Nacon is quite well known for their 3rd party Pro controllers, especially for the current generation. many people have become fans of theirs because of the asymmetric design they provide on the PlayStation 4 for those who want it. The recently released Nacon Asymmetric Wireless Controller gives you exactly that without any thrills or fuss.
I had the opportunity to put the controller through its paces along with the Plantronics Rig 500 Pro HS Nacon Edition headphones. The controller and the headset work very well together, but also independently. So even though they do go well as a set, you don’t have to get the one to enjoy the other. The review for the headset will be linked here once it is available.
As the name would imply, the Asymmetric Wireless Controller is a Wireless Bluetooth controller for the PlayStation 4 that has the left analog stick and the D-Pad swapped. It looks and feels a lot like the Xbox One, or the Nintento Switch Pro controllers. The only difference is that the Nacon still has the touchpad of the traditional DualShock 4. Everything of the DualShock is still in place, it’s just the left side of the controller that’s reversed, making it feel a lot like an Xbox One controller.
The contoller feels a bulkier and it is slightly heavier, so if you like the light feel of the DS4, then that might be something to consider. It is solidly built and it feels like it can take a bit of punishment such as accidental drops or those intense multiplayer matches. Everything about the controller feels solid, from nice and responsive button presses, precise analogue movements to a pretty decent and accurate rumble. The Nacon also has some pretty nice shoulder buttons and triggers, that’s a bit more contoured to a natural grip, once again similar to how the Xbox One controller feels.
Playing them games
Ripping and tearing through hordes of demons playing DOOM was an absolute joy with the Nacon controller, I experienced no lag and the feedback from the controller is excellent. Same goes for multiplayer in Titanfall 2. No issues. Nothing. I also went hunting for robot dinosaurs, and exploring the beautiful world of Horizon Zero was also just fine, except for realising the share button is a bit harder to reach since the left stick is in the way now.
I experienced a bit of discomfort playing Gran Turismo Sport though. First, the rumble felt a little less subtle than with a normal DualShock 4 and after a while of intense racing it became noticeably annoying. I also experienced some issues with the triggers, which for the most part is great, but because you use them the most for your acceleration and braking, the slightly more prominent tips of the triggers started digging into my fingers. I realised that if I use my index fingers it feels fine, but using my normal, two-finger (index on shoulder button, middle finger on trigger) grip, it starts getting uncomfortable after some extended use. It felt like the controller wasn’t designed to be gripped like that, which for me is a bit of a let down.
The other game that became a bit problematic was Death Stranding. The Nacon Asymmetric Controller doesn’t support motion control, which makes comforting BB if you fall over a bit of a hassle. It seems like a small thing, but a bit annoying if you need to keep a second DS4 controller next to you in case it is needed.
Some things to consider
The Nacon Asymmetric Wireless Controller is really a great option if you are looking for an asymmetric design, but there are a few things to consider. The battery is rated at 7 hours, which some feel is a long, but i didn’t feel it being any longer or shorter than a normal DS4, which is weird since this controller has no light bar. And since it lacks a light bar, you won’t be able to use it with any PSVR games for that very reason. The controller also doesn’t switch itself off automatically if it’s not used for a set time, which will contribute to unnecessary battery drain when not being used.
Finally, the controller uses it’s own Bluetooth dongle which requires a USB port on your console and can be a bit of a nuisance if you’re already using a USB headset and maybe an external HDD.
Is it worth buying?
The Nacon Asymmetric Wireless Controller is an incredibly well-made controller that looks and feels like almost like a first-party controller. It is the best option if the asymmetric analogues are a must for you on the PS4. It is a bit pricey though, being priced rather higher than the stock DS4. This might be something to consider when looking at the other limitations of the controller, which for me is mostly nitpicking and quality of life things.
For what it is supposed to be, this is a fantastic controller and you really cannot go wrong with it if asymmetric is a must.