The Afterglow Prismatic Controller has been on my radar for a little while, but I never took the plunge in to buying it, as I had bought a similar 3rd party controller around 6 months ago and was left really disappointed. So I reached out to PDP and they gladly sent me one to review.
So at first glance, the controller is pretty much the same size as a standard Xbox One controller, give or take a millimetre or so. With the only real difference being that the LB and RB buttons don’t have the distinctive dip on the top that you can see on a standard controller. This for me is actually an improvement on the design, as I find it a lot more comfortable when pressing them, compared to the standard ones. The rest of the buttons are all exactly where you would expect to find them.
On the box.
- Premium ALPS Analogue Sticks. for unparalleled precision and accuracy
- Dual Rumble Motors and Impulse Triggers. feel the action
- Signature Prismatic LED Lighting. customise the colour and brightness of the lighting quickly and easily by using the analogue stick to select virtually any colour you desire
- Dual Multi-Function Wheels. with the ability to remap up to six actions on the back of your controller, you’ll never have to take your thumbs of the sticks again
- 3.5 mm Audio Jack and Controls. control audio volume and game/chat audio balance during gameplay
- Wired Controller Batteries Not Required. includes detachable 10 ft USB cable for easy storage
- Compatible with the Afterglow Configuration App for Xbox One. create, modify, save and instantly recall custom profiles
On the back of the controller however, there’s some extra buttons. Two of them are in fact multi function wheels, giving you an extra 6 buttons. these can be programmed by pressing the button in between them twice, a green LED on the front of the controller will indicate that you are in button map mode. You then simply press the direction of the wheel you want to map, then the corresponding button you want to map to it, then you’re done. Although you can’t map the LT & RT buttons, it does give you some very good options for setting up the controller the way you want. Do note that these cannot be set to quick fire etc, they just map the standard button function.
Pressing the same program button 3 times will turn the LED on the front yellow, in this mode you can turn on/off the LEDs that are linked to the rumble motors, by simply pressing up and down on the D-pad.
Finally pressing the program button once will turn on the blue LED on the front of the controller, in this mode you can alter the colour and brightness of the prismatic lighting, using the right and left analogue sticks respectively. You then have to hold them in place and press the program button again to set the colour. This is the ‘gimmick’ if you like of the Afterglow range, while some may not like it others will love it, and do bear in mind you can turn the lighting off completely should you wish. Dimming the lighting only works with the prismatic lighting on the controller and not the LEDs, it would have been nice if they did turn down too, as they can be a little too bright especially the red LED that is on when the mic is muted.
The controller also comes with a built in 3.5 mm audio jack with volume controls built in to the controller. these are accessed by pressing and holding the small button to the right of the right analogue stick, and using the D-pad. Up and down for volume, left and right for game/chat audio mix. You can also mute/unmute your mic by double pressing the audio button. A red LED in the centre of the controller will indicate the mic is muted. I used a set of Turtle beach XO ones with the controller and all was great, except I didn’t get mic monitoring (hear yourself) like you do when using the turtle beach adaptor with older official Xbox One controllers, but is a fair trade off for the extra buttons on the controller.
The controller comes with a 10 ft (3 metre) detachable USB wire. So you can store the wire away separately from the controller when not in use. There’s also a nice bit of ‘housing’ around the connector on the controller, meaning that the cable is kept securely in place whilst it is in use. It would have been nice to see a wireless option for the controller (if at all possible).
PDP have also recently released the Afterglow Configuration App, which can be downloaded for free on the Xbox store. This gives you all the above mentioned options, with the addition of saving them as profiles that can be edited, saved and loaded when ever you like. There’s a few extras too, aside having more control over the colours of the controller using the colour wheel, you can also set the colours to cycle through the spectrum. There’s also options here to adjust the vibration strength of the triggers and rumble motors, each one can also be configured differently so if you want to have the right side rumble stronger then the left, or just a single trigger rumble, you can do it. There’s also some helpful customer service numbers and emails listed on the right hand side of the app should you need them.