I’ve been a busy bee these past few weeks. While the rest of the team has been working non-stop on video game reviews, I’ve been putting the hours in with some physical accessories. I’ve already told you about the brilliant GSP 670 gaming headset, but today I’m going to talk about GioTeck’s latest PS4 controller, the VX-4.
The VX-4 is a cheap and cheerful little controller that I’ve become rather attached to. My house is littered with controllers for all kinds of consoles – I found a spare Joy-Con in the bathroom this morning – so to add another one to pile is a pleasure. I’m a hoarder, but some things tend to slip into the background. Whenever I get my hands on new treats, something else tends to be forgotten. I was sure that the VX-4 would get a couple of days use before I’d be back to the Nacon Revolution controller, but that wasn’t the case.
The VX-4 controller comes from Giotech, a company that has been in the controller game longer than some of you have been breathing air, so you can expect a certain level of quality. Not like some of the cheap knock offs you’ll find clogging up eBay and Amazon.
The first thing I noticed about the VX-4 is just how dinky it is. Compared to a regular DualShock 4, it’s quite a bit smaller. That said, it’s not uncomfortably small. If anything, it’s just about the right size to sit snugly in my hands. I’ve got big hands but I never found myself wishing for more to hold on to.
It’s the typical PlayStation controller setup. You’ve got two symmetrical analogue sticks, a crunchy d-pad, four clickable face buttons, four triggers, the ‘options’ and ‘share’ buttons, home button, a turbo mode button as well as the touchpad. The only thing missing is the lightbar which is used for some PSVR game and interaction with the PS Camera. No big deal that it’s missing, though, as that’s the case with most third-party gamepads.
The unit doesn’t feel particularly expensive, and it’s not. Ranging in price from around £19.99 to £34.99, these controllers are budget-friendly. Unfortunately, that does show in the build quality. I’ve yet to wreck the controller, but it feels like I could do some damage if I launched it at the wall. I don’t tend to do that, but when you’ve got mates round, the sparkling water is flowing – anything can happen.
On the plus side, it’s a very nice controller to use. The D-pad is probably one of the best I’ve come across in regards to third-party controllers, and I managed to relive my childhood with a bit of Sonic Mania using the D-pad – the way it should be played!
The face buttons have a very satisfying click to them. Tapping the buttons produces a small clicky sound. To some, that may be annoying, but for me, I appreciate the extra audial feedback. The same goes for the triggers, though more so the L1 and R1 bumpers. They protrude out of the top of the controller, but not in such a way to make it look ghastly; you’ll never struggle to hit them in the heat of the moment, and again, the clicky feedback is welcomed.
The actual R2 and L2 triggers are a little odd. They’re elongated and look bigger than they should be, but that’s only because they’re regular size triggers on a smaller form controller. They’re still decent enough and do their job, and there’s an extra firmness to them, meaning you’ll have to pull just a touch harder than you ordinarily would. Whether that’s because they’re brand new and haven’t been worn in yet, I’m not sure, but I do like it.
The only gripe I have with the VX-4 is that the analogue sticks feel like they’re just a little too close together for my liking. Perfectly usable, mind you, but pushing the sticks towards one another leaves just a few millimetres of space between my thumbs, providing my thumbs are dead-on the stick faces. If they’re not, my thumbs tend to bump one another. Not ideal, then.
Personally, I don’t think this controller was built for somebody like me: an adult. I think the best use case here for the VX-4 would be for a parent looking to get a cheap PS4 controller for their unruly kids. Children, as we all know, are sticky little buggers that destroy worlds and game controllers. Given that the VX-4 is very budget-friendly and an excellent fit for a smaller hand, I’d say the VX-4 is ideal for children. Providing the kid hasn’t got anger issues, the controller should last. Should it break, it’s cheap enough to replace. Win-win.
Despite the annoyance of the sticks, I still find myself reaching for the VX-4 when I sit down in the evening. The smaller form is just something I quite like. It’s not my go-to controller, but when I’ve mates round, I wouldn’t be miffed if one of them bagsied the other controllers and left me with my dinky little darling.
Giotech VX-4 PS4 Controller Review
Overall - Very Good - 7/10
The Giotech VX-4 wireless PS4 controller is a decent little gamepad with one glaring flaw: the sticks are too close together. If you can get past that issue, you’ve got a wallet-friendly controller. However, the best use case for this particular pad will be for parents wanting to keep the kids playing without breaking the bank.
- Lovely form factor makes it a really snug fit in the hand
- Satisfyingly clicky buttons
- Triggers are still full-sized, though with a little extra resistance to them
- Great value for money
- Feels a little cheap in the hand
- Analogue sticks just a little too close together
Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a unit provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please read our Review Policy.
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Chris has been writing about gaming news for far too long, and now he’s doing it even more. A true PlayStation know-it-all, Chris has owned just about every Sony console that ever existed. Trophies are like crack to this fella. (Bronze trophies, that is – he only has one Platinum.)