As we all know, PDP makes all different types controllers and headsets for a variety of platforms, and thanks to PDP, I’m able to bring you a complete review of their Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One. Now, I’m a huge believer of putting hardware through its paces before I can give it a solid review, however, in this instance I’ll have to make an exception. Yes, while the controller is fully functional, there is one additional function that allows you to controller the color scheme of the controller via software, however that piece is not yet ready to go at the of the review. We have reached out to PDP to get an ETA on when that will be available, however since this controller is in stores now, I’m going to go ahead and do the review and once PDP gets back to me, I’ll update it.
That said, let’s break this controller down and see what it’s really about!
Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One
Platform(s):Xbox One & PC
Manufacturer: Performance Designed Products
Release Date: October 15, 2015
Upon first opening the box, you’ll notice the controller is almost a facsimile of Microsoft’s Xbox One controller, down to button and stick placement, but where it really shines is when you flip it on it’s back. You’ll notice that there are THREE additional buttons on the back, two wheel like buttons and a button in the middle with a triplet of hexagons. The wheel like buttons are the Multi-Function Wheels, which allow you to program up to 6 buttons between the two wheels, providing flexibility for those who play games like Call of Duty, allowing for button re-maps. The center button is the program button, which allows you to program different functions of the controller.
One of the key components of this Program button is to change the colors of the controller’s glow (which is the neon strip that goes around the edges of the Afterglow Prismatic Controller.) There are approximately 30 different combinations, both manipulated by the left and right thumb-sticks after pressing the Program button once, allowing for color customization within one controller, a first for the Afterglow brand, and a welcome addition to their controller feature sets.
A second press of the Program button brings you to the Multi-Function Wheel program setting, where you can map the bumpers, sticks or face buttons (outside of Menu and Options) to one of the 6 click wheel positions while the light is steady green. By default, clicking the wheels in either corresponds to a press of the D-Pad in the respective direction of the wheel, scrolling up is either R3 or L3 and down corresponds to the respective bumpers. This is by no means permanent, and can be changed to your needs as you see fit.
A third press of the button allows for Rumble LED feedback to be turned on and off. I personally saw no problem with the red LEDs flashing whenever a rumble effect happened, but for those who may not like it, a quick press of the d-pad up or down can toggle the setting on and off while the light is steady yellow.
Another neat function of the controller is the built in audio control. The Afterglow Prismatic Controller supports headsets with a 3.5mm input, such as Microsoft’s proprietary headsets, the Sony PlayStation Silver Headset, and especially the Afterglow LV5+ headset for Xbox One. It is all managed by a small triangular button on the lower right side of the right stick, which allows for access to the audio volume controls, which are built in to the d-pad. Pressing left and right on the d-pad while holding the audio function button adjusts the balance between game and chat audio, and pressing up or down while holding the audio function button controls the overall volume of the headset that is plugged in.
Outside of that, the controller feels really good, and held up pretty well considering the abuse that I put it through playing WWE 2K15 and NBA 2K16 on Steam, as well as Killer Instinct on Xbox One and my various emulators for Super Nintendo and Gameboy Advance on the PC. The buttons feel just as sturdy as the first party controller from Microsoft, and the concave grooves on the sticks make for sturdy control for games like NBA 2K16 and various shooters on console and PC. The only gripe I have is lack of being able to turn off the Multi-Function wheels, as well as the placement of the Program button. If it was placed a little higher up on the controller, out of the way of my lanky fingers, I would certainly appreciate the controller a little more.
* Review unit provided by manufacturer
A part of a set of products in the Afterglow family for the Xbox One, the Afterglow Prismatic Controller for Xbox One is a fantastic complement to the Afterglow LV5+ or the Afterglow AG9 Headset, and at only $10 lower than the Microsoft Xbox One controller, it’s a steal for anyone looking for a replacement controller for their console, or something for their PC gaming needs.
+ Customizable color combinations
+ On the fly button mapping
– Placement of the Program Button is inconvenient
– Lack of ability to turn Multi-Function buttons off.
- Such a great controller at an excellent price!
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