Scuf Gaming has just introduced the first-ever Sony-licensed third-party controller for the PS4 in North America with the Scuf Vantage. Available sometime in August, the controller looks to give Sony their own Elite controller just like the Xbox.
Despite winning over the overwhelming majority in this generation’s console war, there is arguably one thing that PlayStation was never able to match Xbox on, the controller. The Xbox controller was considered the best console controller ever and the PlayStation 3 controller didn’t even come close. When the next generation of consoles came around, both companies’ controllers were more or less the same but with a bit of improvement here and there.
The PlayStation 4 controller had potential, as it received the touchpad, which at the time was going to apparently give gamers a unique gaming experience on the Ps4. That was true to some extent, but not that much and the Xbox One is still winning the war as far as controllers are concerned. Some people prefer the Xbox controller because of its size, it fits perfectly in one’s hands, some prefer the way the joysticks are placed (D-pad in the middle unlike the PS controller) and some prefer the trigger-style buttons on the top.
Xbox also released an Elite controller which was a modded controller like one would order from Scuf Gaming. However, the controllers at Scuf are often expensive, and Microsoft not only offered an official modded controller, but it was good too. The controller is doing great and is regarded as the best Xbox controller out there. There are many Scuf controllers for the Ps4 too, but the recent Scuf Vantage takes things to a whole new level where you see the Ps4 controller like never before.
At first glance, it’s easy to notice the striking similarities the controller has with the Xbox One controller, especially the joystick and D-pad placement. One of the main issues with the Ps4 controller is the joystick placement so this controller solves the problem for more than half of the fanbase. Since it’s a custom controller with all the modifications in the world to make it the right controller for you, this controller has customizable joysticks. You have the options to keep the thumbsticks that are either taller in height or the ones with the dome-shaped mounds.
It’s easy to swap out the thumbsticks too as it requires no tools whatsoever. The magnetic faceplate of the Vantage can be easily taken out after which you can make even more customizations: you can take out the two rumble packs on the handles to reduce the weight of the controller and disable vibration is you don’t like it.
Of course, one of the main reasons to add more buttons to custom controllers is so that you can reprogram them according to your needs. This is exactly what the four paddles at the back of the controller are there for, they can be reprogrammed to act like any other button on your controller, a handy feature if you play competitively. According to Scuf, the paddle mechanism is smoother than before and they’ve also added two new programmable “sax” buttons which haven’t been part of any previous Scuf controllers before.
Scuf looks to build on the existing controllers and give something fresh and new to give it the unique and ‘Elite‘ feel it needs. In doing so, they’ve made several improvements to already existing features for their controllers. For example, the Vantage gamepads do not require a magnetic key to remap buttons, now you only need a simple switch that lets you change the controls any time you want.
There’s also a touchbar that lets you control things like volume, game and chat audio mix or mute your chat. One of the most sought out features from a controller would be these audio settings. The Xbox had a headset adapter that could do all these things, but there wasn’t any option like this on the Ps4. People would rather prefer these options to be on the controller itself rather than having to go to the menu (even quick menu) to adjust settings.
For example, you’re in an intense Call of Duty or Fortnite match and you need to concentrate on what your team is saying, you could potentially lose the round if you went to the menu at that time to adjust the game and chat audio balance. Instead, it would be better if these controls were on the controller itself so you could do it on the fly. The audio controls on the Scuf will be a welcome addition to the Ps4 controller.
You can also swap the traditional Dpad for a disc-like Dpad as well. Swappable trigger caps are also available with the controller and there’s a hair trigger mechanism in place that allows you to change the L2 and R2 trigger pull resistance and stop distance. There’s a lot of other customization options available for purchase too, but of course, that will come with an added price.
Scuf Gaming is a reputable gamepad manufacturer that has long been making custom controllers before the Xbox One Elite controller was ever a thing. In fact, Scuf Gaming actually lent a hand in creating the Elite controller in the first place. So if you’re worried you might not get an original controller, there’s really nothing to worry about especially if this controller has been officially licensed by Sony.
The Scuf Vantage will be available sometime in August and it’ll come in two versions: wired and wireless. The wired USB version will be cheaper than the wireless one, it’ll start at $170 while the wireless Bluetooth controller will start at $200. If you wish to customize the controller further, it’ll obviously change the price but the base prices are $170 and $200 for wired and wireless versions respectively.
Although the high price may put many people off, the variety of features the controller offers makes it worth it. The controller addresses a lot of issues people have with the original Ps4 controller and given Scuf Gaming’s reputation, this controller should last you a long time, giving good value for money. You can pre-order from here.