PS4 Gets An Official Elite-Style Controller For $200
The price of full control.
Scuf Gaming is known for its extravagant, modular controllers that feature a number of additional inputs and grips. While the company currently has a roster of gamepads for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, it just introduced the first Sony-licensed third-party controller for the PS4 in North America with the Scuf Vantage. A wired USB version will have a base price of $170 USD and the wireless Bluetooth model will start at $200--customization options will alter the price. This fully-featured gamepad is set to release sometime in August. Both the wired and wireless versions of the Scuf Vantage for PS4 are now available to pre-order through the official Scuf website and GameStop.
One of the noticeable changes from the standard DualShock 4 is the offset analog stick placement, similar to the Xbox controllers. You'll also have the option to swap out the thumbsticks with ones that have either dome-shaped mounds or taller stick height. It's a tool-less process as the Vantage's magnetic faceplate easily snaps out, which reveals another thing you can customize; two rumble packs on the handles can be taken out to reduce weight and disable vibration.
The most important advantage users get is the set of programmable buttons. Four paddles reside on the back of the controller, all of which can be mapped to act as any other button; face buttons are typically mapped to the paddles so your thumbs don't have to leave the analog sticks to perform common actions. Scuf stated that it reworked the paddle mechanism so that actuation is smoother than previous controllers. Two programmable side buttons (called the "sax buttons") are new to Scuf's lineup. These are situated just around the triggers so that minimal motion is required to press. All the Vantage's features are outlined in the image below.
Several quality-of-life additions are integrated with this new controller. Unlike previous Scuf gamepads, the Vantage does not require a magnetic key to remap buttons; it's now relegated to a simple switch that lets you change controls on the fly. A touchbar lets you adjust master volume, mix chat and in-game audio, or quickly mute chat altogether. If you wish to use a disc-like directional pad instead of the standard four-way design, that's an option as well. Swappable trigger caps also come in the package, and the hair trigger mechanism that allows you to change the L2 and R2 trigger pull resistance and stop distance is still found on the Vantage. The wireless Bluetooth model can work as a wired controller as well, and is said to offer 1ms response time when connected.
Scuf isn't just any gamepad manufacturer either; in 2015, it lent a hand in creating the Xbox Elite controller by licensing some its tech to Microsoft. Scuf currently offers the Impact and Infinity 4PS Pro controllers for PlayStation 4 users, which feature programmable paddles and customizable buttons. You can see how they compare to the DualShock 4 in our review of both Scuf controllers. Be sure to check out our roundup of aftermarket PS4 controllers as well.