Any serious eSports player will tell you that if you’re not playing with a keyboard and mouse, you’re not playing.
In games like Counter-Strike, hairline accuracy isn’t just an advantage, but a necessity – especially with hundreds of thousand of dollars prize money at stake – which is why even the pro controllers usually just don’t cut it.
Nacon reckons it’s made the first controller that eSports players will be able to use and not be at a disadvantage against someone using a keyboard and mouse setup.
The gamepad was built with the help of French pro gamer Norman “Genius” Chatrier, and if you haven’t already noticed, looks very much like the Xbox One Elite controller. Nacon’s is PC-only, but that’s where it wants to be, and it reckons its offering is both more precise and more customisable than Microsoft’s.
While neither the software nor hardware is final, we saw that the current customisation settings are vast, including options to adjust sensitivity, dead zones, button mapping and the joystick response curve.
Nacon says the right stick has an amplitude of 46 degree compared to the normal 38, and there are weights on either side of the gamepad that can be swapped out. There’s only one pair of rear paddles, though, the Xbox Elite pad has four.
Nacon is aiming at the first-person shooter market. Although it says the controller could be used by League of Legend players, it sees its product as one for the Counter-Strike and beat-em-up market. We gave it a spin on Counter-Strike, and while the right stick felt highly precise, it will be the pro players that’ll decide if it’s good enough for the big leagues. We liked how, with the simple press of a button, we could switch between four custom profiles on the controller during a game.
Nacon told us it wants to propose the controller to some eSports leagues, but it still has work to do before the controller is fully ready. For one thing, it thinks it can make the right joystick better. It’s also speaking to students at the eSports Academy in France for more feedback.
The controller will cost 79 euros (around $90/£60) when it arrives, but the company is going to do a crowdfunding campaign over the next couple of months, with an aim to get the controller in gamers’ hands this October.
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