The Scuf Vantage is an incredibly comfortable, highly customizable third-party controller for the PlayStation 4. It’s got four customizable back paddles, extra side buttons, swappable faceplates and analog sticks—it’s basically the PS4’s answer to Microsoft’s Elite Wireless. Well, now Scuf has announced the Vantage 2, which is all that, only better.
Tim Rogers and I swear by our Scuf Vantage controllers. I have one sitting inches from my hand as I type this. That’s convenient, as the Scuf Vantage 2’s list of improvements makes me want to grab this old piece of junk and toss it in the trash. The grip is better. The trigger functions are upgraded, with even more customization and fine-tuning options. There’s a brand-new customization app for players to configure their controller for PC play. Here’s a neat little list of what’s getting better.
Improved High-Performance Grip
Upgraded trigger functions
PC Customization App for Windows
Improved button haptics
Refined tactile textures in the faceplate, trigger, bumper, and Sax buttons
Enhanced USB connection system
That’s all on top of the original Vantage’s slew of features, including adjustable trigger sensitivity, swappable analog sticks and D-pads, on-the-fly button remapping, that weird touch-sensitive audio control bar at the base, and the four-piece paddle control system on the back.
And it’s still pretty expensive. The Vantage 2 starts at $170 for the wired-only model, with a version capable of swapping between wired and Bluetooth running $200. Both are available for preorder on the Scuf website and start shipping in mid-October. For those wishing to pay even more, there’s a special Call of Duty: Modern Warfare edition that runs $220 and comes with special stylized parts and a code for an in-game sniper scope charm.
Styled after Nintendo’s new Switch Lite, the 8BitDo Lite is a controller so ultra-portable that it’s got two directional pads instead of analog sticks to keep it as thin as possible.
The 8BitDo Lite features all the functionality of a full-sized Nintendo Switch controller, only instead of analog sticks, it has D-pads. That means these should take the place of analog sticks, perfect for games that don’t actually have analog control anyway (and probably not the best for those that do). Unlike the Switch Lite itself, the D-pad isn’t replacing the four-button array on the left side, which is still there. It’s a weird-looking controller for sure.
Though obviously designed to match the more colorful variations of the Switch Lite, the $25 controllers, available for preorder now and shipping October 30, also work with PC, MacOS, Android, and more, with a switch on top that swaps between Switch and Xbox-compatible functionality They connect via USB-C cable or Bluetooth, and they feature a programmable turbo function, in case one needs a button to be pressed repeatedly in rapid fashion.
It looks weird, but also pretty damn cool. I can’t look at pictures of these for too long without the overwhelming urge to bite into them. I’m thinking the turquoise tastes like spearmint.
And the yellow one probably tastes like lemon meltaway candy.
Another possible outcome is they both probably taste like plastic. Even so, I am curious to test the accessibility of those R2 and L2 buttons, situated as they are along the top of the controller instead of behind the triggers or on the back.
Consider me intrigued. I own a couple of 8BitDo controllers for my Analogue retro Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo consoles, and they have yet to let me down. Looking forward to getting my large hands on these odd-yet-pretty things later this year.
A couple of weeks ago, my go-to Xbox One controller got into an altercation with a 470-pound electric wheelchair and lost. After spending hours browsing online stores for the perfect pre-built replacement, I decided to return to Microsoft’s Xbox Design Lab and make my own. It’s blue, pink, and yellow and uniquely mine. I love that.
Even if someone else goes through the Design Lab process and comes out the other end with the exact same combination of front, back, sticks, buttons, and triggers as I did, my experience was unique. The design went through many different iterations. The face was pink. The face was yellow. The triggers had a metallic finish. I pondered black buttons with four color X, Y, A, and B buttons. After about an hour of fiddling, my baby controller was born.
My custom cost me $66, $15 more than I would have spent on the pre-made, semi-translucent “Phantom White” model I was looking at on Amazon. As far as I am concerned, it’s a small price to pay for the unique experience, and I adore the end result.
While Nintendo and Sony don’t have similar services, custom Dualshock controllers and Joy-Cons are out there, just a Google search and a few extra dollars away. Something to think about next time you accidentally run over your gamepad with a massive wheelchair.
There are casual gamers who like to occasionally pick up a game to relax for a few minutes, and there are more dedicated players who will devote hours to completing games and unlocking achievements. And then there’s those gamers who refer to themselves as “pros” or “hardcore” who must have the highest score, beat a game in the fastest time, and dominate everyone else online. 8BitDo’s new SN30 Pro+ controller, which can be thoroughly customized and reprogrammed through a new app, is designed for that latter crowd.
The company’s controller lineup has primarily focused on retro gaming so far, but when the Switch arrived it started adding more modern features to its controllers like extra shoulder buttons and analog joysticks. The new 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ features a design reminiscent of Nintendo’s own Switch Pro Controller (not a bad thing) but with the analog sticks arranged side by side like Sony does with the PlayStation’s gamepads.
The 8BitDo SN30 Pro+ was first revealed back in 2018 around E3 as a prototype, with features like rumbling haptic feedback, wireless Bluetooth support, built-in motion controls, better ergonomics than the company’s SN30 Pro, and USB-C charging. It was expected to arrive sometime in late 2018, but 8BitDo ended up delaying its release while the company did some fine-tuning, as it explained on Twitter earlier this year.
It turns out that fine-tuning included the addition of one other major feature: the SN30 Pro+’s Ultimate Software which allows the controller to be excruciatingly customized and reprogrammed. Available for Windows and Mac OS at launch (a mobile version might eventually arrive) the software not only allows all of the controller’s buttons to be remapped to a gamer’s preferences, but it also allows multiple inputs to be programmed to a single button. So, yes, inputting the Konami code just got significantly easier.
In addition to programmability, the feel and responsiveness of the SN30 Pro+’s analog buttons and joysticks can also be customized and tweaked so they’re more or less responsive, and those customizations can be saved and reloaded so the controller can be adjusted on a game by game basis. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a controller that boasts such robust customizability, the ALL Controller promised similar functionality a couple of years ago, but it has yet to be released to backers of its Kickstarter campaign. 8BitDo’s SN30 Pro+, on the other hand, is available for pre-order now for $50, and will ship on August 7.
There is one feature the SN30 Pro+ is lacking, however, that could limit its adoption among pro gamers. Out of the box it supports Windows and Mac OS computers, the Nintendo Switch, mobile devices running Android, and even homebrew consoles that are compatible with Bluetooth controllers. What it doesn’t support is the Xbox One or the PS4 by default. Getting any of the 8BitDo controllers to work with those consoles requires additional adapters, and the added cost and hassle might not be worth it. 8BitDo has created simple adapters that allow Microsoft and Sony’s controllers to be used on other systems, but hopefully, it’s got an adapter in the works that allows its own controllers, including the SN30 Pro+, to play nice with the Xbox One and PS4.