Gioteck SC-1 Wireless PS3 Sports Controller Review
For all in-tense and purposes the SC-1 is the same shape as the Gioteck GC-2 I reviewed earlier. However in my opinion this third party controller is the one to go for if you want a good all-rounder to replace or add to your existing PS3 setup.
Box & Design
As with the GC-2 you get a small USB wireless dongle and a small USB charging cable supplied in the box. The wireless USB dongle plugs into the front of the PS3’s USB port and this provides connection to the SC-1 when the Home button is pressed.
You will also find a Quick Start Guide which explains the controllers additional functions and of course you get the controller itself.
As with the GC-2 the controller is similar in style to the Xbox 360 controller and is a little heavier as a result. To me this gave it the edge over the standard PS3 Dual Shock 3 (DS3) controller when playing games.
Mind you unlike the GC-2 the rubberised coating at the back extends to the front of the controller as well. This provides a lot more comfort and gives it a premium feel. This premium feel also emanates through to the thumbsticks, which felt more responsive. Especially when you pushed down on them (the latter feels almost identical to the sensation you get with the DS3 L3/R3 button presses).
The red backing and grey top finish makes the controller look pretty stylish in my opinion. The buttons and thumbsticks are also in different position than the standard controller, so the left stick is more towards to the top, which is how the Xbox controller is configured. This provided a more natural resting position for my thumbs.
You also get a few extra buttons on the controller (alongside the default). One of which is the turbo option (more on this later) and two function buttons (F1/F2) at the base which can be used to save button combos.
I found my hands fell into position with this controller instantly and only a small shift was needed to reach the top buttons and triggers. Additionally the triggers have a stronger spring and don’t suffer from slipping as they do on the DS3.
Setup was a piece of cake as the controller connects almost instantly when the Home button is pressed. However the controller can’t be used to turn on the console so you need to do this manually. Plus you won’t find sixaxis support either. But as I mentioned with the GC-2 the amount of games that utilise this function is minimal.
For testing I put the controller through its paces on a number of FPS and fighting games i.e. Call of Duty Black OPS II (including Zombies) and some old school fighting action with Soul Calibur IV.
In the hand the controller feels pretty good during the above games. The Rubber finish really does help with slippage as my hands felt less sweaty.
The triggers also felt more responsive and unlike the GC-2 I found that the precision in FPS games was an improvement; to the point of it being a serious contender for a replacement to my DS3.
You do get an added bonus with the controller in the form of the turbo option which can help improve the responsiveness further. By holding the turbo button down you can move the left or right thumb stick across to increase or decrease the sticks sensitivity. Also you can hold down the turbo button and press a button on your controller (i.e. your fire key) to perform a rapid fire function.
The rapid fire option is pretty useful, though I personally did not utilise the sensitivity option a great deal as I was quite happy with the standard settings.
I also found that the dual-rumble option and top button seemed to perform slightly better than the GC-2. Possibly due to the materials used on the controller. But you certainly felt more involved with the action with the SC-1.
The only gripe was that the right most buttons i.e. the X button needed more pressure before it would work. Though again having to apply more pressure does prevent you from accidentally pressing the wrong button at an inappropriate time.
Switching to fighting games gave me a chance to test the two profile buttons. So for example I could press and hold the turbo/F1 buttons and then press each button (in-turn) that I wanted to save. In theory this is a good option because you can store up to 8 actions. Unfortunately I found it pretty hit and miss. The F1 and F2 buttons are quite hard to press for a start (I suppose to stop them from being accidentally pressed mid-game) and none of the combination of keys seemed to work as expected, though by some sheer fluke I managed to save a super combo in the game and with a press of the F1 button it would unleash it!
On the plus side when the buttons are not used in this mode they can act as alternatives to your existing buttons, for example in COD Black Ops 2 Zombies they can be used as the knife or reload buttons. However their role changes depending on which game you play.
Note: The turbo modes only lasts as long as your controller is on. Once it’s been turned off it loses all the settings. It would have been useful to have a function to store these for future use.
The D-pad performed quite well, and from a button bashing point of view it gets my vote.
In terms of battery life the manual claims 25 hours on a single charge and at the moment I can’t really fault the battery as after a week of on/off gaming it’s still going strong. In fact the controller will automatically turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity or 1 minute when it is not connected to the PS3.
Even though the controller is designed for the PS3 It did get recognised by my Windows 8 machine. However like the GC-2 it’s not worth the hassle because all the control buttons don’t work unless you map them. So it can be quite time consuming (not to mention frustrating).
Considering the two controllers are a similar price, for me my money would be on the SC-1. It’s a better all-rounder for those who like to dabble in FPS and fighting games. Its profile F1 and F2 buttons were not quite as straightforward as I would have liked, but along with its quality feel and additional turbo functions this is certainly a controller worth investigating for the low price!
With that said if you want a free controller the site is currently running a competition to win the GC-2.
For a chance to win the GC-2 controller simply follow @GioteckArmy https://twitter.com/GioteckArmy and then send a quick tweet, making sure you include (without the quotes) “Crowdedbrain GC-2 Controller Compo @Gioteck @Crowdedbrain_uk” so we can pick the winner, and that’s it really.
We will run the competition for a few weeks and then pick one lucky winner from the hat.
Note: This compo is only for UK residents only.