Design and Comfort
The overall finish is modern and stylish, manufactured from quality ‘touchy feely’ plastics and a soft moulded rubber. The raw materials are inviting with a smooth silk-like feel – something I wouldn’t mind holding for long periods of time. The controller is mostly black with grey cammo-like spashes and red trimmings. If aesthetics is important to you, then you won’t be disappointed, this is a stunning looking controller.
As with my first Gioteck headset review, I found the controller to be tailor-made for the gamers’ needs. It is no secret that the Xbox 360 controller is preferred by many for first-person shooter fans – an argument which I understand, but not entirely agree with. I do prefer my Xbox 360 controller for the comfort and trigger buttons, but I prefer the Playstation 3 sensitivity with the thumb-sticks. With the HF-2, Gioteck did not just take the Xbox 360 controller and adapt it as to not to infringe on any copyrights as is the case with many clones. At closer inspection it is clear that with the HF-2, the advantages were carried through from the ergonomic design, but then further adapted for comfort or performance. The controller also implements some design choices that cater for the Playstation 3 controller fan. The back of the controller is even more ergonomic than the Xbox 360 controller, taking the form of your hand in the grip position in an improved way. The grip is further enhanced by a layer of synthetic-rubber on the back of the controller.
For starters the thumb-sticks’ surface is concave [like the 360] which allows for better grip with the thumb. I have always thought the Playstation 3’s use of a convex surface was a bizarre choice as it is less ‘grippy’ and my thumb tends to slip of more often.
The HF-2 allows for the thumb-stick’s sensitivity to be adjusted so I could adjust the sensitivity to suite my ‘clumsy and nervous’ touch. The first thing I always do when firing up a game is push the control sensitivity down in the options menu, something the HF2 eliminates the need for. This also allowed me to get the sensitivity to feel more like that of the Playstation 3 which I have always enjoyed.
To further welcome the Playstation 3 controller fan, the HF-2 also allows you to switch the functions of the shoulder buttons [L1 and L2 or R1 and R2]. So if you if prefer the Playstation 3 layout, you can switch the functionality by flicking a switch on the controller.
D-pads have never impressed me and I use them as little as possible. The d-pad is of an apt design and the response works perfectly. The pad itself protrudes off the surface of the controller to a suitable height which helps with the grip.
One aspect that has put me off several third-party controllers in the past is the vibration feature or lack thereof. I believe it has become an integral part of gaming and the when the rumble is not sufficient I am instantly put off. The HF-2 does not lack in this department and rumbles in a sufficient and efficient manner. This vibrating feature brings me to my next point which is that the HF-2 ships standard with a cassette for 2 x AA batteries, which is what I prefer. Firstly because this adds more weight to the controller which I find works better with the vibration for some reason – it just feels of more substance to me. And secondly because I use Eneloop batteries which is far superior to any rechargeable battery I have ever known of, so I love having not having any wires and I have never known of rechargeable battery woes.
What we loved
- Ergonomic design
- Takes best qualities of the Xbox 360 controller
- Solid and durable feeling
- Adjustable thumb-stick sensitivity
Not so much
- Does not ship in blue and white stripes to match my favourite soccer team
Launch price is R 599.00 thereafter it will be R 699.00
It’s the small, stellar design choices the impressed me with the HF-2, along with the general performance. The Gioteck HF-2 works well and feels like a high quality product – it is simply one of the best FPS shooter controllers I have tested, if not the best.