dreamGEAR Radium Wireless Controller for Ps3

OVERVIEW:
Torrance, California based dreamGEAR is known for making third-party controllers and other accessories for the all of the big consoles and handhelds out now.
They are especially excited about their new Radium Wireless controller for the PS3. According to their site, it "is designed for the player who demands the best in wireless gaming. It utilizes the latest 2.4 GHZ wireless technology for latency free game play. Radium Wireless also features turbo function and ergonomic design for comfort."

DESIGN:
Its a video game controller, so most people don't expect too much out of it. But in the world of loud, theme-based controllers, you have to have some appeal. The Radium is kind of bland. We weren't overly impressed with how it looks.

The dG emblem in the middle is glued on there and was a little off center on the one we received. That's not a huge issue because the fun colors are a change of pace for a Ps3 controller. The Radium is available in the Metallic Blue we reviewed, Black, a nice Silver and Red.

DURABILITY:
Your traditional plastic controller. Nice weight, could be the three AAA batteries that it requires, but it wasn't a burden to carry and use. Again, like everything else, we will continue to use this controller and see if we notice any issues after prolonged use, but as for now it seems to be a sturdy, full-figured option for your arsenal.

HOW DID IT PLAY?:
Well, its played well. We tried the button mashing of UFC Undisputed 2010 and the precision of ModNation Racers for the review.

Breaking it down to buttons and sticks, first we will talk buttons (X, Triangle, R2, etc...). The face buttons like X and O were very responsive. The physical feedback was great. Granted it was a new controller, but the buttons had a nice firm click to them.

As for the shoulder buttons, R1 and L1 were fine because they sit within a housing that gives good feedback. R2 and L2 are triggers like on the OEM Ps3 controllers, but with aren't very firm to the touch and provide little feedback.

The sticks, ahh the sticks. This is where a lot of controllers have their issues. ATTENTION: Out of the box, the left and right analog sticks are very firm. Small and exact movements like sniping or precision driving in MNR are very tough to do with the analog sticks.

Being used to a "broken in" Sony branded Ps3 controller, the sticks on the Radium were not friendly. Now we will acknowledge that the Sony pads we have are months old and have been put through the ringer and hence are to our liking and we were used to them. We are positive that after continuous use that the sticks on the Radium, you not only will get used to it, but love them. The analogs also feel a little more pronounced and stand slightly taller, could be newness, but we liked the feel and feedback.

There also is a turbo button. Why? Thought that was for side scrolling shooters like Contra? It doesn't seem like it has a home in the third-generation. BUT, it also gives dreamGEAR a differentiated product that can fit a niche for some hardcore, turbo-happy gamers.

Rumble was good. Again with a newer controller compared to an older one, the rumble motors seemed stronger and produced great variation in subtle and strong rumble situations.

Another bad, it requires not two but three AAA batteries to run. Would have loved to see a self charging controller like other companies produce. Its a hassle because you can't charge while playing.

COMFORT:
Its not overly big, or small. It fit in my larger than average sized hands quite well. Its weird to admit this, but the plastic seemed to make my hands sweat more than usual (when using Sony's out of the box controller). That is a flaw that is particular to me, as my girlfriend didn't have the same issue. Doubt its based on gender, but its worth mentioning.

FEATURES:
• SIXAXIS™ compatibility
• Dual rumble motors
• Turbo function
• 2.4 GHz wireless technology

MSRP:
$49.99

GRADE:
There are some great things here. We can't really take points off for the analog sticks until we know that is a flaw and not just a "wear it out" thing. But that is a problem for most of the controllers early use.

Batteries is another boo boo in our eyes. Especially at that price, you have to have an on-board chargeable battery, some others do. It just interrupts gaming when it happens and worst of all, there is no way to see it coming. The USB dongle is small and the size of a flash drive, so no problems there. But, if you turn off the controller to preserve the expensive AAAs, you must resync it with the dongle.

Many third-party controller companies jumped on the gimmicky (Rock Band and other odd-shaped remotes) controller bandwagon. That's fine and dreamGEAR does the same with the Wii. But not many have multiple true console controllers and dreamGEAR does with about five Ps3 options alone.

There is a wired version for $34.99, but shell out the extra bills for wireless freedom. You can find it cheaper, and when you do, add it to the cart.

We can't say that this is better than the Sony branded out-of-the-box option, but in terms of third-party offerings, the dreamGEAR Radium will be a trusted friend in the long-run.

Need a pad cheaper than $60 that has everything the others do, plus a turbo feature, that after some use, will feel just like your other controllers? Check this one out, its not overly gimmicky and has everything that a gamer could need.

7.5/10
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