Nacon Asymmetric PS4 Controller Review

Though the DualShock 4 will always be the mainstay for PlayStation 4 owners, there are plenty of officially licensed PlayStation 4 controllers to go around these days. Many of these aim for the pro gamer crowd, with plenty flash features like rear buttons, adjustable weights and rear buttons, but following the release of the Nacon Revolution Unlimited Pro Controller, the company have now released a much simpler, more affordable counterpart.

Nacon’s Asymmetric Controller does exactly what it says on the box while serving as a fairly priced alternative to your standard Sony DualShock 4. By swapping the position of the left stick and directional buttons, this new Nacon gamepad both looks and feels more like the default Xbox One controller. While some will take this as a deep affront, akin to insulting one’s mother, other players may find some extra comfort or familiarity from the asymmetric layout. It ultimately comes down to personal preference.

When it comes to core features, Nacon isn’t one to cut corners. This new design for 2019 includes all the buttons you’d find on a DualShock, including the touchpad. One thing it doesn’t have, however, is the embedded LED light bar on the rear, though this is common among most third party controllers. This, and the lack of motions sensors, mean you can’t really use the Asymmetric Controller for PSVR gaming. The controller does have a small LED indicator below the PS button, showing the battery level as you run through its 7 hours of power.

This model also doesn’t have the rubberised feel or textured grips of the more lavish Revolution Pro. Instead it sports a stylish albeit utilitarian matte finish that, even after a few weeks of heavy use, hasn’t started to scuff or smudge while being gripped for hours at a time in our hands.

Overall, the button layout is similar to that of the DualShock 4, minus the obvious left-side switcheroo. The face buttons are a tad larger and positioned more closely together than Sony’s default pad, though this never had a noticeable impact during our tests. Both the triggers and shoulder buttons are much larger, the R1/L1 buttons being more than twice the size of those on the DualShock and with R2/L2 also being meatier. Again, this leans more towards the size of the Xbox One’s own controller.

While it may not be a dealbreaker for some, the need for a wireless USB dongle is something we’re not too keen on. With a tangle of charging cables already poking out of your console, finding room for another accessory (as minor as it sounds) can actually be quite the hassle. With the Micro-USB port only there for charging, you’ll also have to find a second empty port or use a separate USB charger to keep playing if the battery runs dry. Equally annoying is how you can’t switch the controller off using the PlayStation 4’s devices menu or automatically when shutting down the system. You either hold the PS button for a few seconds until the LED turns off, or it will remain idle and disconnect a few minutes later. Again, nothing major, though still a technical drawback compared to other controllers on the market.

Summary
The Nacon Asymmetric Controller is a reliable alternative to the DualShock 4, but it has some finicky downfalls particular players may take issue with. Compared to Sony's official controller it doesn’t have that same high quality feel or functionality, but with its repositioned button layout and slightly more affordable price tag of £39.99 it’s worth considering as a backup.
Good
  • Asymmetric layout will appeal to Xbox fans
  • Bigger shoulder buttons and triggers
  • Budget price point
Bad
  • Wireless dongle and no wired support
  • No light bar or motion sensors mean no PSVR support
  • Doesn't turn off with the console
6
Written by
Senior Editor bursting with lukewarm takes and useless gaming trivia. May as well surgically attach my DualShock at this point.

2 Comments

  1. Love my Nacon controller – this looks good as a second controller, and at least the sticks are in the right place ;)

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