When it comes to second controllers that are solely for use by little brothers, sisters, and visitors, Microsoft’s official option may be a little bit pricey. Running at $75 for a controller with a Play and Charge kit and with very few choices available, gone are the days when you could pick up a relatively cheap third-party-made second pad from any game store that you walk into.
PDP are looking to bring those days back somewhat, with the introduction of the Rock Candy controller range for Xbox One at $39.99, but it has to be said that being a cheaper option is more or less the only box that the device ticks.
Available in red, green, purple, or blue, the controller has a semi-translucent body which looks quite cool. You’d almost expect it to light up, along the same lines as PDP’s Afterglow headset range but alas, it doesn’t. That’s where the cool look ends, though, as every other part of the controller made from is a somewhat cheap looking (and feeling) white plastic. The analog sticks aren’t rubberised in any way, so are prone to slips, and the triggers and bumpers don’t have the subtlety of the official controller.
Also, while the peripheral manufacturer has decided to use a fully-detachable USB breakaway cable (the same sort you’d see on the Xbox 360 Guitar Hero and Rock Band peripherals) so that the device can be stored more easily, they’ve neglected to include an expansion port at the base of the controller. So, there’s absolutely no way that you can use the Xbox One Stereo Headset adapter, or any sort of headphones. Of course, if you’re using your Rock Candy controller as a second input device for kids or visitors, then that isn’t necessarily going to be a massive problem. However, that oversight is precisely why the pad gets relegated to that status. With an expansion port in place, it would have served as a functional (not good, but functional) back-up pad for single-player gaming. The Rock Candy controller would never have replaced your official controller in a million years, but when you forget to charge your main controller or spill a circuit-destroying can of Coke on it, this cheaper device could have come into play for a while.
As it stands, though, this is very much a budget controller and unless you’re really and truly strapped for cash, it’s a tough sell. We’d recommend splashing the extra do-re-mi on an official controller instead.