SplitFish FragFX

Review

posted 10/22/2007 by John Yan
other articles by John Yan
One Page Platforms: PS3
A product to let you have a mouse control for console games has been done before but they've been pretty off in giving good performance. The folks atSplitFish think they have something that delivers for those wanting a good mouse setup for first person shooters. I actually went to New York a few weeks ago to check the product out as there's been some good buzz surrounding it. So with that let's take a look atSplitFish's FragFX for the PlayStation 3.

Rather than put out a product that lets you plug in your own keyboard and mouse like the old SmartJoy Frag, Splitfish's FragFX puts a controller and mouse in your hand. Made for right handed folks, the controller portion of the FragFx features a thumbstick, three triggers, a D-Pad, sensitivity dial, and a PS3/selector button. The controller fits rather comfortably in the left hand offering easy access to all buttons even for my small hands. Yes, it does bear a little resemblance to theWii's Nunchuk and it does house full Sixaxis movement so you can move the controller and have those movements translated in the game. The three triggers encompass the L1 and L2 as well as a Frag button What the Frag button does is lower the sensitivity of the mouse enabling you to be more precise with small movements for situations like sniping. If you want to adjust how sensitive the mouse is on the fly, just turn the dial up or down.

A seven button optical mouse is your means to aim and surf the store. On the left side where two thumb buttons normally would be are the four PlayStation buttons in a diamond formation. While the formation might seem a little odd, I found that it worked out pretty well and I was able to press the button I want without having to think about it after a little bit of practice. The mouse is on the smaller side and while it fit my small hands well, those with larger hands might have a little more difficulty being comfortable with it. There's the two main buttons, a button in place of where a scroll wheel would be, and the start button below that. The other mouse buttons correspond to R1, R2, and the right thumb stick button.

If your game doesn't let you adjust what the buttons do, the FragFX offers real time programming of the buttons on the controller so you can change what their functionality is depending on the game. Theonboard memory will save the configuration so that you won't lose what you have done once you turn off the console. This functionality is more valuable in console controllers than on PC peripherals since programmers sometimes limit the configuration of controls in their software.

Another nice little feature of the FragFX is that the product can be upgraded with firmware updates. If SplitFish finds a problem or discovers some improvements they can implement, all it takes is a software update to your FragFX and you're good to go. I hope more manufacturers for console peripherals support their product this way in the future and I'm gladSplitFish has taken this route with the FragFX.

If you aren't near a flat surface to use the mouse, the FragFX comes with a mouse pad and controller holster that you can use on your lap. The holster has a limited arc it can rotate on but I found that you can place it in there and still use all the buttons comfortably. The downside, of course, is that you won't be able to really use the Sixaxis functionality when it sits in there. Other than that, it's a nice alternative to a table if you have to play on your lap.
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