standard with.

Another standout is the dual rumble motors and impulse triggers. This is a very sensitive rumble setting that literally lets you feel all of the action where you need it. I found this feature most helpful on racing games, as I could feel the how the car was handling and reacting to the road through the triggers, much like in real life where you can feel the same through the pedals. If you’re not a fan of it, you need not worry. You can use that multi-function button on the back of the controller to turn it off.

Speaking of which, I didn’t fully address that program button on the back. That is going to be the main source of control for most features. Pressing it once will light a front LED blue, which then allows you to alter the brightness and color of the main controller using the thumbsticks: left thumbstick controls brightness, while the right controls the color. Color choices are literally everything in a standard spectrum. Pressing the program button twice, and the fron LED turns green allowing you to remap the multi-function wheels. And finally, pressing it 3 times will have the LED as yellow, letting you turn the rumble features on and off.

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Problems you say?

While most of my time using the Afterglow was pleasing, I did run into a few hiccups. One thing to remember, is that this controller is wired. I don’t really have a problem with wired controllers, using them doesn’t really bother me. PDP is gracious enough to provide a 10ft cable, which is a much-needed length for some living rooms. What I didn’t like was that my controller would randomly disconnect sometimes. I check to ensure the cable was in all the way, which it was, but I continuously and sporadically had this occur. I tried the cable with other controllers and didn’t have an issue, so I’m guessing there might have been a short with my port.

The only other problem I came across was something embedded in the programming of the controller. I play on a fairly high sensitivity (usually max) for all my shooters; it’s what helps keep my head on a swivel. For some reason, when I use the Afterglow, the sensitivity is a lot lower than with other controllers. Even though I have max setting in-game, the controller itself has a lower sensitivity for some reason. I tested this across multiple games (Halo 5, Rainbow Six Siege, Star Wars Battlefront, Battlefield 4) just to make sure I wasn’t going crazy, and unfortunately I wasn’t.

Conclusion

It’s a great controller with a plethora of functionality that no other controller currently available can offer. You look at the Xbox Elite Controller and it’s absurd $149.99 pricepoint and think about what you’re getting. The Afterglow offers almost everything the Elite does and more, for a fraction of the cost at $49.99. Obviously, the only thing the Elite does that the Afterglow doesn’t, is have interchangeable pieces. If you’re looking something versatile to step up your game and look good while doing it, then the Afterglow is the controller to get.

Grade: 4 out of 5 Atoms

NR 4 Atoms - B

 

 

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Narvin Seegoolam
Narvin Seegoolam 712 posts

Narvin's middle name is FPS....ok maybe not, but he's like BOOM!! HEADSHOT!! I'm hungry...