PC control pads have always been a questionable investment, despite the preference of some gamers for universal control systems. The implementation of the Xbox 360 controller as a standardised input device is surely the closest PC gaming has ever come to matching the flexibility of console interfaces, but for those who don’t own an Xbox 360 console the demand of a £35 GBP investment for what is, compared to some PC control pads, a relatively basic design might be a step too far. So what about those who own a PlayStation 3 instead? Enter the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad.
From the very first impressions it’s easy to tell that the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad is a budget production. Coming with a recommended retail price (RRP) that is nearly half that of a DualShock 3 controller, the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad is obviously a weaker product. Its build quality is arguably of a similar standard; however the D-Pad and analogue sticks are noticeably poorer in both their design and feedback. Where the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad excels however, is in that of its versatility.
This article began by discussing PC controllers before comparing the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad to a DualShock 3 pad. An odd jump to make you may think, but this is exactly where the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad sits. Offering compatibility with both PC and PlayStation 3, the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad is just as versatile as the Xbox 360 controller and offers a significantly longer battery life. Featuring an internal lithium ion battery, the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad promotes itself as having up to eight hours of gameplay time. In Electronic Theatre’s experience this was closer to six hours, but still greater than that of the DualShock 3 and still offering force feedback via built-in vibration that works on standardised code.
Available via most online PC retailers now, the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad is far from being the worst third-party control pad you could invest in, especially if you also need a second, third or fourth for your PlayStation 3. It’s never going to become your favourite control pad, nor will it rival the Xbox 360 controller for those who already have access to one, but as a cheap alternative the Speedlink Strike FX Wireless Gamepad is clean enough in it’s designed and delivery.