The latest peripheral from the UK manufacturer launches with a veritable blast of power as the Gioteck GC-2 controller hits retail shelves. But will the third-party controller be dogged by latency and dead zones, or will it rise above the flotsam of wannabee’s to the top of the pile in a blaze of glory? Let’s jump into the review and find out, shall we?
Never one to shy away from a Gioteck review, we kind of like the British based boffins behind some of the industry’s most cost-effective and user-friendly gaming gadgets and gizmo’s, we leapt at the opportunity to get our hands on the latest controller from the innovative young company not because it is just a handy freebie, to use with either Wii U or Playstation 3, but because we genuinely like to look around the market and bring to the attention of our readers the best value for money products in these difficult economic times.
Gaming has never been the most wallet friendly of pastimes and, if truth be told, trying to keep up to date with all of the latest hardware, games and peripherals is probably one of the most expensive hobbies a person could have. So, with that in mind it is our distinct pleasure to be able to say that, in a time of £180 Scuf Gaming controllers, that are really little more than a basic package with a couple of paddles tacked underneath, that Gioteck have once again managed to pull out another diamond from the rough with their latest GC-2 Wireless Controller for the PS3 and Wii U systems.
Starting off with the aesthetics of the Gioteck controller is a good place to begin this review as the new look high polished finish to the GC-2 is in stark contrast to Gioteck’s more familiar ‘digital camo’ styled offerings, but one, we feel, that will have potential customers smiling all the way to the local retail outlet. The underside of the GC-2, however, has been given an altogether different look with its matt black almost ‘rubberized’ feel that allows players hands to settle in nicely for extended bouts of gameplay, without being bathed in sweat thanks to the profuse outpourings from slick palms when glossing over glossy finishes.
The controller is set up in a more Xbox360 styled ‘offset’ positioning with the D-Pad being horizontally positioned with the right thumb stick and the left thumb stick being mirrored by the control buttons. The bumpers and triggers are housed in the usual shoulder setting, but there is a ‘turbo’ button next to the ‘pause’ and ‘back” buttons allowing for a greater range of customization properties than even the Dualshock or the Wii U Pro controllers.
Moving right along to the ‘brains’ of the GC-2 and we come straight into what makes this controller all the remarkable, considering its paltry £24.99 price tag, and that is the amount of leading tech that is contained inside this little beauty for what is not a lot of money at all.
Housed beneath the ‘two tone’ exterior of the latest Gioteck hard shell design is something which is far more than just the latest technology in videogames control systems, and it is far more than just being a twin delight in that the GC-2 is perfectly adapted for use across both the Playstation 3 and Wii U consoles. The Gioteck GC-2 is a ‘message’. We just have to make sure that people, gamers, designers and manufacturers alike, hear what it has to say. But more on that point a little later, let’s first concern ourselves with the practicality of the GC-2’s design and the flawless nature of its performance.
We have tried so many controllers here at GamesMediaPro that have all claimed to be ‘perfect’ for use with the Playstation 3. We have tried all the Power A’s, the Mad Catz, Scuf Gaming, Razer and Cyborg’s and one thing is uniform throughout every single third-party peripheral that makes it to production. To a product they all fall far short of their promises and expectations. The problem is unanimous across them all, and it is ‘Dead Zones’ You know what we mean, right? That moment when you are in the middle of a boss fight with a huge hulking monster and you are required to execute even the most deft of thumb stick movements to perform a slick ‘dodge’ manoeuvre, and thus give you the time to load, cock and fire your weapon and destroy the encroaching monster before it rips your spine out from between your shoulder blades in an explosion of gory detail.
But wait, what the….? Nothing happens? You stare incredulously at your controller wondering just what in the heck is going on, only to discover that because of ‘Dead Zones’ such performance enhancing abilities are out of reach for your ‘Turbo Twister 3 ‘trolla with mappable buttons and rapid fire adjustments’ Oh well, back to the retail or online outlet to troll the shelves and internet pages for yet another third-party controller to give you the edge over your opponents, and yet another £150 thrown straight down the gaming drain.
‘Dead Zones’ affect just about every single controller we have ever encountered, maybe with the exception of the Razer Onza Tournament Edition and the Scuf Gaming Wired Pro, but when you consider that even at this present moment in time we currently have 26 different controllers from all manner of manufacturers sat gathering dust on our shelves, well, that should at least give you some insight into just how many actually deliver on the promises they make.
