Brightly coloured, perfectly functional and guaranteed not to raise your blood sugar levels if you lick it.
Performance Designed Products, otherwise known as PDP, have been making unique peripherals for a while now, and are well known for both their Rock Candy range of brightly coloured controllers and their Afterglow range of headsets and controllers that light up. Latest in the Rock Candy range is the Wired Controller for Xbox One, filling a gap in the market for a slightly cheaper second controller for Microsoft’s latest console.
I would think the majority of gamers wouldn’t swap their primary official controller for anything, but there often comes a time when having a second controller handy could lead to all manner of multiplayer enjoyment. This is when a third party controller comes in handy as a cheaper option for the additional player. In the past, third party controllers generally had a bad reputation, but thankfully things are much better now. PDP’s Rock Candy Wired Controller for Xbox One is one of only a few alternatives to the official controller, and it is certainly worth considering.
Available in three different sweetie-themed colours – Aqualime, Blueberry Boom and Stormin’ Cherry – the Rock Candy controllers are certainly colourful. The plastic shell covering the controller is clear, whichever colour you happen to choose, revealing the inner workings. Users will be able to stare in fascination at the circuit boards and the rumble motors when they are not busy playing their games. The candy finish looks good, although I would imagine that the more serious gamer will shun the slightly childish look of these controllers.
The shape of the Rock Candy controller is spot on, although there is a lip on the lower edge that feels out of place. It is also somewhat lighter than the official controller, but this is in part due to the missing battery pack. Most importantly, the controller feels solid and in no way cheap.
When it comes to the buttons, these are all constructed from a white plastic which looks nice in contrast to the see-through candy finish of the rest of the controller. All of the buttons you would expect are there, and there are no additional buttons to confuse things. The face buttons have a nice click that feels similar to the official controller. The d-pad feels a little spongier, but still functions absolutely fine. There is something strange going on with the Xbox button. It is framed rather than sunk into the plastic like the original, and it protrudes rather a lot. This has no effect on the functionality of the controller, but it does look a little off.
The two sticks are solid plastic, without any form of rubberised grip. They are also not indented, meaning that the thumbs don’t rest as easily on them. This is something easily fixed with a set of those rubber pads, but it is something to consider if you often suffer from sweaty thumb. Otherwise, they feel fine and seem to have about the same amount of give as the original. The buffer buttons have slightly more click than the originals, and the triggers feel squeakier. But none of this prevents the controller from working properly, it is just a little different in comparison.
In all, the Rock Candy controller works great, but there are two differences that may affect your choice to pick one up for guests. The first difference is that there is no expansion port, meaning the user cannot plug in a headset. Whilst this may not be an issue for the visiting player, it does reduce the likelihood of a Rock Candy controller being used as the primary controller for online gaming.
The other major difference is that this is a wired controller, with no options for a battery pack. The cable is of a decent length and is fully detachable, making storage much easier. It is strange using a wired controller after having made the move to wireless for the last two generations of console.
There is no way that the Rock Candy Wired Controller for Xbox One could ever replace the official controller. That being said, the Rock Candy controller performs admirably and doesn’t look half bad either. The Rock Candy Wired Controller for Xbox One can be purchased for around £30. This makes it cheaper than the original and an attractive prospect for those looking for a second controller.