Reviewed: July 24, 2004
Type: Wireless Gamepad
Thirteen months ago GCM reviewed Logitech’s first offering into the 2.4GHz line of PS2 controllers. Built from the same mold as the oversized Xbox controller that released at the same time, that PS2 controller looked more like a stealth bomber than a Dual Shock. Logitech has taken the design back to the drawing board and retooled their 2.4GHz wireless pad into something a little more traditional and a whole lot more functional. The new Logitech Cordless Action Controller has finally arrived and boy is it sweet. Every single one of the issues mentioned in last year’s review has been addressed by Logitech and the Cordless Action stands alone as the premier wireless controller for the PS2; a testament to excellence in design, functionality, and a company that listens to the input of gamers.
Aesthetics - 10
Last year’s controller was arguably a mess with an uncomfortable, oversized grip, concave D-pad and concave tops on the twin sticks contributing to most of our complaints with the gamepad. The shoulder buttons where hard to reach and the buttons didn’t even feel right. All of that is gone and we now have a gamepad that is much like a traditional Dual Shock and then some.
The tops of the twin sticks are textured rubber and quite “sticky” allowing for precise no-slip control. The D-pad now has the cross pattern on the top and there is a much more defined click for more precise movement through the cardinal directions.
The Start and Select buttons are just where you want them and a Vibration toggle overrides software settings to preserve battery life. Even the shoulder buttons feel great, actually better than a Sony Dual Shock.
The remote sensor plugs directly into the game port and is actually a bit smaller than a memory card.
Durability - 10
The Logitech controller is very solid and a few ounces heavier than a stock controller but lighter than last year thanks to the elimination of two of the four AA batteries. The lighter weight actually increases the sensation of the vibration effect.
I’m sure the added weight could prove a problem if you accidentally drop (or throw) your controller but after more than 30 hours of vigorous gaming the controller was performing just like it did out of the package. The sticks all remained firm with no additional slack or play in their movement.
Performance - 10
I put the Logitech controller through multiple tests with over a dozen games ranging in complexity and various requirements for precision and there was never a moment where I detected even the faintest dropout of signal or hesitation of my character, car, or whatever on-screen icon I was controlling. The 2.4 GHz technology is definitely more reliable than 900 MHz and unless you have a 2.4 GHz phone near your game room you shouldn’t have any problem with random interference.
The Logitech controller uses channel switching so you can operate multiple controllers (up to 8) in the same room with no signal crossovers or interference. With a 30-foot range and a signal that goes through walls, you will have the ultimate in wireless gameplay.
Expect about 50 hours of gameplay from two AA batteries. That’s the same lifespan as last year’s gamepad that used four batteries. And once again I have to congratulate Logitech for including name brand “Duracell” batteries with the controller. I know it’s easy to skimp on the little things like this to keep the overhead down, but I guaranteed I won’t be the only one to appreciate the coppertops in the package.
The Cordless Action features proprietary power management software to power-down the pad after a certain amount of non-use, and this year Logitech included a Vibration toggle switch so you can turn off the battery-sucking rumble effects without having to go into the game options.
Value - 10
At $39.95 this new controller is $20 cheaper than last year’s model and priced right in line with competing gamepads, and not that much more expensive than a Dual Shock. You’ll also be saving money by using only two batteries instead of four, but I encourage anyone who gets this pad to buy some rechargeable batteries. They’ll pay for themselves in now time, especially if you end up with multiple controllers.
Overall – 10
I’m a big fan of eliminating wires from my gaming life. Last year Logitech got me hooked on wireless gameplay and now I could never go back. Thankfully, they’ve listened to the few constructive comments from gamers and fixed every single issue that was lacking with the original. The Logitech Cordless Action Controller is cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, more comfortable to hold, easier to use, and quite simply the finest PS2 wireless gamepad on the market.