Back in February 2013 we reviewed the Gioteck GC-2 PS3 controller, and gave it a very favorable review. For a third party peripheral it was simply stunning, and performed admirably with every game genre thrown at it. A mere month later comes the Gioteck SC-1 Sports Controller. Keeping the design almost identical to the Gioteck GC-2, the SC-1 is aimed at sports orientated games, but can be used with any number of genre’s just as easily as any other controller on the market.
The Gioteck SC-1 comes neatly boxed in a small box, with everything tightly squeezed into it and protected well. In addition to the controller you also get a 2.4ghz wireless adapter which you need to plug into the PlayStation 3 in order for the controller to operate. Unlike a normal PS3 controller you cannot turn your console on by pressing the PS button, so I had to get up and turn the console on with the on/off button. The packaging looks nicely different to the original GC-1, however it is packaged in exactly the same way.
The SC-1 has a red bottom colored half, while the top of the controller is velvet black with a number of dark grey stripes. Unlike the layout of a standard PS3 controller, and identical to the GC-2, the left stick is higher on the controller, apparently giving you a more natural position for your thumb, while the right stick is in the standard PS3 position (almost exactly like the controller of an Xbox 260). The D-Pad falls under the left stick, and has a nice robust feel to it, with a nice bounce when pressed. The four action buttons (triangle, square, cross and circle) are in the usual place but are a bit smaller than on a standard official controller.
The front triggers are different from the triggers on a standard pad. The first thing that the user will notice is that the L2 and R2 triggers seem to rest higher than on an official pad, and your hand naturally grips these with no effort at all. The L1 and R1 triggers on the other hand seem to be in a higher position than on the official controller, and need some getting used to. As well as having to contend with the slightly different position of the triggers, the triggers are much thinner to hold than on the official pad.
Standing Out From The Crowd
Other than the color scheme and button layout, the GC-1 stands out from the crowd of other PS3 controllers by featuring a whole host of goodies aimed at the sports gamer, and to be honest every kind of gamer who uses this pad. Below the PS button, sitting nicely in an easy to use place are a set of two programmable buttons that allow the player to configure a number of button press combinations. These buttons are ideal for combo-moves on games such as FIFA and the various American Football games, and are also ideal for combination moves on fighting games. The idea is simple, they are easy to program, and they work extremely well.
The thumb sticks are programmable with four different levels of pressure sensitivity, which should give you more accurate and responsive gameplay. Again, its a brilliant idea, and one which should work well, and during the tests the responsiveness did make a difference to the gameplay. Potentially this could be a feature that will help many players, as it makes customizing controls for games even more customization.
The “Start” , “Select” and “Turbo” buttons are still small and in the same place as they were on the Gioteck GC-1, and once again are the only criticism of an otherwise superb controller.
Playing the games
Essentially this is a supped-up version of the GC-2, and therefore handles as well as that controller. In addition to the positive comments made with regards to the GC-2, the SC-1 has the extra features which were previously mentioned. Every movement of the thumb sticks, every movement of the d-pad and every button pressed is responded to instantly and as you would expect a premium product to handle. With the extra features, there is no need to struggle on a game again, as even if the game has no customization, then the controller can be tweaked nicely.
It cannot be underestimated just how good a controller the Gioteck SC-1 is. From the way it looks, to the way it feels, and the way the various buttons move to the weight of the controller and vibration of the dual-motors, this controller is a winner through and through.
It is available through Gioteck and all leading game specialists, and retails at around the same price as an official controller. Given the choice of an official controller and this Gioteck device, there is no competition, the Gioteck SC-1 blows it clean out of the water, and once a game has been played with it, there’s simply no turning back.
A review unit was supplied to Gaming Illustrated for this review. To learn more visit Gioteck.