The Nacon Revolution PS4 professional controller (not to be confused with a PS4 Pro controller, mind you) is a mess. Straight up, it’s an inferior third-party controller that tries — and fails — to be an Xbox One Elite controller.
Touted as “licensed by Sony”, which most third-party controllers are anyway, the Nacon is a weird blend between a DualShock and an Xbox Elite. Whilst designing it, I’m convinced those at Nacon thought of every cool little thing they muster, and then implemented every idea regardless of overall aesthetic and feel. On the plus side, it sports Xbox-style triggers, offset left and right sticks and remappable buttons. Oddly, it lacks a proper DualShock lightbar and needs to be wired up to function — two horrendous black marks against any wins it manages to conjure up.
The Nacon is sleek, but its hard angles make it uncomfortable to hold. You’ll feel the sides of the controller digging into your palms at all times, and the placement of its triggers mean you’ll have to adopt an awkward, claw-like grip. Its 8-way d-pad and face and shoulder buttons are, admittedly, perfect, large and producing satisfying clicks as you use them. It’s a heavier controller, but in a great way like the Xbox One Elite controller. Whilst top-heavy because of its damned wired requirement, you can at least adjust the weight of each sidegrip, thanks to a small compartment on either side. Interchangeable weights let you balance things out according to your own preferences.
Its offset sticks, great for Xbox gamers but off-putting (pun very much intended) for those accustomed to a Dualshock, are as random as the Nacon’s overall design. The left stick is concave while the right is convex, and that lack of uniformity is very distracting. So too is the Alienware-inspired light ring that circles the right stick for no good reason. It’s cool looking, I guess, but I kept thinking that feature might have been better used to accommodate proper lightbar functionality instead. You can also plug your Nacon into a PC to make the light ring red instead (as part of different mapped configurations) — so points for that, I suppose, inserting a ‘red ring’ joke here for laughs.
The fact that the Nacon needs to be wired up to use is in excusable. In an age where wireless controllers reign supreme, the need to attach a cable to the top of the device is utter lunacy. Worse yet is the random, ugly, silver connector that sticks from the top of the Nacon, waiting for its USB cable. At the very, very least, the connector should have been inset into the controller.
Sadly, the Nacon isn’t recognised as a proper DualShock controller when plugged into your PC, so you won’t be able to take advantage of Steam’s new DualShock support. Neither will it work with PS4 Remote Play via PC.
If you’ve ever bought a third-party controller for a console, you already know it’s inferior to a first-party one. Even though the Nacon is licensed by Sony, this doesn’t make it an exception. The DualShock 4, a massive, noticable improvement over the PS3’s DualShock 3, is the second best controller in the world, only behind the Xbox One Elite. The Nacon adds nothing to its design; not one bit.
If Sony really wants to get into the pro market, they’re going to need to do it themselves. The Nacon Revolution Pro controller for PS4 is a poor imitation of an amazing controller, not worth your time, energy or cash. The only gamer I could even think of possibly recommending this to is an Xbox One player who suddenly decides he or she needs to wholly play on a PS4, who the professionalist of pro gamers. For more of us, you’re better sticking to your DualShock.
Correction: We incorrectly stated the controller was devoid of a lightbar. We have corrected the review accordingly.