The Xbox Elite controller sits in an awkward place in the market. Though it does feel and play great, the huge price tag coming from an older generation makes it harder to justify. The new Series X controller, with a dedicated record button and new material makes it feel a slight bit outdated. This is where the PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Xbox controller comes in.
How Does it Look?
The base design of the controller is very similar to the standard Xbox One controller. It’s missing a sync button as it's entirely wired and the 3.5m jack at the bottom is slightly different without that expansion port at the bottom. Luckily, this was only used by the 2013 Xbox headset and a handful of out-of-stock accompaniments years ago, so its function is largely pointless anyway.
Moving from here are the extra intricacies unrelated to the shape. My controller was a dark black with metal linings around the buttons and D-Pad. It’s quite striking in a great way, feeling unique but not overly flashy. In a sense, you could say the same for most of the controller, and the more flashy designs are replaceable anyway.
Finally, the controller, wire and extra replaceable bits can be carried in a nice carry case that comes with it. It's sturdy and not too heavy. It is quite angular and quite big but not big enough to have to Tetris your way into a backpack.
How Does it Feel?
This is a much heavier controller than the standard Xbox One controller. For some smaller hands, it might be overbearing, but in my big hands, it feels comfortable and provides a comforting weight. It doesn’t feel taxing after long hours as one might expect and feels incredibly sturdy. This is a controller I wouldn't be worried about dropping. I don’t plan on testing it anyway.
There are a few other things you might immediately notice about the feel of this controller. It comes with remappable claws on the back of the controller, like those found in the PowerA Fusion Pro for PS4. They can be remapped to other controls to allow you to drop shot or quickly reload.
They offer a little competitive edge, but I rarely found myself using it. The controller itself is so nice to use that I rarely found myself wishing I had more buttons. If you aren’t a fan of those buttons, you can entirely take them off and replace them with a standard back, leaving the controller looking fairly normal.
When it comes to the feel of the controller, the grips on both sides have a textured feel, making it more secure in your hand. This is something that will not fall off surfaces easily.
What lies at the heart of the design of this controller, and pretty much everything PowerA makes, is the ability to customize it. You can swap out thumbsticks, the front plate, the back buttons, and a handful of other extra bits. This all being said, you can’t customize around one of the few issues I had with the controller. It lacks a record button like those found on the Xbox Series X controller. This isn't a huge issue, but moving from the Series X controller to the PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Xbox Controller didn’t feel like a step up across the board. It is better in many ways but not quite as many as I would have liked.
In a similar vein, the wired component of this controller will mostly be a taste thing but, after using the PS4 Fusion Pro, I’m a bit surprised this doesn’t have a wireless mode. The PS4 controller works both wired and wireless great, and this controller could have the same functionality but it doesn’t. To make up for this, the chord attaches strongly to the controller and a nice breakaway chord at the base of the Xbox saves you from a nasty fall when you miss it. It’s not quite as usable as I would have liked but they’ve done a great job with the limitation
PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Xbox Controller — Verdict
The Xbox has taken some strides in the last year with a whole new generation, updated software and more refined experience. With it came a slightly updated controller with an easier record function. Like our previous review of the Fusion Pro PS4 controller, the PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Xbox Controller is an excellent replacement to an elite controller with a few caveats that hold it back from being the obvious best in the market.
The PowerA Fusion Pro Wired Xbox Controller was provided by PowerA and is available from their site now or here via Amazon