Mad Catz MicroCon Controller (XBOX)


posted 10/19/2002 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: Xbox
Ever since the XBOX came out, people have been clamoring for a smaller controller. The big bulky XBOX controllers were not that popular because of the size of the peripheral. Mad Catz has released probably the smallest controller out there for the XBOX and today I’ll look at their MicroCON line of XBOX controllers.

If you took a look at the MicroCON XBOX controller form afar, you’d think it was their Control Pad Pro. In reality, the MicroCON controller is 20% smaller than Mad Catz’ own already smaller XBOX controller. The same great design is still there but just in a smaller form. To be honest, I think the controller is smaller than the 20% reduction that the box states. Just holding the MicroCON and then switching to the Control Pad Pro makes me feel like I am going from holding a peanut to an apple. The smaller size doesn’t take away from how comfortable it feels though.

Like the Control Pad Pro, the MicroCON controller has the nice rubber side grips on the handles. The rubber grips offer a more comfortable hold. This is partly the reason the Control Pad Pro is my main XBOX controller and it’s nice to see the feature appear in the MicroCON version.

The two analog sticks feature an indented top and a nice feel when pressing down. The spring on the analog sticks give a nice subtle feedback. It doesn’t take as much pressure to active the thumb buttons as it does for the Control Pad Pro. The change is nice and I do like the thumb button feel of the MicroCON more than the Control Pad Pro. Movement on the two analog sticks is smooth and offers good tension away from the center. It’s not too loose and it’s not too strong.

The smaller design has forced Mad Catz to rearrange some buttons around. For starters, the start and back buttons are now below and to the left of the left analog stick. They are also smaller in size and are out of the way enough not to be pushed accidentally. The white and black buttons have been moved to the right of the right analog stick and below the main buttons, just like in the small controller from Microsoft. Unlike Microsoft’s design which I am not fond of, the Mad Catz one has the two buttons protruding from the controller at a very nice height giving you an easier time in pressing those two buttons. While playing NCAA, I found that pressing the two buttons to view the play was a lot more comfortable than the Microsoft one. I really liked how Mad Catz designed the two buttons with the position change and they seem easier to access now.

In fact, the other buttons, while smaller in size than the Control Pad Pro, also protrude from the base at a very nice height so that you should have no trouble finding the right button to press by feel. The pressure and feedback also feel pretty good. The trigger spring tension has a nice feel to it also. Overall, the MicroCON XBOX controller has a great feel from top to bottom.
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