Review: EA Sports Football Club Official Wired Controller

PDP’s EA Sports Football Club official controller is solid for a third-party device though a tad pricey for a wired gamepad. Image © PDP

Ah, yes, football, a word that can be pretty charged depending on how you use it and where. For example, the first time I saw the official EA Sports Football Club wired controller from PDP, I honestly thought it was a special controller for EA’s line of Madden football games. Then I saw the familiar black and white markings typically associated with a different brand of football.

“Oh, wait, this one’s actually for soccer,” I thought.

That smacking sound you hear is the collective forehead slapping by football fans outside of countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan where the word “football” definitely doesn’t mean American football. Hey, don’t blame me, blame those upper-class British dudes who coined the term sometime in the 1800s. Then again, I actually don’t have a problem calling soccer “football” depending on who I’m talking to. I mean, if I’m talking to an American, I’m definitely using soccer to avoid any misunderstandings. It’s all about context, people.

Which brings me back to the PDP EA Sports Football Club official wired controller for, uh, that sport where you kick a ball across the pitch and try to get it into a net. Yeah, I’m getting word-conscious, darn it. You know what? On second thought, I’ll just use the word soccer because everyone, regardless of their word preference, will know what I’m talking about and not get confused. Yeah, so about the official Football Club controller for Xbox 360 and PS3. Although PDP has its line of budget controllers for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, the Football Club controller shares more with the official Battlefield controller, which has a more premium feel and presentation than your typical third-party offering. I’m looking at you Gamestop, whose budget controller really puts the “b” in budget. If I ever hand you that controller when we’re playing local multiplayer, chances are it either means I can’t find my other controllers, I don’t like you or I really, really don’t like you.

In contrast, I can let folks use the Football Club controller without any remorse. Heck, even the packaging it comes in looks nice, giving the impression that you didn’t buy this sucker with the leftover change you found while couch diving. Although design is definitely a personal thing, I personally quite like the look of this controller. For starters, I like the combination of black and white and I also like the look of soccer balls so I found this controller’s look appealing. The addition of little touches like soccer ball patterns and dots on the analog sticks is nice as well. I especially liked the smooth textured feel of this game pad’s surface, which is quite pleasant to the touch. It almost feels therapeutic.

Button layout is pretty much similar to the regular Xbox 360 controller with the exception of the “Xbox” button’s placement. To make way for the EA logo, the controller moves the home button lower, which is kind of weird if you’re used to stock controllers. The buttons also feel nice for a third-party controller as opposed to the clicky ones you sometimes get from other third-party rivals. While the thumb sticks are improved over the Rock Candy controller or even the PS3’s looser joysticks, they don’t feel as nice as the stock Xbox controllers. On the plus side, the directional pad is better than the stock Xbox controller’s d-pad, which has to be one of the worst d-pads I’ve seen in a stock controller ever. Meanwhile, the shoulder triggers feel like a cross between the ones used by the Xbox 360 and PS3 controller. It isn’t quite as conducive to shooters as the stock Xbox 360 controller but it does work nice for the FIFA 14 game. Lastly, the detachable cable is nice for preventing wire tripping and inadvertent yanking of your console.

Overall, the EA Sports Football Club official wired controller is a solid third-party controller. It’s a bit pricey at $49.99, especially since it’s wired and does not come with extra features like additional control options or programmable buttons. Then again, you can find it cheaper online these days at just $40 with a bit of searching. If you’re looking for a third-party alternative to the stock PS3 or Xbox 360 controller, however, then this one is worth a look.

Final rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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