Saturday, December 24, 2005

Saitek P2600 Rumble PC Gamepad Review

This force feedback gamepad has some interesting features. The most notable, and touted, is the FPS or first person shooter function. By pressing this button, it lights up, and sets up the buttons and sticks for use with the standard first person shooter titles. This means that the right stick becomes your mouse, for mouse look and the other buttons become things like reload, "F" for flashlight and the right forefinger becomes your left mouse click, or trigger. The D-Pad also might work to switch weapons.

Included with this gamepad is a bunch of configuration software, that lets you configure deferment buttons for each button, and even different buttons for how far you press the sticks a certain direction. This means you can make it sprint when you press the stick all the way up. Unfortunately this feature is a bit difficult to configure and doesn't seem to always work. Also you can't assign anything to the stick buttons, when you click them down. Why you can't do that, I can't imagine.

The buttons all handle quite well and the front triggers are well placed. Also this gamepad has a comfortable but wide feel larger than a PS2 type controller, and even a bit wider than an xbox s-type. This may be comfortable to many, but it seems too wide for my manly but smaller hands.

The thumbsticks do respond well, but I've seen better, as on the Thrustmaster 2-in-1 dual trigger. I just can't quite get the sensitivity right to be able to aim with the mouse look stick. I'm almost always too far or not enough, and budging the stick a little bit more and back, well, somebody just got a headshot on me.

If you want a gamepad that you can just install, plug in and press FPS this one will do the trick. However, I haven't played any games that actually use the whole button map of that feature, and so I've had to make new profiles. If you're going to go ahead and make a new profile, you might as well run the free JoyToKey software, which is a bit more programmer like, but still not too hard to figure out with some trial and error. Then you can just use a more comfortable gamepad, and even setup a stick as a mouse, which it allows you to do.

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