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Logitech Dual Action GamePad Review

Highs

  • Looks and feels like a quality product

Rating

Our Score 4
User Score 3

Lows

  • We experienced serious problems on 3 different controllers after a week of use
...there is absolutely no reason why you should purchase this product

Summary

While the Logitech Dual Action Controller appears to be the perfect game pad for the PC and will definitely appeal to those on a budget, we have to warn you to stay away from it. The problems we experienced after a week of testing were not isolated to our three test game pads and people all over the Internet are reporting the same issues.

With Logitech still to this day not acknowledging the calibration problem, there is absolutely no reason why you should purchase this product. We would recommend the Nyko Airflo controller which appears to work pretty well, as an alternative to the Dual Action Controller. If you have experience with the Logitech Dual Action Controller please post in the user reviews section of this review so others can view your experiences.

Introduction

When it comes to video game consoles, game pads are the dominating controller type. There are a plethora of manufacturers as well as types of game pads being produced. From corded to wireless and standard to rumble enabled, there is typically a game pad to fit everyone’s desires.

But when it comes to the computer gaming scene, where the keyboard and mouse dominate, game pads are few and far between. Luckily there are companies like Logitech, Saitek and Nyko to placate those of us who prefer to use a game pad. Today we are reviewing the Logitech Dual Action Game pad which can be found for around $19.99 MSRP.

Logitech's Dual Action Game Pad and the Nyko Airflo

Logitech’s Dual Action Game Pad and the Nyko Airflo

Design and Features

In the video game console arena there are basically three game pad controller designs in use today. They are the standard controllers for the Nintendo Gamecube, Sony Playstation 2 and Microsoft Xbox. So it only makes sense to mimic the controller design and layout of your favorite console and make it compatible with the PC. This is exactly what Logitech has done with their Dual Action Controller. With a nearly identical look and feel to the Sony brand Playstation 2 controller, the only things that differentiate the Dual Action Controller from the Sony version is the controller color and Logitech logo.

The Dual Action Controller features 12 programmable buttons total two action trigger buttons on each side of the front, four regular round buttons on the top right hand side, two smaller buttons in the center of the controller, a digital directional pad on the left and dual analog sticks near the center. It may sound like a lot of buttons, but this is pretty much standard among game pads in today’s gaming world.

The controller uses a USB connection to interface with your computer. The software drivers that come with the Dual Action Controller support Windows 98, 2000, ME, XP and Mac OS operating systems. We found the controller to have the perfect balance between weight and overall feel. Everything feels and looks high quality from the plastic used in the construction to the two analog buttons located near the front of the controller. But looks aren’t everything, let’s see how it works.

Setup and Use

While Logitech packages software drivers with the Dual Action Controller, we recommend that you head over to their Website and download the latest drivers to ensure maximum game compatibility. For our review we downloaded and used version 4.3 of the Dual Action Controller drivers.

Right on the box of the Dual Action Controller, Logitech makes a point of stating that this game pad is compatible with EA Sports games including Madden NFL 2004, NBA Live 2004, NHL 2004, and FIFA Soccer 2004. For our testing purposes we decided to try it with other games that were not mentioned including Call of Duty and Final Fantasy XI Online. After installing the drivers for the Dual Action Controller we proceeded to calibrate it using the included software and then started playing some games.

Some titles which actually recommend this particular controller, like Final Fantasy XI, require little or no calibration and controller setup. Their default button configurations match the Dual Action Controller perfectly. Other games and emulators will require you to program individual buttons on this controller, but allow you to save the configuration; so programming it is usually a one-time deal.

In both Call of Duty and Final Fantasy XI the Logitech Dual Action Controller handled beautifully. Control was nice and crisp and very responsive. In fact it was easy to forget you were playing on a computer at all. The Dual Action Controller also worked great with the MAME vide game emulator. It seemed too good to be true. A high quality controller for only $19.99 that was compatible with just about every game out there. But after a bit more testing, the problems started to show up.

Trouble on the Horizon

It first started in Final Fantasy XI, about one hour into the game. Our right analog stick started going haywire. It was non-responsive and was losing both the X and Y axis. We disconnected the controller and plugged it back in and that seemed to fix the problem for about 5 minutes before it started doing it all over again. So we thought it was a bum controller and just for the sake of testing, purchased two more controllers, one from CompUSA and another from Best Buy. We tried both of the new controllers on multiple game machines and after a week both controllers showed the same symptoms, so we knew something was up.

First we searched the web for other reviews on this controller. From IGN.com to Insidemacgames.com every site out there gave this controller high praise and reported no issues. We then searched the web for anything that might indicate others were having the same problems. That’s when we hit pay dirt. Apparently there are a lot of other people that are reporting the very same issues we had. Calibration would go off and nothing anyone could do would fix the problem.

We went to Logitech’s website and searched their knowledge database for a remedy but nothing turned up. After calling Logitech support they determined our controllers were bad and needed to be sent to Logitech for replacement. This is definitely not what we wanted to hear. We had purchased three separate Dual Action Controllers from two different retail chains and experienced the same problems on all three of the controllers. With Logitech not publicly acknowledging the problem and a fix nowhere in sight, it seems that this product is destined for consumer complaints.

Conclusion

While the Logitech Dual Action Controller appears to be the perfect game pad for the PC and will definitely appeal to those on a budget, we have to warn you to stay away from it. The problems we experienced after a week of testing were not isolated to our three test game pads and people all over the Internet are reporting the same issues.

With Logitech still to this day not acknowledging the calibration problem, there is absolutely no reason why you should purchase this product. We would recommend the Nyko Airflo controller which appears to work pretty well, as an alternative to the Dual Action Controller. If you have experience with the Logitech Dual Action Controller please post in the user reviews section of this review so others can view your experiences.

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