With nearly dozens upon dozens of options for the PC gamer these days it's tough to find a gamepad that suits them just right. While the form and function of an Xbox 360 controller offers a familiar experience for gamers, it just doesn't cut it when it comes to options. That's why Cideko has created the Air Conqueror, a wireless PS3 and PC gamepad that has more features that can be found on standard keyboards.
But, with so many gamepad options out there, including ones that might be more familiar to gamers, many are going to be looking at the Air Conqueror and wondering why it should be chosen over all others — and its really in its feature set that the true standout qualities reveal themselves.
The Air Conqueror, while functioning perfectly well as a PS3 controller, is best suited for the PC, or for that unique gamer who plays MMOs on the PS3. With a set of handy customizable buttons, a robust QWERTY keyboard, and a gyroscope for motion control, the Air Conqueror replaces not just the mouse and keyboard, but a gamepad, and even a PlayStation Move if need be.
Setting up the controller was a cinch using including Bluetooth USB attachment, and getting off and gaming took no time at all, but the more time I spent with the Air Conqueror the more that plethora of features seemed less and less important. As a PS3 controller, the Air Conqueror just can't hold a candle to the DualShock 3 even though its design is very similar. The controller doesn't feel uncomfortable in the hands, but its keyboard does make for handy placement that requires time to to get accustomed to.
The shoulder buttons can be too awkward to be useful for first-person shooters, and the height of the four key buttons made switching from joystick to square or triangle less precise. Gyroscopic motion, while a neat trick, works while in the XMB, but proves to be a frustration in and of itself — forcing the user to hold the controller absolutely still lest the menus run wild.
Still, it works, and it contains a handy keyboard for you DC Universe Online or Final Fantasy XI players out there. The Air Conquer will prove handy for savvy PS3 players who know what they want and are seeking an alternative from the Dual Shock.
On the PC side of the equation, the Air Conqueror becomes much more useful, both because of its wealth of options, and its customizability. For games that support it, players have many different choices at their fingertips, so much so, that leaving a reclined position will never even be a worry.
But, yet again, the Air Conqueror, while versatile, still falls short when compared to something more familiar or ergonomically similar to what gamers are comfortable with. If given the option of using the Xbox 360 controller or the Air Conqueror, and the need for the bells and whistles wasn't present, there's simply no question which is the better choice.
All in all, Cideko's Air Conqueror is a suitable option for the PC gamer who is looking for a gamepad with a wealth of customizability and a full keyboard. With added flourishes like a gyroscope, it stands above the standard choices for controllers, but strictly speaking from form and function, it isn't going to replace a device that a casual gamer is familiar with.
And, at $100 retail, the Air Conqueror is certainly not for those looking for the casual PC game here and there. This is for the PC gamer who is beyond the mouse and keyboard and wants to take the console experience and push it to the next level on a superior platform. It's a moderate recommend depending on the needs of the individual, but what it does offer is pretty impressive.
To read more about the Cideko Air Conqueror, head over to the product's Official Site.