Nacon Pro Compact Controller Review: The other controller for the Xbox series

After a few years of loyalty to the PlayStation universe, in 2020 Nacon was one of the first manufacturers to introduce its new range of controllers for Xbox series consoles. Today we welcome the first model in this series to our test bench, the Pro Compact Controller, to see if it is comparable to the official Microsoft model. OffersBoulanger € 49.99 In-Store PickupAmazon € 49.99 Free Shipping

A difficult place in the Xbox universe

Unfortunately, it is once again connected to a braided cable and in this case almost 3 meters long that Nacon is further developing its first model for Xbox. The French manufacturer was unable to create a wireless model on this platform due to disagreement with Microsoft such as Thrustmaster and Razer. However, he didn’t choose esports or high-end to take part in the race. With an introductory price of € 49, the Pro Compact Controller is barely € 10 less than the official controller. Difficult price placement and very small price difference when we know the Xbox series controller works both wired and cordless. Beyond this connection, however, the Nacon controller presents a technical sheet on paper that corresponds to that of Microsoft. There are the same number of buttons, functions with even audio management and even two profile memories, one of which is standard and the other can be configured by the user. Regardless of whether you are a PC or Xbox player, the controller can be used with full compatibility with both platforms thanks to an XInput connection. In both cases you benefit from an application that offers access to a complete mapping, a calibration of the sticks and triggers with dead zone and progression curve. Enough to add a touch of revolution to this Pro Compact model. It should be noted, however, that these curves cannot be edited at will by the user. We are indeed in the presence of fixed presets to be chosen from a list while the width of the central dead zone has to be chosen gradually.

A little more accessible, a lot less convenient

We had clearly expected that the Pro Compact would position itself as a comfort model despite the term “Compact” in the name of its controller. Unfortunately, compactness has priority as the controller is slightly smaller than the competition. Not much as the thickness and width remain comparable to the Xbox Series controller. On the other hand, the depth is less than 2 centimeters and it is mainly the handles that are the cost of this change. Shorter, with more pronounced curves, we place the middle and ring fingers, but the little finger remains hopelessly without an attachment point. As a result, they have difficulty providing a comfortable grip on large hands, especially in the long run. The hands of children will also gain access to the various keys there, especially with regard to the directional cross and the right stick. But don’t expect the Pro Compact to act like a child’s controller either, because it doesn’t. The controls are the standard size and the required spacing remains high, even for the age group of 8-11 years that we tested. Even so, we note the efforts made by Nacon to give its handles a high quality grip, thanks in particular to the presence of a relief structure throughout the lower part of the trunk. Texture comparable to that of the DualSense, very light, but sufficient to prevent the object from slipping in the game.

Fairly qualitative controls, but could be improved =

We really liked the width and responsiveness of the buttons on the Nacon Revolution Unlimited, and while the Pro Compact can’t quite stand that, it offers something bigger than the usual controllers. The larger, bigger, flatter, and softer keycaps than those on the Xbox Series controller provide comfort for the thumb in the middle ready to press the button of its choice. At the same time, the level of action and rebound of the spring remain comparable to those of the official model, resulting in a very remarkable overall result where only the maximum rate is lower. Not a huge loss in most games. The two analog sticks have an identical mechanism, but differ in the texture of their caps. The left features a concave honeycomb surface, while the right proudly adorns the brand’s logo. The feeling is hardly any different and we do not notice any influence on the grip. The latter is only guaranteed by the smooth and rubbery texture of the rounding of these sticks. This leads to a result that is far from catastrophic, but is significantly worse than what the Xbox series controller offers and is much more evident in its landforms. At the same time, the resistance of the sticks remains very low and their handling is not affected by this choice. The maximum stick angle is completely the same as what Microsoft made for its controller, so you won’t be penalized by switching from one model to another. The directional cross is a little more problematic. Here, too, the model selected for this Pro Compact does not pose a particular problem, but it suffers from the comparison with the Xbox controller. Here we are in the presence of a simple cross, thick, with little marked directions, but with high resistance. It’s far from ideal for practicing fighting or platforming game, especially since the smooth surface is quite slippery. You must therefore place your thumb flat in the center and push clearly in the direction you have chosen. This is a source of error and quite stressful in the long run. Due to its trigger and edge buttons, Nacon has also decided to stand out from most of its competitors with two buttons that are well separated from each other. The LB and RB buttons therefore offer a fairly large surface area of ​​almost 3 centimeters with an almost constant pressure force along the entire length, so, like the Xbox series controller, it is possible to press on top without completely moving your finger on the back of the controller. A good point. The force required is also comparable to that of the original model, but with a less dry feel and a little more depth. Conversely, the triggers are thinner and the travel shortened by almost 5 degrees. We lose precision, what we gain in responsiveness, which means that the controller is less comfortable in racing games than in those where the trigger is used to shoot, and in proportions that do not prevent you from playing more regardless of the genre becomes. There’s also a dedicated vibration motor via trigger that was sorely lacking in Razer’s premium Wolverine v2 controller, although the quality of the vibration is a little crude compared to the Xbox controllers. One and Xbox series. Note that we are not doing this with the main vibrations, however. Note that the controller comes with a Dolby Atmos license for Xbox One / Series, which is valid once the controller is connected and can be used on both the TV and the headphone jack on the remote control.

A mixed conclusion

It is difficult to find a target audience for this Pro Compact Controller. The controller does not compromise the quality of its manufacture, but its ergonomics leave a lot to be desired. The flaw of the handles is not very suitable for adult hands and we do not particularly recommend it for children. Above all, we don’t find the comfort of the old Nacon models. The buttons and various controls are of a good standard, but the competition embodied by Microsoft and its official controller does much better with higher stick handles or a more convincing cross. After all, the ultimately high price and the restriction of wired use prevent this Pro Compact from being a real alternative to the Xbox Series controller on consoles and on the PC. Pleasant in the game Two internal memories with management software on PC and console A long and thick cable The handle of the handles, light but sufficient Negative points Desperately wired A price placement too close to the official controller A special handle The handle of the sticks is a little light The directional cross Too hard and slippery Difficult for Nacon to compete with the official controller for the Xbox series when Microsoft denies access to wireless technology. For only 10 euros less, this Pro Compact Controller is therefore limited to cables, but offers no eSport-oriented functions and, above all, no competition in terms of ergonomics, handling or quality of the control. Nacon’s suggestion may be sincere, but with some good qualities it is sadly inadequate in the world of Xbox as a PC right now. The review of oliveroidubocal Redaction March 16, 2021 at 19:05:10 13/20 OffersBoulanger € 49.99 In-store pickupAmazon € 49.99 Free deliveryAmazon € 49.99 Free deliveryFnac € 49.99 In-store pickupBoulanger 49, € 99 pick up in store