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Ferrari Wireless Gamepad 430 Scuderia Limited Edition

 

Ferrari Wireless Gamepad 430 Scuderia Limited Edition

Platform: PS3
Category: Game pads
 
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Developer: Thrustmaster

Features:

Numbered limited edition
Programmable
Tested on PS3
Not just for racing games

A Ferrari themed controller with a twist...literally. Thrustmaster recently released a series of Ferrari themed controllers compatible with both the PS3 and PC. When I think of Ferrari, the words performance and design come to mind. While each controller is themed after a certain model, the most interesting element to me is the inclusion of an optical wheel, centered around the directional pad, that allows the user to steer with the thumb. How does it work? How’s the whole package? Let’s find out.

Packaging

Packaging is often as important to collectors as the actual collectable. The packaging for the 430 Scuderia controller features the controller well as it is set aggressively behind a large, clear vinyl window. This positioning does a good job of showing off the controller’s livery (forgive me for the racing term). The black box also lists the specifications for the controller, features photos of two other Ferrari themed controllers and is stickered and numbered as an officially licensed Ferrari product. A nice final touch is a slim, horizontal window on the back of the box that shows off the top of the controller and a numbered, limited edition decal on the controller itself. I’m not a collector myself but the packaging looks great.

Design

When compared to the PS3 controller, the 430 is narrow and a bit taller thanks mainly to extended hand grips with a shape that models the nose cone of Ferrari’s F1 cars. The controller itself is metallic red with a black accent on the left and metallic silver accents down the right handle that mirror the silver accents on the hood of the actual 430 Scuderia car. A small Ferrari logo rounds things out. Unfortunately this nice paint job is marred by an intrusive “THRUSTMASTER” across the top of the controller face. I understand the importance of branding but I would have liked to see that placed on the back or leading edge of the controller. There are some rough edges where the top of the controller meets the bottom (which has a nice tacky feel) that I don’t think are very characteristic of Ferrari. That’s a somewhat minor complaint but collectors might want to take a closer look to find one with the best possible quality.

The thumbsticks are a bit smaller than those on the regular PS3 controller but feature the same textured domes that Sony controllers have always had. Tilting either stick side-to-side exposes a little of the industrial-like inner workings of the controller. The brass and silver coloured elements are a really nice touch that I can appreciate. The directional pad is similar to the Xbox pad (rather than how Sony divides theirs into four segments) and the face buttons are tilted slightly to the left, oriented more along the axis of the right handle. The Start and Select buttons are joined by Home, Map and Set buttons used to program the controller.

As a fan of racing games, the biggest draw for this controller is the optical wheel set around the directional pad. The manual that comes with the controller demonstrates how this wheel can be used for many other styles of games aside from racing games. Two tabs on the wheel allow for thumb control. The sprung wheel rotates about 90 degrees with a sort of stop in the middle that divides it in half.

I’m not the biggest fan of the regular PS3 controller and one of the reasons is that I find it a little small for my big hands. The longer handles of the 430 controller come in handy and allow me to hold the controller more in my hands rather than in my fingers. This is especially handy for accessing the shoulder buttons (I should quickly say that the triggers have slightly more travel than the regular PS3 controller as well).


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