PDP FACEOFF DELUXE+ [Nintendo Switch Controller Review]: ChatNite.

Robert “The DCD” Workman

Nintendo’s Switch system may be ideal when it comes to their game selection. In fact, it’s pretty incredible. However, their chat options are…not. I mean, most games require a mobile phone and an app and some tricky wiring in order to work properly. That said, a company called Vivox has offered a solution that does allow for much easier in-game chat that works much, much, much easier than before. Alas, only a handful of games use it thus far, like Fortnite and Paladins. I only hope that this picks up over time.

And it’s games like this that PDP’s Faceoff Deluxe+ Nintendo Switch Controller are built for. It’s a budget controller, to be sure. And it does lack some of the features that make the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller stand out, such as the HD Rumble. But for a reasonable price – in this case, $25 – it has some great stuff in its own right, namely a headphone jack that makes it easy to use a headset so that you can play your multiplayer games in style. (Well, most, anyway.) And for a cheapie controller, it’s not bad in the least.

The controller features a pretty solid build, with two analog sticks, solid buttons and two remappable trigger buttons on the back, which you can use for firing or whatever. The savvy design on the front features either a camouflage like red or purple design, which you can inter-swap with faceplates however you see fit. (Alas, older PDP faceplates don’t work, I believe.)

The button layout is a little confusing at first, as the Home button gets moved up here. That can make navigation weird, especially if you’re used to how the original Pro controller works. But over time, you could get used to it. And since the controller is wired – with about ten feet of cable to spare, relax – the Home button does light up, so you can see it quite easily on the controller.

The quality of the voice chat is okay, but not exactly exceptional. This is probably due to the feature itself, and not necessarily the fault of PDP. After all, Vivox is still getting used to how it works on the Switch, and Nintendo hasn’t entirely adapted to it yet. So don’t expect it to be a glowing feature with the controller. That said, Fortnite works reasonably well with it; and Paladins and the other multiplayer games that support it aren’t too bad either. Most of the headsets I had around work just fine with it.

As for the controller itself, it performs surprisingly well. The analog sticks handle quite nicely, and as I said, once you get used to the somewhat weird button layout, they handle pretty great too. The back buttons are the real surprise here, as they’re actually useful for firing and secondary functions, like for flippers on Pinball FX3 or The Pinball Arcade(I’m a fanatic, you see.) The trigger buttons are also excellent, surprisingly so for a third party controller.

And the wiring and design of the controller are quite spiffy too, especially given its price point. PDP could’ve easily overcharged for something like this for its 10-foot length and functionality alone. But $25 is quite reasonable, even without its inclusion of rumble. Not a bad deal at all if you’re on a budget. Obviously, if you have the money to spare, Pro Controller is the way to go. Yet if you’re strapped for cash, or if bills are getting the better of you, this isn’t a bad way to go.

PDP continues to surprise with its line-up of Switch-related peripherals. Like its other controllers, the Faceoff Deluxe+ has practicality and comfortable feel for a proper price, along with good looks and convenience. Could it get some things better? Sure. Could it have rumble? Yeah, but it probably wouldn’t be nearly as good as Nintendo’s Rumble HD. But at the end of the day, you get quality feel and solid voice chat – for the games that support it – for just a little over a 20 spot. That’s hard to argue with. 4/5 Royale Wins.

-Robert Workman

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