{Hardware} Evaluate: PowerA Fusion Professional – A Customisable Professional Controller Rival With A Steep Value

Regardless of being accessible the identical day the Nintendo Change hit retailer cabinets again in 2017, the official Professional Controller stays the interface of alternative for the many individuals preferring to play docked – and with good purpose. It is a comfy controller with first rate battery life and assist for a strong vary of options – together with HD Rumble and NFC, the latter of which lets you use your amiibo figures in-game.

Over the previous 4 years, we have seen many rivals to the Professional Controller seem, and whereas a few of them handle to get plenty of issues proper (8BitDo’s choices virtually at all times hit the mark), there’s normally one thing lacking. PowerA’s Fusion Professional comes nearer than most, however nonetheless would not fairly present the total Professional Controller expertise – though the distinctive advantages it does supply is likely to be sufficient to persuade some folks to stretch to the $99 asking value.

PowerA is, in fact, no stranger to the online game peripheral market, and has already produced a number of first rate price range management choices for Change (a few of that are formally licenced by Nintendo itself). Nonetheless, its Fusion Professional controller is coming into a moderately extra upscale market and appears set to problem the official Professional Controller extra critically than every other rival. That is largely right down to the truth that PowerA is positioning this product as a premium providing, not simply with its lofty price ticket, but in addition with its ‘professional gamer’ function set. These of you conversant in the work of SCUF Gaming will know the drill right here.

The Fusion Professional comes with a detachable ‘Professional Pack’ on its rear, which comprises 4 paddles that sit beneath your fingers as you maintain the controller. The concept is you could map every of those paddles to a typical button, permitting you to activate that command extra simply. Say you wish to hold your finger firmly jammed on the ‘A’ button throughout gameplay and do not wish to need to shift your thumb to press the ‘B’, ‘X’ or ‘Y’ buttons. Merely map every of those buttons to a special paddle and bingo – you possibly can hold your thumb on the ‘A’ button throughout your sport.

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Mapping buttons is a breeze – you merely maintain down the button on the again of the controller till the white LED on the entrance begins flashing, you then faucet the button you wish to map earlier than lastly urgent the paddle you want to map the button to. Mappings are saved in reminiscence so they do not need to be entered each time you play, and you’ll take away mappings by holding the button on the again for 3 seconds earlier than urgent the paddle. All of it works very well, however should you do not assume you’d discover this of use then you possibly can merely unclip the ‘Professional Pack’ and match a blanking plate in place (in actual fact, we would advise this should you’re not going to make use of the paddles, as they do are inclined to get in the best way should you’re not utilizing them).

Elsewhere, the Fusion Professional’s faceplate could be eliminated and changed should you so want. The default black faceplate has a soft-touch end which picks up greasy fingermarks fairly shortly, however you possibly can swap it for the fetching white model that ships with the pad. The plate is held on by magnets and is straightforward to take away; you will want to do that if you wish to benefit from one other of the Fusion Professional’s promoting factors: swappable analogue sticks.

You get 4 totally different sticks within the field. The default sticks are quick and have a concave prime, however you possibly can exchange considered one of these with a taller various should you so want. You will additionally discover a fourth stick that additionally has a taller profile, however encompasses a convex prime. We personally most popular the default, quick sticks, however the level right here is that the pad could be customised to swimsuit any style, which is undoubtedly a optimistic.

When PowerA introduced the Fusion Professional, a lot pleasure was brought on by the truth that it has a 3.5mm headphone jack on the underside. Nonetheless, this comes with some caveats. You possibly can solely pipe audio by the controller when it is set to wired USB mode (chosen by way of a change on the again of the pad) and connect with the Change dock. The braided cable included within the field is impressively lengthy so it’s best to have the ability to join it to your dock and sit a good distance away from the TV, however some folks will nonetheless be disillusioned that wi-fi audio is not accessible.

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A 900mAh rechargeable battery presents round 30 hours of use on a single cost, and it is price noting that the Fusion Professional helps movement management, too. The rubberised texture on the underside of the controller is good and actually aids grip. General, the Fusion Professional feels sturdy and well-made, whereas the buttons and sticks are responsive – the low-friction rings which encompass the analogue sticks actually do make a distinction, as gimmicky because it sounds. The D-pad can also be nice to make use of and, in our opinion, is barely higher than the one on the official Professional Controller.

While you keep in mind the truth that the Fusion Professional is available in its personal carry case (which additionally holds the substitute sticks, faceplate, charging cable and Professional Pack), the entire package deal turns into much more tempting. It is a disgrace, then, that there is not any rumble assist, HD or in any other case – a large oversight, particularly at this value level. NFC additionally would not make the minimize, and this may undoubtedly maintain the Fusion Professional again within the eyes of people that like scanning their valuable amiibo figures for in-game bonuses (though you would argue that this course of can nonetheless be finished, you simply have to make use of your Change Pleasure-Con as a substitute).

Until the concept of customisable components and remappable rear paddles excite you, then it is probably that you will be higher off with the official Professional Controller, which not solely consists of HD Rumble and NFC, however can also be cheaper than the Fusion Professional, too. Nonetheless, PowerA must be applauded for trying to supply the identical specialised interface expertise as firms like SCUF Gaming – even when the Professional Controller and 8BitDo’s very good Professional 2 stay higher choices for informal gamers.

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