The problem is that the ‘Dead Zones’ and the ‘Latency’ both are deal breakers, in our opinion. To move your thumb stick in any direction and to feel no ‘bite’ from the motion of the character on-screen is just unforgivable. Thankfully, the Gioteck GC-2 Wireless controller is one of the only controllers that has pin point precision straight out of the box.
The merest touch of your digit lightly stroking the rubberized thumb stick produces a definite movement toward the preferred and indicated target. There is no pause, no delay and there is certainly no need to force your thumb stick across in a wild sweeping motion just to get the controller to…well, ‘control’ your avatar on-screen. The Gioteck GC-2 also comes with a prepared install on the company website that will allow customers to download alternative sensitivity settings should they require their controller to perform with even more accuracy and agility.
One area that we were a little worried over, however, and this is another one of those ‘universal issues’ for all third-party manufacturers, is in the controllers ‘latency’. For those of you who don’t quite get the problem of ‘latency’ we will explain it quite simply. You know when you are online and you are lagging so much and so badly that it drives you to despair as your character just doesn’t seem able to do anything you ask, or if they do it always seems like they are doing it ten minutes afer you have issued them with the command? Well, that’s ‘latency’.
This same issue affects ‘all’ wireless controllers, and indeed all wireless products, but it always seems to hit Bluetooth controllers just that little bit harder. Unfortunately, the GC-2 is Bluetooth, and unfortunately there is a known issue of ‘latency’ in all Bluetooth peripherals. But, joy to the world, there has to be a time when a manufacturer takes the issue to task and manages to eradicate the problem with a careful attention to detail and some ingenious ingenuity. Gioteck have managed to do such a thing with their GC-2 controller.
Every single button press, every moment of the thumbsticks and every single bumper press or trigger pull produces startling results that are instantaneous. We have yet to experience anything that even comes close to a wired controller in any wireless product, regardless of manufacturer or design. But Gioteck have, it would seem, conquered this.
Now we come to the absolute cherry on top of Gioteck’s delicious cake, the Wii U compatibility. Ever since Nintendo launched their new console, gamers who have been used to a more traditional controller have cried out for a third-party controller to come along and give them the option of not having to buy the Premium Edition Wii U just to get their hands on a suitable controller. Gioteck have satisfied this demand.
The Wii U Pro controller is a good product, and it is a viable option. But when you consider that for the same amount of your hard-earned cash you could, in fact, by two of the GC-2 controllers and enjoy your Wii U exclusives with a friend or loved playing Co-oP, and let’s face it here, it’s a total no brainer.The GC-2 performs just as well in most area’s as its Wii U counterpart, and even better in others.
So, then, to summarise. The Gioteck GC-2 controller outperforms both of the brand versions of its rivals on both the Playstation 3 and the new Wii U console. It is decidedly cheaper than both, and in the case of the Sony and Nintendo websites and stores they are actually around 50% cheaper. They operate with a far greater responding Bluetooth set up that gives greater range and has zero latency, lag or dead zones. The new look sleek black design is as pleasing on the eye as the price tag of a mere £25 is soothing on the wallet.
Earlier in this review when we said that the GC-2 was more than mere technology and design, it was a message, we deliberately paused before delivering that speech to allow our readers the time to see if they could work out this ‘message’ for themselves, and knowing the standard of readers that populate our site we already know that you will all have worked it out.
The message is this, and it is a simple as it is obvious. The GC-2 is showing the rest of the manufacturers the direction that future tech and future peripherals should be taking, as it delivers everything that other companies are charging you almost three or four times the amount for. If Gioteck can deliver a product that has the latest design, the latest hardware and the latest Bluetooth technology all housed in its sexy black casing for a mere £25 quid, then why are other peripherals manufacturers charging you as much as £180-200 for the same kit?
Gaming is not exempt from the current economic downturn, and if the manufacturers believe that they can continue to churn out over priced products one after the other in a never-ending line of barely different products then they are sorely mistaken. Gamers now have less disposable income than ever with which to fund their hobby, and considering that you may now purchase either an Xbox360 or a Playstation 3 for less than the price of some manufacturers controllers and headsets is a travesty. Gioteck have seen the writing on the wall, it would seem, far sooner than a good deal of their over charging rivals, and long may they continue to lead the way in this fight to deliver the very best products for the littlest cash. The Gioteck GC-2 scores 9 out of 10
Readers should note that the Wii U version, as well as the downloadable sensitivity updates, will be available in April, 2013
For more details regarding the GC-2 then go directly to the Gioteck website via this link